Digital Organizer School: Durham

Digital Organizer School is Wellstone’s core offering for progressive organizers, digital practitioners, and communicators looking to not only build your technical skills, but also invest in your strategic ability and leadership within the movement.


Attendance to this training is based on application due to the intimate size of the training. Applications for both will open on February 5. When you apply, be ready to indicate whether or not you are open to attending both camps. Applications for the Durham camp closed on March 13; if you aplied, you will be notified by March 19 if you have been accepted or waitlisted. Applications for the D.C. camp will close April 23 and you will be notified by May 7 if you have been accepted or waitlisted.

Applications for the Durham training are closed; you can still apply for the DC training in June. Click here to apply.

Training Details and Logistics

This training will be offered twice in 2018. First, April 23-26 in downtown Durham, NC. The second training will take place June 11-14 in Washington, D.C.

Digital Organizer School is need-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 participant in the full program (including the in-person and online trainings) is $2,200 which includes all training materials, meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages for the four nights of the training. Lodging is not included.

The exact training locations will be annouced to accepted applicants. For planning and budgeting purposes, the Durham location is located in downtown Durham ; average hotel prices during this week are around $160 per night plus taxes. The DC location is located near Dupont Circle; average hotel prices during this week are running $250-$400.

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

Program Description

The program is a combined online and in-person training program designed to meet people at different points in their careers -- from brand new to those who have been practicing for 1-3 years -- and prepare them to fully run a digital organizing program.

You’ll learn how to execute essential digital tactics such as writing effective emails, shifting dominant narratives, coding, online ads, and analytics. You’ll also focus on strategic decision-making and developing digital organizing plans that will be most impactful in your unique community. Finally, you’ll invest in your own leadership at your organization or campaign. This emphasis on strategic decisions and leadership development makes the training a powerful experience for participants who arrive with varying levels of digital organizing experience.

The program begins with an intensive 4-day in-person training where you’ll work in teams to practice what you’re learning through a campaign simulation. At the end of the week, you’ll present your work to the full group and receive feedback from trainers. Upon returning home, you’ll receive continued support as you implement what you’ve learned through six weeks of continued online trainings, peer support, and trainer office hours from mid-June to the end of July.

Applicants will be asked to commit to full participation in the program, including:

  • Pre-training online gathering;
  • 4-days in person in Durham, April 23-26 or in Washington, D.C., June 11-14
  • 6 online trainings from mid-June to late-July, including weekly assignments to incorporate what you’re learning into your work;
  • Peer coaching with a fellow participant.

Training topics include:

  • Writing emails
  • Building strong digital relationships with your supporters
  • Challenging dominant narratives & incorporating stories into your online campaigns
  • Introduction to HTML/CSS & Intermediate Javascript/GitHub
  • Analytics & Testing
  • Online advertising
  • Mobile Campaigning
  • Digital Security
  • Online Fundraising
  • Storytelling online
  • Design for the Movement


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.

Questions? Email us.