Power-Building Guide for Local Democratic Leaders - NDTC

New Year, new you? More like with every new year comes new elections. And as you know, there is no such thing as an off year. This guide of resources helps assess your organization’s power-building efforts and plan for future cycles. An evaluation and planning phase paves the way for you to hit goals in the coming months.

Check out the links below, and be on the lookout for email invitations to our Virtual Live Trainings as they become available!

Bookmarks (Click below to jump to the spot you need!)

Learn from Past Elections
Planning and Leadership
Membership Retention and Growth
Prioritize Digital
Raising Money for Your Organization

Two legs in jeans with neutral color shoes standing on pavement. Two spray-painted messages on either side of the legs read "vote."

Learn from Past Elections

As you know, the work is never done. It’s critical to assess what worked well and what didn’t.

If you joined us for our Great Democratic Debrief, thank you for playing a key role in helping us better understand your needs for future cycles.

You’ve helped us learn from Democratic campaigns as a whole. Now, it’s time to gauge your efforts in the community and learn through this power-building guide.

Virtual Training

Running An Effective Campaign Debrief For Your Democratic Party (1 hr)

This training is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about hosting a local debrief. It also has materials to help reflect on your experiences and implement what you learned to improve the next cycle.


How to Set Norms and Schedule Your Campaign Debrief (10 mins)

Don’t have a ton of time? Check out this short lesson on setting norms and getting your debrief on the books.

How to Prepare Your Team for a Campaign Debrief (10 mins)

This Mini Lesson walks you through preparing your own campaign debrief!

How to Conduct a Campaign Debrief (10 mins)

You’ve got norms. The debrief on the books. Now, you need a debrief rehearsal. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! This 10-minute Mini Lesson makes sure you have everything you need for a successful debrief. 

four people at a table with pen and paper in handPlanning and Leadership

Now that you have debriefed, it’s time to put a plan in place to build upon everything you learned! This power-building guide is here to help. 

Planning is critical for any organization. It determines what you need when you need it, and how to get it.

And don’t forget leadership! A well-thought-out plan is nothing without a strategic and bold leader.

Without a plan and clear leadership, your organization could miss important milestones or opportunities to improve from election to election.

The future of your local Democratic Party depends on the success of organizations like yours. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of NDTC resources to help you plan and lead.


Stepping Up to Organizational Leadership (1 hr)

Whether stepping into a leadership role for the first time or looking to refresh your leadership skills — this course is a must. It’ll identify ways to positively influence your organization through intentional leadership. You’ll also learn tips and tricks for overcoming common management pitfalls. And see how to effectively delegate responsibilities and build accountability systems.

Strategic Planning and Goal Setting (1.5 hrs)

Effective leaders clearly define the strategies and tactics most central to their organizations’ success. This course teaches how to “backward-map” organizational goals. Learn how to align quarterly goals with multi-year strategic plans, and how to adapt plans and goals to changing conditions.

Don’t have a ton of time? No worries. Check out the Strategic Planning For Democratic Leaders Mini-Lesson for a 10-minute overview.


Need a brief rundown? Take 10 minutes to read over The Local Democratic Leader’s Guide to Management for an overview of the tools available to better manage your team.

Virtual Trainings

How To Motivate Your Team To Meet Goals (1 hr)

Sometimes, we all need a little motivation. This training walks through components of motivation for members and volunteers and helps backward map organizational goals.

two women on pink couch laughing with one anotherMembership Retention and Growth

Whether there’s an election finishing or you’re starting the year off fresh, you might be concerned with keeping membership and volunteer numbers up as folks pivot attention elsewhere.

Thankfully, this power-building guide is here to help!


Member Recruitment and Retention for Local Democratic Parties (1.5 hrs)

This new course will teach you how to develop member recruitment and retention plans, as well as set and monitor membership goals. You’ll also learn to escalate members into leadership and to use strategic partnerships to meet membership goals.


Building Your Local Democratic Relational Organizing Program (10 mins)

Need something brief and to the point? This gives you everything you need to know about building and sustaining relational organizing programs!

How to Talk to Voters: Values-Based Conversations (10 min)

Values-Based Conversations are a surefire way to increase support and engagement.This lesson teaches you to implement values-based conversations with supporters. Learn how to turn values-based conversations into issue-based conversations, and use them to build effective calls to action. 

laptop open on glass desk with digital marketing performance metrics on screenPrioritize Digital 

2020 was full of challenges including pivoting to all-virtual campaigns. Now that you have reorganized, the resources below can increase your digital presence for greater impact in future elections.


Why You Need To Leverage Digital (20 Mins)

Having trouble getting folks into digital for the long haul? Use this course from the Online Academy to strengthen your arguments. Learn the roles and goals of the digital team, and how they fit into the wider structure of a campaign.

Digital 101 (1.5 Hrs)

Most organizations need a website, a Facebook page, and an email list to communicate and recruit supporters. This course helps launch all three and provides guidance about what to share and where. In addition, you’ll learn to incorporate these tools into your organization so they amplify your current work.

Planning Your Digital Strategy (2 hrs)

Once you’ve got the basics — check out this course to learn how to use social media and email data to determine goals, and advocate for more resources. This course helps you build a digital plan to win.

Using Social Media Platforms (1 hr)

Is your organization new to social? This course teaches the strengths of different platforms, and how to incorporate them into free and paid social strategies. Also, learn how to create effective media for a specific platform. 


Create Effective Content (5 mins): Level up content with these helpful tips for creating popular posts.

Write Effective Calls to Action (10 mins): Get more volunteers and more donations with these tips for creating a stellar call to action.

Produce a Call to Action Video (5 mins): Videos can boost engagement and outcomes, learn how to utilize this medium to give your next call to action some juice. 

Develop Your Online Audience (5 mins): Use this lesson to identify, grow, and engage with your audience.

woman dressed in black turtleneck holding dollar bill with both handsRaising Money for Your Organization

Fundraising is key for sustaining an organization’s efforts and building capacity for the next cycle. So, keep the dollars flowing, and continue to do what you do best, win votes.  

Courses & Live Training

Raising Money (Online Course, 45 mins)

You’ve got a plan, now you need the money to execute it! This course from our Online Academy will teach new and time-tested methods for raising money.

How To Maximize Your Personal Network To Raise Money (Virtual Live Training, 1 hr)

Leveraging a personal network is one great way to supercharge fundraising potential. This training teaches the best way to use a network to maximize fundraising outcomes.

Managing Your Fundraising Data (Online Course, 30 Mins)

Now money is flowing in, check out this course from our Online Academy. In 30 minutes, learn to keep fundraising data up-to-date, and how to advocate for more time from your team.


Keys to Successful Political Fundraising Emails (10 mins)

Upgrade fundraising with this brief Mini Lesson on email fundraising. Learn how to capture online donations and the steps needed to run a successful email fundraising program.

How to Structure a Fundraising Email (10 Mins)

Build on email fundraising basics with this short lesson. Learn the anatomy of a fundraising email and how precision writing can boost how much money you raise.

Valuing Local Leaders

Bookmark this article as your go-to election guide for every cycle moving forward. While, the work of our Local Leaders often goes unnoticed, here at NDTC, we sing your praises. Democratic infrastructures rely on strong party leadership. Thank you for all you do. 

Let’s Get Started


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Online Academy

The training and tools you need, when you need them. Courses are available 24/7. Are you a candidate, campaign staffer or volunteer, at the beginning stages of your campaign or in the home stretch? We have the courses to address your specific needs and arm you with the knowledge to win.

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