Whatever the structure of your MTA group, it is important that a method of internal and external communications be established. You will need ways to let people know about upcoming meetings and events, and you may also want a means for group members to discuss issues between meetings.
Remember that not everyone has access to a home computer. Make sure you build communication methods that work for your membership as well as the communities you're seeking to include in your organization.
All Move to Amend Affiliates have a personal section in the Move to Amend website. Affiliate Pages allow you to post announcements, events and news stories about your local group. You can also list your local partner organizations (or endorsers) and post a feed that links directly to your Facebook page. Affiliates can also post photos using their Flickr accounts. All content from MTA Affiliate pages automatically feeds to their State Pages, so that website viewers can easily see what's happening within their community and state.
All Affiliates are responsible for keeping their page on the site current and interesting. MTA does not allow affiliates to set up external websites.
All Move to Amend Affiliates are provided with email addresses to use for their group's communications. If your group is small, one email list might be sufficient. However, if it is large you may want to consider separate announcement and discussion lists to allow everyone to receive announcements without having be part of potentially high-traffic email discussions.
MTA staff can set you up with a MTA Google Group(s) to facilitate this communication. affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org (subject: I%20want%20to%20set%20up%20an%20MTA%20Google%20Group%20for%20my%20affiliate%20email) (Contact us if you would like to explore this option). Affiliates are not allowed to set up external discussion lists.
Billions of people are now connected in real-time using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. We recommend Move to Amend Affiliates use a "Page" on Facebook to communicate with people who use that medium and an account on Twitter for quick communications in 140 characters. If you'd like to set up social media accounts, affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org (subject: I%20want%20to%20set%20up%20a%20Move%20to%20Amend%20social%20media%20account) (let MTA staff know and we will set them up for you).
Phone Calls and Meetings
If the members of your group do not have internet access, you will need to find other ways to keep people updated. Phone calls or mailed newsletters may be necessary for some Move to Amend Affiliates. For those with cell phones, text messages can be used to publicize upcoming events. In cases such as these, holding frequent meetings on a regular schedule may be the best way to keep your group connected.
Based on the input of hundreds of volunteer organizers, Move to Amend has built its own database platform called Helping Interested Volunteers Engage -- the HIVE! This state-of-the-art database allows Affiliates to connect with thousands of supporters and potential volunteers in and around their communities. From here, you can:
- Search for individuals and organizations nearest you based on their volunteer interests and the issues they're involved with.
- Create custom mailing lists to send email blasts promoting your local meetings, actions, and events.
- Conduct Phonebank campaigns by requesting lists of supporters from your area and recruiting local volunteers to make calls in support of local or national campaigns.
- Coordinate with other Affiliates in your state for lobbying campaigns by submitting reports of your visits with local, state, and federal legislators to inform fellow volunteers.
We are proud to offer our volunteers direct access to this database to support your local organizing -- we feel this is critical to follow though on our commitment to grassroots empowerment and movement building. It is important that all contacts be added to the database in a timely fashion and that members of your group learn how to use the database to maximize this tool. affiliate-support [at] movetoamend.org (subject: I%20need%20help%20getting%20started%20with%20HIVE) (Contact MTA staff for help getting started) and for information about best practices to help you keep track of your contacts and organize your community effectively.