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Welcome
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Join the next cohort of the ECDA Fellowship Program dedicated to progressive non-governmental, civil society organizations, and social movements based in the European Union who want to maximize their impact during this crucial election year.

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Empowerment through digital organizing

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ECDA Digital Organizing Fellowship
5 February 2024 - 5 April 2024

Digital organizing is a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize how organizations connect with their communities and mobilize supporters. Our fellowship program will equip your organization with the tools and insight needed to lead impactful campaigns, foster community engagement, and drive meaningful change.

Info sessions

Check out the recording from our online information session on 15th January 2024 for a full program presentation. 

Watch the recording

"I wholeheartedly recommend any progressive civil society media to apply for the fellowship. As we continue our journey to create European media that is sustained by its readers, the ECDA fellowship has been instrumental. Learn their mechanisms, stay independent, and build a community-based approach."

Carla Allenbach, The European Correspondent
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What is the Fellowship Program?

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An online learning program about digital organizing and fundraising strategies that is designed for progressive organizations to elevate their digital capabilities and maximize their growth and impact both offline and online.

 

Many progressive organizations today rely too heavily on social media and traditional media to reach their audiences and get their message across. Organizations lack a strategy and the tools to organize their supporters into contactable communities and to involve them in their campaigns in the thousands and tens of thousands. 

 

The fellowship will entail theory, planning, and implementing learnings in real campaigns. Success will be determined based on metrics and impact, with the possibility of extending participation beyond April in the form of an intensive, pre-election second phase of the fellowship.

ECDA Fellows meeting together

Who can apply?

Progressive non-governmental, civil society organizations, and social movements legally registered in the European Union are eligible. 

 

Organizations that are keen to scale up their digital organizing capabilities and willing to adopt small-donor fundraising.

 

Groups associated with the following campaigns are encouraged to apply:

 

  • Climate change

  • Trade unions and workers’ rights

  • Gender equality

  • LGBTQIA+  rights

  • Refugee rights groups 

  • Immigrant advocacy groups

  • Progressive grassroots media

  • Citizen activism

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"What makes digital organizing special and powerful is that there is no other medium that lets you have a direct conversation with your supporters."

Ari Rabin-Havt, Deputy Campaign Manager for Bernie Sanders, ECDA Fellowship guest speaker
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Program structure

A ten-week program consisting of online, interactive sessions:

  • Workshops with leading experts in the field

  • Guest speaker sessions

  • Knowledge-sharing by past fellows

  • Small-group work sessions

  • Opportunity for individual online mentoring sessions with our team of mentors and consultants

 

There will also be an optional in-person meeting during an intensive two-day boot camp (date to be announced later) with all fellows.

 

Following the completion of the fellowship program, qualifying organizations can extend their participation in an intensive second phase lasting from April to June 2024. Organizations who qualify for the second round will be provided with more tailored and individual support.

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What is required from you?

Dedicated ten hours a week. Roughly two to three hours of online sessions and optional mentoring check-ins, plus individual time to execute campaign plans.

 

Fellows will set up the CRM, list-building, and fundraising tools that the ECDA works with – Action Network and Lunda (provided by Estratos)– within their organization.*

 

While the program is designed for anyone from the organization that is digitally savvy, there must be high-level senior leadership support for implementing the learnings from the fellowship.

 

*Some consideration can be taken for organizations that are already using different digital tools.

Application process

The application process will remain officially open for another week as we allow some participating organizations to complete their application.

Program duration:

5 February - 5 April 2024

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Program fees and financials

The cost of the ECDA Fellowship program is €500.

There is a fully-funded scholarship available for organizations that are interested and meet certain criteria. Please indicate this on your application.​

Meet the team

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Nilesh Pinto

Nilesh has a background in journalism and digital organizing. He helps organizations across Europe build two-way communication channels with their supporters and tell powerful stories that generate meaningful impact.

Why digital organizing?

Welcome

We believe that building direct online communication channels, encouraging two-way engagement and small-donor fundraising are vital for civil society organizations to mobilize their supporters. With this in mind, the fellowship aims to mold participants into digital organizers who use cutting-edge digital tools to generate meaningful impact on issues ranging from LGBTQIA+ rights and advocacy journalism to climate change and migrant rights. It is also the ECDA’s goal that fellowship participants share the knowledge they acquire within their organizations in order to scale up their digital organizing capacities.

 

The Fellowship Program is tailored for progressive organizations seeking to make a tangible impact in this election year. It is designed to benefit organizations adept in traditional and social media communication, offering new avenues to connect with supporters. The program will help groups organize their supporters into accessible lists, leverage pivotal moments to keep groups organized and mobilize through engaging emails and written content. 

 

Don't be a bystander; take an active role to ensure your organization reaches more supporters, mobilizes them, and fundraises effectively. Apply now!

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What past fellows have to say

“The fellowship improved my digital skills, especially with regard to email writing and building grassroots campaigns. Thanks to the ECDA’s support and mentoring, Gay Center managed to record more than 10,000 signatures for our petition and we grew our email community to 15,000 subscribers.”

Eliodoro Belmare
Gay Center (Italy)
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  • Which organizations are encouraged to apply?
    Progressive non-governmental, civil society organizations, or social movements based in the European Union who want to scale up their digital organizing and fundraising capabilities in the build-up to the EU elections.
  • Who should organizations nominate for the fellowship?
    Organizations should nominate one representative – ideally a digital practitioner. Good writing skills (in local language) and past experience with operating CRMs and social media ads will be beneficial but are not pre-requisites. The candidate should be comfortable enough to communicate in English in order to fully understand the concepts that will be taught during the fellowship. Multiple people from organizations can take part in the fellowship sessions in addition to the main representative.
  • What is the weekly time commitment for participants?
    Participants are expected to commit ten hours a week to the fellowship. This includes time for the fixed online meetings as well as individual preparation and execution of campaigns and learnings.
  • What is the commitment required from the organization?
    Organizations are encouraged to have an open mind with regard to challenging conventional wisdoms and experimenting with new tactics. They should urge their representatives to implement learnings from the fellowship and also create a space for this individual to share knowledge with colleagues.
  • Does the fellowship have a focus on the EU elections?
    The ECDA believes that civil society has a key role to play in strengthening democratic participation by mobilizing the progressive electorate, especially in the context of the European Parliament elections that will take place in June 2024. By putting the best digital tools in the hands of the best organizations, the ECDA aims to ensure that progressive organizations can effectively reach their supporters and mobilize them for causes that align with their mission.
  • What is the duration of the fellowship?
    The fellowship starts on Monday 29th January 2024 and lasts until Friday 5th April 2024. There will be a second phase of the fellowship for qualifying fellows/organizations lasting from April until June 2024. Organizations who qualify for the second round will be provided with more tailored and individual support.
  • What is the typical learning curve?
    The fellowship will teach participants the theories and practicalities of organizing their supporters into contactable lists, planning digital campaigns from start to finish, writing persuasive emails that mobilize supporters, and fundraising to ensure the sustainability of movements.
  • What topics does the program cover?
    Digital organizing List engagement and full spectrum campaigning Campaign planning List building, setting up action pages, moments Social media ads The science of sending emails Digital organizing 2.0 Fieldwork and activism Fundraising Mobilization
  • Who should NOT apply?
    If your organization’s mission does not have a theory of change through mass mobilization or people power. While senior leadership buy-in from the organization is important, the proposed fellowship candidate should ideally not be both the head of your organization as well as a practitioner.
  • Will the ECDA offer financial support?
    There is a fully-funded scholarship available for organizations that are interested. Please indicate this on your application.
  • What are the contracts required to be signed?
    Fellowship/organization contract Action Network (Supporter CRM/email software) Lunda (Fundraising tool)
  • Are there examples of successful participants?
    Yes, check out our blog posts by Marta Kraujina of “Sievietei paveicās” / The Lucky Woman and Carla Allenbach of The European Correspondent.
  • Are there any tools or software that organizations need for the fellowship?
    Yes, organizations will need to have a professional CRM/emailer tool that allows them to effectively organize their supporters into an online community and communicate with them efficiently. Your organization will also need a platform where it can seamlessly collect donations and track donor history. Most progressive organizations lack these tools, and we can help deploy solutions. Our preferred tools are ActionNetwork and Lunda. If you have an existing software stack, we can also provide an audit to ensure it is capable of meeting the needs of the fellowship. More information about Action Network and Lunda can be found here and here respectively. In case you would like a live demo for either of these tools, you can request it by writing to info@centerfordigitalaction.eu.
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