How we pick campaigns

A few weeks ago I started as Mozilla’s Global digital grassroots campaign manager. I work with the policy team to mobilize the grassroots and strategize around campaigns all over the world that will help keep the web free and open.

I’m in the process of prioritizing campaigns for the next six months. Here’s a snapshot of what I look for when it comes to a campaign:

  • By getting involved can we make a real impact?
  • Do we already have community members in this location?
  • Do we have networks that can help us connect to the on the ground situation?
  • Is this an issue our community members have highlighted or care deeply about?

A key challenge with this process that I want to name upfront is that myself and much of the policy team are based in the US. In a lot of ways it’s easier to run campaigns and understand political context that are similar to that of the US and where there are no language barriers. We are taking steps to rectify this – the Policy team is hiring outside the US and on the advocacy side we’re scoping the possibility of hiring campaigners outside the US as well.

That said, one of my priorities is ensuring that as a global campaign manager – we run truly global campaigns. This means being humble, admitting we don’t have all the answers and relying on the help and direction of community members, coalition members and local leaders.

Already, I’ve been blown away by the passion and knowledge of our community. I’ve been talking to community members and partners in India and have learned so much from their insights and am incorporating their perspectives into our strategies. I think by broadening our focus we can also broaden our opportunities and significantly increase the impact we are having.

At the moment the way we find out about and assess campaigns is quite top down. One challenge that we’re trying to untangle is this:

How do we allow more people to weigh in with campaign suggestions without leading to disappointment and unrealistic expectations?

After all we don’t have unlimited resources and we won’t be able to make an impact in every situation. How do we tap into the passion and knowledge of the Mozilla community while at the same time not setting them up for disappointment?

Let me know if you have campaign ideas, thoughts or comments – would love more heads and the benefit of other’s experiences on this.