How does it work?

The whole organization holds an all-staff regional meeting once each year, and national offices hold individual meetings a few times each year for planning. In these meetings any staff can form teams and pitch ideas for campaign projects. In preparation for the pitching meeting, staff must use a template campaign document and answer a series of questions in order to create their proposal. The team presents its idea to the entire staff during the all-staff meeting.

The pitching sessions run a little differently in each country, but they all involve presentations by small teams to the whole staff followed by small group discussions to dive more deeply into each campaign idea. Then, for the idea to move forward, the program leadership team, comprised of the 4 program directors (fundraising, mobilisation, campaigns, comms) from GPSEA and program managers for each country, approves projects and assigns project teams to implement the campaign work.

Offices hold these open pitching sessions a few times throughout the year, in order to hear new campaign ideas for the following calendar quarter.

“Teams can form as they choose – in a country team or regional team. Teams can form diagonally, vertically, however, and pitch work within our general campaign issue areas. Then the project gets approved by the Program Leadership Team, if it meets the project criteria which includes benchmarks for each program area, i.e. Fundraising, Mobilization, Campaign AND Communications. We have agreed-upon criteria for all of GPSEA campaign work and then we communicate back what gets approved and what doesn’t get approved, and what gets sent back to be redrafted.”
– Rathana Chea, Mobilisation Director

“Our pitching process mimics the new operating model: we have a range of specialists in the mobilisation department, yet we were struggling with focus by working on too many campaigns at once. With this process, anybody could pitch an idea to the SMT, then they decide on key projects to be developed.”
– Amanda Graupner, Senior Grassroots Strategist

What is the impact?

This process allows for ideas to come from anywhere in the organization. By inviting all staff to participate in pitching ideas, new ideas for work come forward and staff feel ownership in the process.

“It was uphill at the beginning and there was a lot of pent up energy in the mobilisation department to have a say in project development. That energy was released through this pitching process. Up until this process happened, the decision had been to not commit to Arctic work. We pitched the Arctic project and it was given a green light to be developed.”
– Amanda Graupner, Senior Grassroots Strategist

Another example of an idea that emerged in this process was new climate messaging for the Philippines, where the tropical climate makes it difficult to talk about the Arctic work.

“The Philippines is a very Christian society, and the campaign idea was about preparing for extreme weather. The idea came from a fundraiser and a more junior staff person in comms. One of the criteria in the proposal abstract is to write a sample tweet for the project, and in the proposal, their team wrote, ‘Noah didn’t wait for the floods to build the arc.’ This was an example of how a great idea can come from an unexpected place in the organization.”
– Rathana Chea, Mobilisation Director

So what’s included in the campaign pitch template?

  • Phase 1 – The Abstract – Summary Pitch – team writes responses to key questions.
  • Phase 2 – The Project Template – once the project is approved, the teams must prepare a proposal that includes: Campaign Objectives, Summary of Campaign, Comms, Fundraising, and Mobilisation Strategies, Target Audience, Narrative/Story, Timing of the project.
  • Phase 3 – Implementation – if the project template document is approved, it will move to implementation and be given budget and authorisation to continue.