We’ve interviewed leaders of grassroots movements like the Tea Party and Convention of States. And while in many ways these organizations can be deemed successful, they have sometimes fallen short, sputtered, or even been waylaid…
What struck us was that they all seem to stumble from a common set of challenges that they have no answer for:
It All Comes Down to Funding and Leadership
Developing and Retaining Leadership
As organizations grow, the need for training, organizing, and communicating grow exponentially. It is almost impossible to find enough volunteers to fill these roles. Many of the best leadership candidates work full-time jobs and have active and busy schedules outside of work. They simply cannot justify putting in the time, even when they believe in the cause. Most organizations are resigned to looking for volunteers that are independently wealthy or retired to fill these roles. The organization suffers because even amongst the leadership they do manage to develop they experience tremendous turnover.
Raising Funds Without Selling Your Soul
Building a movement is expensive. There are accounting and attorney's fees, website hosting and development costs, database management contracts, and specialized software to meet Federal Election Commission guidelines. Add to that the cost of phones, utilities, rent, computers... and that doesn't even include the millions of dollars needed to produce and run campaign ads. The downfall of many a grassroots organization has been the need for funding. In far too many cases, organizations are reduced to accepting mega-donations from individuals or organizations - but that money always comes with a price.