Build the Base, Grow the Movement supports learning, implementation and experimentation around a distributed organizing approach in the economic justice movement.

What is the Build the Base Model?

Build the Base provides frameworks and tools that support organizations to recruit and involve their core constituencies to build the capacity to act for themselves.

We focus on what it takes to recruit and meaningfully involve organizations’ members in ways that facilitate meaningful participation and sustained involvement over time, through building out clear pathways of participation embedded in structures with capacity to grow through well-designed teams and coaching systems.

The training includes activities all along the way that set organizations on a path to develop a comprehensive plan. 

Why are We Committed to Distributed Organizing? 

To grow our organizations, we must move beyond individual organizers holding all the relationships to one in which their principal role is to support teams led by volunteer leaders.

In our view, most social justice organizations’ strategy and communications far outstrip the base they have to accomplish their goals. Our leadership and membership bases are simply too small to win at the scale required to achieve urgent economic, racial, gender, immigration and climate justice goals and resist the existential threat to voting rights. Too often when “movement moments” occur, organizations are not prepared to absorb and involve newcomers. As a consequence, most people cycle out quickly.

Our mission is to help more organizations develop the capacity to scale beyond where most economic justice organizations currently find themselves. The fundamental goal of the model is to develop systems of support so that grassroots leaders are equipped to participate, recruit others and lead teams.

Who Should Participate?

Executive Directors, Organizing Directors, Lead Organizers, Organizers and Digital Organizers should come as a group. We do not recommend organizers enroll in the training alone. It is not possible to implement the model without full organizational understanding and commitment.

Quote from Alexis Perez-Nava, Senior Organizer, KIWA
Quote from Alexis Perez-Nava, Senior Organizer, KIWA
Quote from Alexandra Early, Training and Field Organizer, Organizadora del Campo y Capacitación
Quote from Alexandra Early, Training and Field Organizer, Organizadora del Campo y Capacitación
Quote from Yesenia De Casaus,  AFSCME UDW organizer
Quote from Yesenia De Casaus,  AFSCME UDW organizer