Turning Organizers into Technologists

This past April, Oakland Rising launched the Movement Technology Fellowship to support our member organizations to expand their capacity by cultivating organizers and leaders with technological tools. As we are approaching the six month mark, we are excited to report on the major progress in the work that the fellows have made since (you can read more about the fellows here).

During the first weeks, participants learned HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, after which each fellow created their own web pages, CSS projects, and completed JavaScript30 exercises -- all while working collaboratively using the online repository GitHub and Slack. Moreover, fellows routinely meet with thought leaders in technology and social justice in informal talks and discussions.

To increase the impact of their organizing, outreach, and fundraising, fellows are currently learning how to use and leverage their respective constituent relationship management systems (CRM), and are in the process of refining their first product. MUA fellows are creating an application through Salesforce to help their organizers with recruitment. They have gotten buy-in from their organization leadership, strategized with their recruitment consultant, developed wireframes, and are now meeting with a UX/UI Designer provided by the fellowship.

CURYJ fellows have already completed their first project by launching a survey that connects to their Salesforce database. The survey builds off of an existing analog survey they rolled out, but eliminates the data entry phase and makes implementation scalable. CURYJ fellows are currently conducting interviews with staff in their organization to determine procedural inefficiencies that can be solved via technology.

Our fellow is working on an integrated field-fundraising sign-up form to collect new supporter and donor information as well as payment data that directly feeds into their CRM database, eliminating paper forms and additional data-entry tasks. We anticipate that making these processes digital will save us about $25,000 annually!

The program will continue to be project based where Fellows create technology solutions for their organizations until December 2018. During the next phase, fellows will spend more time at their organizations or in the communities they serve to apply the tools they develop. They will also meet as a group to continue their visits with tech innovators in social justice and to attend workshops on specific skills such as developing wireframes, using pull requests to fix bugs, and implementing responsive design.

Check out blogs from the fellows to learn about their projects and how the fellowship is expanding what they have to offer as organizers.

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The Oakland Rising Movement Technology Fellowship (MTF) is designed to build technological capacity among our partner organizations and to create tech ambassadors impacting their organizational culture. Working with organizers who understand their communities, the 9 month fellowship teaches how to leverage technology to increase their organization’s impact. Fellows work on immediate solutions to technical and technological problems within their organizations and identify long term goals to enhance organizing. Their training focuses on web and tech admin fundamentals, online organizing, and developing new applications.

The Movement Tech Fellowship is succeeding in:

  • Building organizers’ technical capacity,
  • Empowering them to leverage tech tools to increase their organization’s impact, and
  • Preparing them as leaders in their organizations, to provide trainings, support, and develop new tools.

NETWORK


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