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Chris Lundberg: Salsa Wired for Change

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 4/20/11

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Broadcast 4/20/2011 at 21:12:44
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Chris helps over 1700 non-profits and campaignss get their digital act together. We talk about what he's learned that can help activists, organizations and candidates.
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Rough interview notes
Founded Democracy in Action with mission of helping organizing tools out to masses.

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Formed Salsa labs which works with candidates and non-profits.

Provide organizing technologies--- email, fundraising, websites,
to build a base of support around their issues, candidacies
work with about 1700 orgs and candidates reaching 40 million people, 30-40,000 organizers.

sent 2.5 billion emails.

Rob: What have you learned through all of this?

sampling of a million people
on average for about every 50 people on your list you get about 1 donation
average donation $87 which works about to $1.73/ person.

A lot of things can bump that up.

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the net has really helped beyond sending out mail.

Tangibly new things we're seeing on internet.

Building relationships. Over 3-5 years, expect 3-5 dollars per person

Do A/B testing can ramp up to $11 per person on list.

Can go up to $20 per person over 5 years. That's because of new approaches-- Some groups averaging $50-100.

Like distributed events-- house parties-- hosted 2000 events over the course of a week, grew their list from 10,000 to 100,000 supporters.

This got them 30 times the values of their original supporters.

Sharing: forward a message to a friend. Now we have twitter and facebook which makes it easier.

Usually can get in one in four in forwarding to a friend.

Local chapters used to require big top down infrastructure. Now even a midsize org can have local chapters which run themselves. YDA,

Bottom up building of local orgs is so much easier now. Setting up web page for local chapter is basically free, can organize, send messages, set up peer to peer events. Obama did a great job of this. These tools were never in the hands of the individual before.

Setting up a local page in wichita KS then creating a KS chapter. The technology resources were far to scarce.

IT gets down to targeting. Getting someone local can give a face, no longer anonymous, no longer a top down message from an organizer in DC. This is a much more effective means of organizing. Makes a lot of sense, is a lot cheaper.

We think this local organizing is really fundamentally chaninging-- AFL-CIO, ASCME, a lot of unions, AFT, Senate candidates through DSCC, DLCC,, Jerry Brown-- a union's existence is based on organizing.

Ascme sending out messaging, organizing events--
A lot of groups shipped out people to go up there.

How to do this without money?

There's a value to organizing.
The people who support your mission and org want to help. A lot of it is often going to your supporters and asking, do you want to help. The first step is asking for help.

There is value to a supporter base. Even if you only have 1000 people in your supporter base.
ONce you start asking, then you can start looking at more advanced mechanisms.

Battle for donors?
For every two donors there are 50 more potential donors who would give to those causes if they just knew about them.

People tend to give more when they hear from more organizations.


Stovepiping-- different parts of their org not talking to each other. Fundraising not talking to email or ". team

Biggest struggle is trying to tie different parts together.

Why do people hire you?

They want to integrate their data sets-- access database, online paypal page-- we help them consolidate that data into one consistent format.

ON larger folks we do some advanced organizing setups.
website access for donors can be different
email-- facebook and twitter.

In the end of the day it's all a database-- whether it's a website or email system.

Event systems: eventbrite, evently, meetup

use drupal, wordpress, in-house websites.

emails-- 500 words or less, short, to the point, focused, make sure recipient know who's sending.

Tricks-- Double send-- sends same email in afternoon-- saw 50% uptick in donations.

Emailing team needs to know what donations team knows, to the minute.

database allows bottom up cus

two kinds of advocacy:
influencing a decision maker
engaging your supporters with you, letting your supporters know what your stances are on issues.
Need to understand who your best supporters are.

Advocacy is just as important to build a relationship with your supporters as anything else.==
do by listening to them and come up with advocacy efforts that they care about.
If there's is a recent issue then play off that issue.

Make sure that your petitions and information matches what's going on with the news-- shows you are up to date with the news, doing things that are relevant and current.

Building local orgs-- it's as easy as email-- reaching out to a supporter and asking them.
contact people who write and come up with good ideas. Invite to start up a local chapter. It can be one person working out of their house.

At the core of it it's all local. It's all reaching out to one person locally.

Come up with a mission, something you want to do, like a hook--
put together a lsitserve, give it a longer term trend, build out from one indiv, ask them to bring their friends. At the end of the day technology is just a tool.

Start pulling disparate groups into chapters, can grow into a bigger org, particularly if you think about that at the outset

organizing is something that everyone can do.

When you allow people to self-organize, amazing things can happen.
April Pederson, President, Salsa Labs

Size: 23,022,880 -- 0 hrs, 47 min, 57 sec


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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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