Cover Story: Giving Voice
"If we stick together, anything is possible."
A tweakable campaign
From conception to the actual event, Solomon says it was a lot of work. But it doesn't necessarily need to be to capitalize on this type of engagement. An organization could just do the poll and then the ask to fund the project supporters choose.
"It could just be, 'Should we, as an organization, focus on climate change,'" he says. "You don't necessarily need to have events after that. That last bit of it is a lot of work; the implementation, in our case, because it's very intensive running 2,000 events around the world on [the same day]. So the implementation of it can be as heavy or as light as you like."
If you want to encourage connection and connectivity with your membership, it's a good strategy, Solomon says, adding that majority rules in the sense that if you ask people what they think, then you actually need to follow through.
"I think it's good to think about it in terms of a series of communications," Solomon says. "As soon as you get the results, let people know what the results are and then lay out the pathway forward. So there's generally at least three e-mails in the sequence.
"Traditionally, what happens is that organizations make decisions behind closed doors, and then they announce it to their membership," he adds. "I think that this form of consultation and deliberation is a very empowering process for members who feel passionate about an idea and want to have some kind of voice in how to respond. And we can tell that from some of the quotes, some of the e-mails that have come in from people that say, 'I really appreciate being asked. Thanks a lot for considering me.' And, of course, a lot of people just want to take it and move on, but when you're trying to facilitate a connection between an individual and an organization, I think this is a really powerful means to do so, and both for the organization and also for the supporters." FS