Here’s the 411 On Our Capacity Building Work

Last year, we launched a new strategic roadmap to lead us into the next phase of the organization over the next five years. If you’ve joined us on our journey to expand and reimagine how we fuel the growth and sustainability of the year-round grassroots organizing in the Alliance Network, thank you! If you’re new here, we define capacity building in three big ways:

  • Building a strong community of youth leaders and providing hands-on support
  • Managing the extensive toolbox of resources and support.
  • Providing access to tools and tech so our network can achieve scale and impact.

A major part of the reimagining driven by our new strategic roadmap is focusing our resources on strengthening and expanding our capacity building services. Now that we’re nearly halfway through 2023, we’re bringing you an update on the capacity building work we’ve done with our network thus far, and a sneak peek on what’s to come.

Celebrating 10 Years of the Alliance

This August, the Alliance Network will come together in Chicago, Illinois for an in-person conference to celebrate our 10th anniversary and work together to envision the next 10 years of the Alliance Network! We’ll provide in-person capacity building with nearly 200 network staff members and create a national strategy to approach the full spectrum of youth organizing work for the 2024 election and beyond. Stay tuned for our updates from Chicago!

Highlights from Site Visits

Loud Light
Mississippi Votes

Over the last couple months, members of the Alliance team have traveled across the country to meet with the amazing leaders at Chicago Votes, Loud Light, Mississippi Votes, New Era Colorado, New Hampshire Youth Movement, Poder in Action, and The Washington Bus. Each site visit’s goal is tailored to each organization’s needs. Some teams worked on conceptualizing and strategizing advocacy campaigns, while others utilized the Alliance’s support across several areas of their organization. Overall, through these visits, our team can provide in-person support and identify critical areas where continued capacity building is needed either from the Alliance team, peers in the network, or other experts long-term. 

New Era Colorado
New Hampshire Youth Movement

Although many Alliance Network organizations have wrapped up their legislative work, our capacity building efforts continue year-round because youth organizers in our network organize 365 days a year, and preparation for 2024 starts now!

Alliance Network Cohorts

Another way the Alliance Network orgs can tap into our capacity building support is by joining one of our cohorts! The Alliance Network cohorts are spaces for network staff to learn from and alongside their peers. Here’s a quick look into what we’ve been working on:

Screenshot from the March Development Cohort Meeting

The Development Cohort met in March for a workshop led by professional fundraiser and nonprofit executive, Michelle Muri on community-centered fundraising. The group explored racism within philanthropy by asking how our systems became unjust, what is unjust about them, who we are within these systems, and where we can make change.

In April, the Operations Cohort gathered for part two of an HR and Employment Law 101 training they began late last year. The group discussed discrimination, harassment, retaliation, investigating harassment complaints, employee conflict management and how to spot it in the workplace as well as necessary elements to include in performance improvement plans.

In May, the Communications Cohort held a Press & Media panel for Alliance Network comms staff to hear from journalists on how to navigate the industry, build relationships with reporters, and successfully pitch their stories to reporters

In June, our Data and Program cohorts had a joint session to discuss the elements of how data moves through an organization and what can be done to improve those processes. Their session featured examples from New Era Colorado, Forward Montana, and Poder in Action, and highlighted Ohio Student Association’s Relational Organizing program ran in 2022 to discuss its innovative data strategies and data entry challenges.

Additionally, a cohort of Alliance Network Executive Directors from Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, and Minnesota gathered in Montana for their first in-person meeting since 2020! While some of the Network EDs have been able to meet in-person over the past few years, this space was equal parts productive and bonding. The EDs dug into conversations regarding programming, budgets and organizational health, and accountability to each other and the Alliance.

Leveling Up Our Resources

This year, we’re also revamping the Shared Resource Library! Being a network that reaches 20 organizations across 18 different states, the Shared Resource Library exists to provide the network with support at any time, from any distance. While organizing can certainly vary state-to-state, we’ve created a hub filled with general templates, guides, trackers, and trainings to ensure our network organizers are starting their work on the right track.  

Recently we’ve added more advocacy resources, a variety of tailored hiring resources, a new slate of data resources, and updated programming resources ahead of 2024. We will also collect in-person feedback on the Shared Resource Library from Alliance Network staff members at our network-wide conference in August.

The Alliance team is so grateful to have you along with us on this journey to grow progressive people power at the local level. Investing in powerful young leaders and strengthening the capacity of their organizations changes our communities for the better and builds a bench with the most diverse and progressive leadership our country has ever seen.

Donate to the Alliance

Join us by investing into building youth power across the nation with a donation to the Alliance! Your contributions help us continue and expand our capacity building services that are essential to driving our mission of growing an unstoppable people-powered movement led by young people. Donate to the Alliance today to help us continue site visits, growing our cohort program, and maintaining our Shared Resource Library.

Become an Alliance Ally

If you’d like to stay connected with how we’re implementing our new five-year plan, level up your email subscription to become an Alliance Ally! Receive more exclusive email updates from the Alliance team and catch a glimpse of the work behind the work.