We’ve seen a wave of progressive campaigns across Australia champion the strategy of bottom-up community organising, where volunteers are empowered to run and manage their own local groups’ engagement and activities to help achieve the movement’s shared goal.
Large movements such as GetUp! and Move Beyond Coal have customised their campaign websites to include filtering and mapping functionality that helps supporters easily find a local group near them. In the case where one doesn’t exist, supporters can submit an online form to create their own local group (example pictured below). Once approved, these volunteer group leaders can start to recruit other volunteers in their area, send communications, create events, publish them to the campaign website and manage event RSVPs.
The process of applying to create your own local group via the campaign website enables more organic self-organising. While the central campaign team is still there to provide onboarding, training and ongoing support, volunteer leaders are ultimately responsible for organising their own local group and its activities. This personal empowerment not only strengthens the movement but also has a ripple effect, inspiring others to take action and create positive change. The power of grassroots movements is grounded in supporters being so attuned to the specific challenges and opportunities present in their own surroundings. By adopting this localised approach, campaigns ensure the solutions and activities are relevant, sustainable, and impactful, leading to more meaningful and lasting change.