Considerations for Planning a Great Run For It! Workshop
Finding the Right Partners
For best results, consider finding one or more partnering organizations to help you pull off a spectacularly successful event.
Your County Partners
The support of your county board members, administrator and clerk can be instrumental to the success of your workshop. If you don't already have a good working relationship with these folks, this is a great opportunity to develop one!
Other Local Municipalities
Consider partnering with local municipalities at the County, City or Town level. Municipal partners will offer additional legitimacy to the project, and can help make outreach to current elected officials easier. Municipalities that a history of insufficient candidates and uncontested elections may have a vested interest in increasing interest and participation.
Local Tribal Nations
Consider partnering with local tribal nations. Remember: Tribal Nations may have different elections cycles and calendars and requirements for office.
Partner with an interested non-profit
Consider an non-partisan, non-profit civic organization with a history of supporting non-partisan civic engagement. An established entity like a local chapter of the League of Women Voters may be a good source of volunteers, marketing support, event sponsorship, or event hospitality support.
Other potential partners could include:
Other Local Experts and Consultants
Are there any other folks that are deeply involved with area politics and elections? They may be great resource in suggesting facilitators, sponsors, potential candidates or other contacts!
Workshop Format: Small Groups
A well-facilitated small groups is particularly conducive to fulfilling key workshop objectives, including providing space for potential candidates to address fears and concerns. Small groups can also facilitate stronger connection between candidates and between candidates and mentors/facilitators. Given that much of "local government" happens in discussion with 3-7 people, we strongly suggest that you employ a small group format whenever possible. While it does take more work to organize, (more facilitators, more break-out spaces, less plenary activities) we feel the benefit for this workshop is worth the extra effort.
When using a small group format, choosing great facilitator is key to a successful evening. A great deal of care should be taken to select facilitators that have:
When planning your workshop, you may want to consider the following in order to identify the most advantageous time of year:
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Don't forget to gather feedback at the conclusion of the event.
Don't forget to wrap-up the event by posting photos to social media, sending thank you notes to partners, facilitators, mentors and sponsors, and providing updates to your county and municipal partners.