Early in 2020, Audubon’s National Campaigns Team launched Find Your Flock, an interactive campaign training program for grassroots leaders of all levels of experience. These monthly virtual sessions covered a lot — the basics of running a campaign, the ins-and-outs of meeting with decision makers, recruiting new members, and even interactive activities. The monthly trainings were supplemented by open office hours, called “Ask the Experts” where smaller groups could join campaign experts to ask more specific questions and discuss strategy.
In only its first year, Find Your Flock webinars proved to be popular with our members, providing training to thousands of Auduboners across the country through 11 virtual trainings, 17 Ask the Experts sessions, and 16 chapter-sponsored local trainings. In addition, Find Your Flock attendees shared in surveys and follow-up emails that they found the trainings a comforting connection to others during a difficult year. Others shared that the series inspired them or their Audubon chapters to get more involved in local advocacy efforts. Here are some words from our members:
The webinars definitely made me a more discerning voter on the local level and gave me a window into the political world of environmental policy. Even nature (or especially nature) needs a good amount of strategic politicking. The leaders of the webinar series have been great role models for this! – Margaret, Maryland
We have followed all the recommendations that we could and really enjoyed the manuals helping us to revive our chapter. – Carol, California
My spouse joined me while watching the webinars and we watched on our iPad while eating dinner. It became a real nice thing to share and broadened my circle of things to share with my spouse. – Gigi
It’s lit a fire under some of our Southwest chapters to take advocacy action and has shone a light on Audubon’s broader strategy, making our collaboration easier,” shared Steven Prager, Outreach Biologist, Audubon Arizona
Attendees valued the opportunity to hear real-world campaign examples from passing solar legislation in Arkansas to securing additional co-sponsors to important federal legislation and connected virtually with other Auduboners, to learn about Audubon’s history of grassroots environmental advocacy. Over 95 percent of survey respondents agreed that the Find Your Flock series was “valuable” and “informative,” and more than 90 percent said they would continue to attend future webinars.
If you missed our 2021 Find Your Flock kickoff webinar in January, you can watch it on demand and sign up to be sure you get invitations for future campaign training opportunities. You can also download the Audubon Campaigns Advocacy Manual, detailing fundamental campaign skills from soup to nuts. Now more than ever, it is critical that we the people get and stay involved in the political process to preserve the democratic structures and institutions upon which birds and people rely.
We’re upping the ante in 2021, continuing monthly trainings that build on what we’ve already learned, and welcome newly engaged supporters. If you want to get involved, you can get invites to monthly trainings and other resources.