To make progress on the pressing issues we face today, organizers and advocates need the skills and training to turn a desire to change the status quo into meaningful and impactful civic action. But finding the time to attend a training in person can often mean time away from other everyday priorities. That's why OFA offers online trainings—where you can develop your skills without leaving your home. And if you miss a live online training, you can always check out the recording and watch it at a time that's convenient for you. Whether you're looking for introductory-level skill building or something more advanced, we have a training series for you.
Relational Voter Organizing
The theory is simple: Community organizing is about building relationships and using those relationships to bring people together around a common goal or cause. Relational Voter Organizing is the practice of leaning on the relationships we already have to activate people we know to commit to vote. Watch the videos below to understand more about what relational organizing is, why it works, and how you can use it to make an impact in this election.
Part 1: What, why, and when
There are plenty of reasons why someone might not vote or be civically engaged, but there are just three main reason why people do vote: (1) Because they can, (2) because the want to, and (3) because someone asked them to. And that last one is the one we're focusing on here. But asking works better if the person being asked knows the person doing the asking. Watch Part 1 for context on the concept of relational organizing and why organizers across the country are using it this fall.
Part 2: Putting it into practice
Now that you know what relational organizing is, why it works, and how it can help overcome some of the challenges of low voter turnout, this video will walk you through the steps you’ll need to put it into practice. Learn how to prioritize the right people in the right places, what do say, and some best practices for making an impact in November.
Campaign Organizing Bootcamps
Whether you're working on a local issue campaign, a ballot initiative, or with a specific candidate for office, this cost-free bootcamp is for you. This five-part, self-guided training series is designed to equip volunteers and activists across the progressive movement with the foundational skills needed to be more effective organizers. You'll gain the knowledge, skills, and motivation to increase your impact and the effectiveness of those on your team. Check out our Trainer Guide for step-by-step logistics to help you prepare to host your own bootcamp.
The crash course features in-depth sessions facilitated by OFA trainers via recorded audio, with corresponding visual components, supporting materials, and interactive exercises.
Turning Action Into Organizing
Research has shown that our country is becoming more politically polarized—it is increasingly difficult to find shared values even amongst our own neighbors and agree on how the United States should look in the future. That's why it's all the more imperative that organizers and activists have the skills they need to communicate across lines of difference to make real, progressive change in our country.
OFA has designed a multi-part series for volunteers to address this gap in understanding through their own local community organizing work. Three of those trainings are shown below and focus on sharpening skills in persuasion and communication. They cover effective listening, communicating your values, knowing your 'why', and developing a theory of change for how your actions lead to impact—ultimately helping you develop a suite of skills that you can use to have more effective conversations. This series combines social science, psychology, and best practices for political organizers, and gives participants room for practice, feedback, and application of the craft.
Effective Conversations I: Effective Listening
We must first ground ourselves as listeners. This training focuses on the ability to listen for the underlying values that people try to convey when they speak, and how to build a connection based on shared ideas and beliefs.
Effective Conversations II: Know Your Why
Many Americans have ideas about how to change our country for the better. But why are we not always compelled by them? It’s likely because we don’t always hear the underlying values behind why they care about the change in the first place—their ‘why’. Through this training, we will help you identify your own ‘why’, and practice communicating it in a clear, persuasive way that allows others to connect with your ideas/story.
Effective Conversations III: How, Why, What?
This training sets you up with a practical framework that you can use in multiple organizing settings, from canvassing your neighborhood to talking to your congressional representatives.
Toolkits and resources
With the right resources and support, everyone—from first-time action takers to veteran organizers—can make their voices heard and achieve real, tangible results.
Sign up to learn more
Want to grow your skills? Not sure if there is a program that is right for you? Sign up to connect with an OFA staff member and learn which training track is right for you.