How Should Nonprofits Work with the Parkland Students — and Similar Groups to Come?

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The Parkland students continue to amaze — just today, I read about how David Hogg launched an advertiser boycott against conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham in the few HOURS after she mocked his rejection from some of his college choices. Nowadays, rapid response happens in seconds!

Following up on last weekend’s piece about the Parkland kids building a new kind of political organization, the folks at Blackbaud asked me to weigh in on the implications for more-traditional nonprofits. Here’s what we’re dealing with:

This dynamic may be foreign to advocates more accustomed to leading the charge, but it’s one I think we’ll see much more of in the years to come. Digital tools give all of us the power to organize campaigns on short notice – all we need is time and passion. From Facebook to the phones in all of our hands, technology lets a small, committed group of people punch far above their weight. On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog – or that your highly effective advocacy campaign is run by teenagers.

The article examines different ways nonprofits can help these new movements WITHOUT coopting them or simply taking over — Everytown for Gun Safety’s work with the March for Our Lives organizers provides a good example. Check out the full article for more, and watch this space: we’re not done with student gun protests OR with new forms of political organizing.

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