Organizing During COVID-19: Trends and Victories from Month One
It’s now been over a month since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic. Since then, the global crisis has exposed an ever-growing number of inequities and injustices in our systems. In response, millions of people around the world have found themselves looking for opportunities to connect, engage, and hold decision-makers accountable — and New/Mode subscribers have more than risen to the challenge.
These are the trends and victories we’ve seen from the first month of COVID-19 organizing.
1. Engagement is all the way up 📈
Perhaps it’s unsurprising that an unprecedented global crisis would lead to record numbers of actions launched and supporters activated around the world. But we’re still awed by the way our subscribers jumped into action, mobilizing their communities to ensure robust government response to the pandemic.
In the final two weeks of March alone, we had a 49% increase in the number of actions launched on the New/Mode platform.
And that’s not all: we also saw a record-breaking number of supporters activated — we’re talking many hundreds of thousands — and an unbelievable number of connections made with decision-makers.
As we enter the second month of our new COVID-19 reality, these numbers show no signs of slowing down.
2. Month one victories 🎉
In these early weeks of COVID-19, we’re immensely proud to have played a role in helping our subscribers secure:
- Rent relief
- Employment benefits and protections
- Universal basic income measures
- Personal protective equipment for essential workers
- Healthcare coverage
In Canada, one of the first hot-button issues was the need for universal basic income (UBI). Organizations leading the charge early on were UBI Works (whose action has seen more than 30,000 emails sent across all 338 ridings), North99, and Broadbent Institute.
These actions, along with the many more that have been launched since then, led to an early victory in Canada. On March 25th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an emergency basic income of $2,000 over four months for Canadians financially impacted by COVID-19.
While it was a start, organizers across the country knew the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) wouldn’t help everyone. In response, more actions were created, urging the government to expand the eligibility criteria. For example, Foodsters United launched this one-click email tool advocating for precarious workers, and the Canadian Federation of Students launched email, call, and tweet tools, demanding that students be granted access to CERB.
As a result of this second wave of actions, access to the CERB has been expanded multiple times. And the tens of thousands of people across Canada who mobilized for students also scored a victory when the federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).
Other wins include announcements of additional supports for small businesses, charities, and nonprofits, which our subscribers SaveYourLocal.ca, Imagine Canada, Save Small Business, and many others have been campaigning loudly for.
Of course, with a crisis of this magnitude, the needs of the people have never been greater. Much more still needs to be done to support groups that fall outside the requirements for CERB and CESB (like migrant students). There also still needs to be more support for frontline workers and long-term care homes, as well as rent relief, just to name a few pressing issues. (To see how our subscribers are mobilizing around these issues, click here for a full list of actions.)
3. Global mobilization 🌎
As the novel coronavirus continues its spread, we are seeing more and more actions created around the world. In the United States, our subscribers have already launched actions in 17 different states.
In particular, one trend we’re seeing is a great number of actions pushing for voter safety ahead of this year’s elections, including this Vote Save America campaign and the Idaho Democratic Party’s multi-channel campaign.
We’re also inspired by the number of U.S.-based actions pushing for the government to bail out people, not corporations. Check out this impactful People’s Bailout campaign endorsed by a number of our subscribers, including Greenpeace, Indivisible, People’s Action, Sunrise Movement, and Working Families Party.
In the United Kingdom, New/Mode’s subscribers have launched highly successful campaigns advocating for increased personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, as well as supports for childminders and early years providers.
Early Years Alliance’s coronavirus-related actions have garnered more than 15,000 messages sent so far, while EveryDoctor’s campaign targeting MPs to protect NHS workers has already seen more than 82 MPs make the pledge (and rising!).
Our governments’ decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months are literally life and death for many people, and will shape our society for years, if not decades, to come. Thank you to our community for all that you do to help ensure officials make decisions for the common good and with those most vulnerable in mind. 🙌
Do you have a COVID-19 organizing success story you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 📨
If you’re interested in launching your own multi-channel campaign, click here to book a demo.