Digital Organizer School

Wellstone's Digital Organizer School will train, empower, and educate progressive leaders in digital organizing frameworks, strategy, and tactics. In today's political and organizing climates, we believe that the best online approach to campaigning is one that includes all experiences; this training is built on a foundation of intersectional learning and mutual respect.


Attendance to this training is based on application due to the intimate size of the training. The application period closed on April 16, 2017. We will send admission acceptances and scholarship decisions on May 5.

Training Details and Logistics

This training will run from 8am - 8pm, June 5-9 and will be held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in the Druid Hills neighborhood. Digital Organizer School is needs-blind, and admissions decisions will be made without regards to ability to pay. You will be able to indicate through the application if you will need a scholarship to be able to attend. The regular cost to attend is $1,800 which includes all training materials, meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages for the five nights of the training. Lodging is not included; we have, however, arranged a reduced-rate room block at Emory for accepted participants.

Please read on for more details regarding curriculum, ideal candidates for this training, and technical requirements. If you have remaining questions, please contact us.


At DOS, we will cover a broad spectrum of material with learning objectives listed below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and the training will culminate in a capstone project integrating all the skills below and more. People of all skill levels are welcome - we will offer introductory and advanced workshops as needed throughout the week.

Trainers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including electoral and issue organizers at both the national and local levels, specializing in digital strategy, storytelling, writing, design, analytics, and more.

Learning objectives: At the end of this training, participants will be able to:

Principles & Professional Development

  • Understand what the discipline of movement technology is
  • Articulate the roles that digital, data, grassroots engineering, analytics and design play in organizing.
  • Understand what digital organizing is, and is not
  • Articulate how your identity shows up in your digital work
  • Understand leadership and communication styles through a race and gender lens
  • Understand how to identify, support and champion the strengths of others on their teams and able to use that understanding to advance their goals within their campaign or organization
  • Articulate how broader knowledge of developing strategy is applicable to Digital Organizers

Strategy & Planning
Create a digital campaign calendar and draw connections to the broader campaign calendar, in particular, organizing, lobbying, and communications. The plan will include developing strategy for:

  • Identifying the differences between social networks and how to use them
  • Authentically engaging your community online
  • A basic mobile strategy (SMS), that effectively supports other content and organizing goals
  • Scheduling an email in the broader context of your campaign strategy and how to decide who to send it to
  • Setting digital fundraising goals that are realistic and ambitious for your organization or campaign
  • Creating a fundraising plan that integrates different digital tools to meet that goal
  • Understanding how to put together an online ad strategy that meets your goals and your budget
  • Moving from a place of fear of surveillance to proactive resistance
  • Understanding where your organization or campaign is at risk for security breaks or surveillance
  • Creating a digital rapid response plan under pressure
  • Develop strategy and tactics to build your base of supporters online

Content & Story

  • Understand that communicating authentically to your community is essential to building power
  • Develop organizing strategies and stories to seize cultural moments that are important to your community
  • Create a story of self, grounded in organizing principles and facilitate storytelling in others
  • Understand basic elements of social media and email storytelling
  • Define narrative and messaging and articulate the difference between the two
  • Create a message box

Tactical Skills

  • Build a list of the press you would want to target and a plan for how you would engage them online
  • Draft engaging text messages for organizing your community
  • Operate text messaging platforms
  • Write an organizing email with a clear and engaging ask
  • Articulate components of an effective email, including voice, writing, and structure
  • Identify 3 tools to use to protect yourselves from that security and/or surveillance risk
  • Draft content for components of a rapid response plan under pressure

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

  • Use basic HTML to write and load an email with different header sizes, types, links into CRM + checklist an email
  • Describe how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code relate to each other and how they are used in digital organizing
  • Design a webpage or email wrapper
  • Use JavaScript snippets to modify webpage visuals

Analytics & Testing

  • Use analytics tools to make data driven decisions about content performance and success, as it relates to organizing goals.
  • Develop a plan for how to incorporate analytics and testing into their campaign
  • Explain what analytics are and how they relate to metrics and testing
  • Explain the role of statistical significance in digital analytics and learn how to calculate it for small and large lists
  • Articulate how white supremacy and other forms of oppression live in current methods of tracking and reporting data
  • Identify 3 ways to uproots oppression in our data and articulate how you would begin to do this in your organization


Ideal candidates can come from all walks of life: digital organizers looking to sharpen their skills and complete beginners passionate about using technology to engage people are completely welcome.

However, there are some attributes shared by all our applicants and those include:

  • Openness to New Things: Whether you have years of experience in sending email blasts and setting up online ads or are brand new to digital organizing, we are interested in organizers who are excited about challenging themselves to learn new ways of doing the work and partnering with others to come up with creative solutions. People should come ready to be present and engaged.
  • Organizing Insight: You don’t need to be a professional politico, but we’re looking for applicants with experience doing organizing work on the ground. That work could fall anywhere on the Wellstone triangle - working toward progressive change in grassroots organizing, electoral work, and policy changes. Whatever it is, we’re looking for your passion, your creativity and your insight.
  • Dedication to Intersectional Solutions: At Wellstone, we are proud to center race, class, gender and sexuality during all our trainings and DOS will be no different. We want our trainees to be open to new ideas, not only from folks from different demographics, but different experiences, ages, geographies and organizing philosophies.

Technical Requirements

There are a few technical requirements to attend DOS. If possible, we ask all accepted attendees to bring a laptop computer capable of connecting to the Internet and downloading applications. Windows machines, Macs and Unix boxes all welcome. If you do not have a laptop which fits all these criteria, there will be some available for use during the training.

What do People do with their DOS Training?

DOS Alumni have gone on to be national, regional and deputy digital directors on presidential and national issue campaigns; they tell stories and organize people online at grassroots organizations, non-profits, and tech companies; they are campaign managers, state directors, trainers and much more.

Note: we do plan to hold another DOS in September, location TBD. This will be a separate application period and further details will be announced in late spring.

Questions? Email us.