The European Center for Digital Action (ECDA) is a training and knowledge center for progressive digital campaigners in Europe. We aim to help progressive parties across Europe upgrade and finetune their digital strategies to help them deliver the victories they need. Our engagements range from digital audits and evaluations to workshops, capacity building, and tech deployment.
WHO WE ARE
ECDA Digital Organizing Program for Political Parties
In light of the European Parliamentary elections, ECDA offers a digital capacity-building program with two areas of focus:
Data-driven campaigns (digital organizing)
Campaigns should aim to have 10 to 30 percent of their voters organized into contactable lists. If you put in the resources to be able to communicate with significant numbers of your supporters directly - whole new possibilities open up in terms of campaigning. To help you digitally organize your supporters, a typical engagement might include helping you build a list of your supporters via political moments and petitions, mobilizing them to participate in your campaign via donations, attending events, and volunteering, and finally, helping you get out their vote. Our help will focus on everything from providing the right tools to technical training, mindset training, and campaign consulting.
Campaigns in Europe rarely tap into the fundraising potential they harbor. This robs supporters of the chance to engage via a donation and campaigns of the resources they need to win. We can help provide the tools, the fundraising strategy and navigate the regulatory landscape in your local jurisdiction to fix this.
Who should apply?
This program is designed for political parties, candidates, and campaigns.
We are currently running a similar program for progressive NGOs. Please find the description here and feel free to forward it to any civil society organizations you think would be a good fit.
Progressive political parties across Europe are searching for new ways to engage with citizens. Whether in government or the opposition, the imperative is to engage citizens directly and not through traditional or social media. Parties and candidates should not solely rely on social media algorithms and paid ads or on the whims of journalists to get their message out.
The numbers clearly show that progressive supporters are ready to engage once asked and that their contribution depends on the diversity of engaging offers, style, and skillfulness of digital organizers to curate relationships with citizens from the moment of their engagement to the elections.
The ECDA team has advised countless campaigns in Europe, and these trends prove themselves time after time. Give us a chance to help your campaign.
European campaigners have traditionally faced many obstacles to do the list-building, data-driven campaigning outlined above. Lack of tools, lack of knowledge, short(er) campaign cycles, and a relatively strict regulatory environment around data all have contributed to the slow adoption of cutting-edge tools and tactics for progressives. Conservatives and far-right parties have navigated these challenges with more agility, and their gains and successes can partly be attributed to their adoption of digital tools.
We need to define goals for the engagement. ECDA offers a digital campaign audit, where it is important to understand your tech stack, data assets, and digital campaign plans. We can then formulate recommendations and a course of action.
ECDA can help you obtain the tools (software) and the skills needed to use them. We will provide knowledge and expertise through online or in-person training to staffers responsible for digital organizing (Community managers, social media officers, emailers, volunteer managers, etc.). We will also be available during the campaign period to monitor progress and assist as needed.
An integral part of the fellowship is strategy development and strategic planning sessions moderated by our mentors to match party goals with the best available tactics and tools.
The core training sessions are oriented around:
Digital organizing mindset and embedding in the current party processes
List building - acquiring first-party data on your supporters and voters in a GDPR context
Art and science of emailing
Narrative building via email
Fundraising as an engagement tactic
Social media ads
Organizing and mobilizing people on your list
Transforming the list to GOTV resource
If your party or campaign already has well-established digital organizing tactics, ECDA can offer more advanced sessions and topics. We work with leading campaign experts and consultants from around the world, and we are confident we can contribute to your campaign.
ECDA team uses Action Network as the recommended CRM (Database) and Lunda as the recommended Fundraising contribution form. We provide tech support and assistance for these tools. ECDA has special arrangements with the software providers around pricing, and we offer contracting conditions that ensure that the financial cost of using these tools is not an impediment to growth and excellence in using them.
In case your party already has locked contracts for other digital organizing tools, and that transition to recommended software is impossible, we are still able to assist as long as your current tech stack has the features and capabilities necessary.