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One of the things that I liked most about this book was the distinction between a campaign and a movement. In the next 5 years, I believe that this is how all organizations (non-profit or otherwise) will be viewing the works that they do. Here is a closer look at the differences between campaigns and movements.
1. Movements don’t have a beginning and end.
- If it has a beginning and an end, it’s a campaign, not a movement. Movements continue on as long as kindred spirits are around to participate.
2. The language is different.
- If you are sitting in a meeting and the vocabulary sounds like you have landed in the middle of a strategy session during World War II, you are in a campaign meeting. Movements feel more like you landed in the middle of an evangelical sermon. Words like passion, love and inspiration get used.
3. There is a lot more “me” in movements.
If language you hear is dry and detached, you are listening to somebody talk about a campaign. In movements, people have a hard time separating the “me” from the equation. If you’ve ever been to Toronto, you’ve likely heard somebody say “this is the year we are going to make the playoffs”, even though they clearly never have, or never will, play professional hockey. This, of course, is different than when your mother told you that there’s no “I” in team. Being personally invested in the outcome of the cause is critical to your success.
4. Movements rely on word-of-mouth.
Campaigns rely on mass media to get the message across. Television, radio and direct mail are the main means that most organizations employ in campaigns. In movements, the people are the medium. Giving them the information they need in order to spread the word about your organization is the key.
5. Movements say “we’re all in this together”.
When you are working in a campaign, it’s very much an “us versus them” mentality. This is dangerous for a number of reasons, and pretty much assures that you will never lead a movement. Movements, however, ensure that everybody feels like they have a stake in the outcome, both internal staff and external volunteers.
If you want to learn how to create a movement from one of the best…
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