4 Things To Do When Making Accessible Campaign Trainings - NDTC

Accessible campaign trainings are the cornerstone of Democratic infrastructures. In order to be effective, the content and facilitation must be well-designed for a learning community.  

This November, we interviewed the Biden-Harris Victory 2020 Coordinated Campaign’s National Training Team. This series teaches campaign staff, candidates, and local leaders a new approach to training. We also highlighted the importance of NDTC’s training in Democratic politics.

Today, we hear from Lauren Krupp the Deputy National Training Director. 

Lauren was interviewed by Collyn Warner, NDTC’s Director of Live Training. 

Introducing Lauren Krupp

Collyn Warner: Hi everyone! Today, we have Lauren Krupp with us. Lauren, can you give a brief overview about yourself?

Lauren Krupp: Yes. Thanks for having me, Collyn. Hi everybody. My name is Lauren Krupp. I use she/her pronouns. I’m one of the Deputy National Training Directors with the Biden-Harris 2020 Victory Coordinated Campaign.

Writing The Book 

Collyn Warner: How did you get involved with training and Democratic politics? 

Lauren Krupp: I was an intern on the Hillary Clinton campaign working with the finance team. It was early in the summer. All of the interns were either trying to get hired by the campaign or returning to school in the fall. 

I realized we needed a manual that outlined all of the tasks interns did every day. When I told the intern coordinator about this project that I assigned myself, a light bulb went off. She said, “I’ll be right back.” She ran away, came back to me, and said I would be interviewing with the training team. 

About a week later, I was hired as a Content Manager with the National Training Team. And, since then, I’ve been doing training work on different campaigns.

Four Principles to Keep in Mind

Collyn Warner: What does your current work with the Biden-Harris Victory 2020 Coordinated campaign look like with regard to training?

Lauren Krupp: I have been making the training materials—decks, slideshows, handouts, guides, and videos for our battleground states focusing on the workforce.

A big focus is making trainings accessible in this virtual environment, thinking through all those different tools to accommodate this year. 

Additionally, I’m working with the New Hampshire team on the ballot cure process to ensure every vote gets counted.

1. Meet Your Audience Where They Are

Collyn Warner: How would you say you approach trainings? What is your personal training philosophy? 

Lauren Krupp: When I start working on a training, I put myself in the shoes of a first-time organizer or a volunteer that has never talked to a voter before. 

Training should make getting involved with a campaign easier. It should be a really welcoming experience. I would never want someone to walk away from getting involved because they felt like the work was too challenging. The training eliminates barriers and should bring people together.

2. Plan It Out

Collyn Warner: What is the most important thing you have discovered or learned while developing trainings? 

Lauren Krupp: In order to develop successful and accessible campaign trainings, you need to write out a clear plan. 

I’m much more of a visual person. I like making the slides and using colors, then finding fun graphics. But, I realized having a written plan with goals and structure makes it easier to build that full training.  

When I get stuck, when I’m not sure what to do, I can refer back to that plan. It keeps me on the right path, ensuring the training meets its goals.  

3. Collaborate with All Those Involved

Additionally, when you’re developing trainings, it’s a collaborative process. 

Get input from different departments and stakeholders. By having that plan, you can get everyone involved and make sure everybody is on the same page moving forward. 

4. Facilitate Through Conversation

Collyn Warner:  What is one piece of advice you would give folks who are learning to increase their training or facilitation skills?

Lauren Krupp: When it comes to facilitation, the training should be a conversation. Yes, there are points you have to get across. You want people to learn the skills. But, if you just deliver it as a monologue, you’re going to miss out on other people’s experiences and best practices. 

Be open to hearing from the audience, so you can all grow together. This way, we can continue to learn and develop the great work to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. 

Instilling the Value of Training 

Collyn Warner: The National Democratic Training Committee trains candidates, staff, and local leaders across the country for free. 

We have a trainer community that helps us train so many folks, reducing barriers and making training accessible to many. 

What impact do you think NDTC’s work has with regard to training and Democratic politics? 

Lauren Krupp: NDTC is making training accessible to everyone. Your work is emphasizing training as a focus in campaigns. By doing that, you all are building a real bench of talented candidates, campaign staff, and volunteers. 

Closing Words

Collyn Warner: Lauren, thank you for your expertise and lending your experience to our trainee community.

For more information on developing accessible campaign trainings, take a look at our course on Maximizing Your Volunteer Capacity. Learn how to have authentic conversations and escalate them along the ladder of engagement! 

Maximizing Your Volunteer Capacity

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Collyn Warner

Since 2008, Collyn Warner has spent most of her time working on political and issue-based campaigns, community organizing, and training. She started her work in these areas in red (and primarily rural) areas in the regional South. In addition to these efforts, Collyn previously worked on event coordination, communication efforts, and logistics at the International Monetary Fund, as well as membership development with Business Forward. She has worked in communications and outreach for the Campaign for Southern Equality, Neighbors for Equality (a grassroots LGBTQ rights group), Amnesty International, and higher education institutions.

Collyn completed her M.A. in English (Composition and Rhetoric) at The University of Alabama, where she was awarded funding to research the digital tools of community organizing across LGBTQ advocacy efforts in North Carolina, and she has presented on activist literacy, digital organizing, and grassroots initiatives at national conferences.