Host a Meet Up to Generate Activism
Why It Works
Activism is more fun with friends. By hosting a gathering, you can get a whole bunch of neighbors, classmates, coworkers, or family involved in the effort to protect our air, water, public lands, food, and more—some of them for the first time! And your group can generate way more action together than you can on your own.
What to Do
Decide where to host your meet up. You may want to hold it at your home, or you may prefer some other location like a cafe, bar, park, student center, library with a public meeting room, etc.
Find a good date and time. In addition to finding a time that works with your schedule, choose a day and time that will likely work for others (no major holidays, not during work hours, etc.). If you know all the people you want to include, you can also send out a Doodle poll to determine the date and time that most of them are free.
Pick an activity to focus on. Choose one of the activities below to do at your meet up and plan to provide everything people will need for it:
- Write snail mail letters or postcards to all your members of Congress. You will need postcards or paper and envelopes (three of each for each attendee), pens (one per attendee), copies of talking points on various issues, stamps, and a computer with internet where people can look up the mailing address for their members of Congress.
- Write Letters to the Editor of your local paper(s). You will need copies of any relevant local papers and/or internet access so people can read them online; paper, pens, envelopes, and stamps for those who want to write and mail their letters; and a good internet connection (remind people to bring their laptops or tablets to submit their letters via email); and copies of talking points on the relevant issue(s).
- Call your members of Congress. You will need copies of talking points on the various issues; paper and pens so people can jot down their thoughts before calling; cell phone service (remind everyone to bring their phones with them!).
Decide what else you want to provide. Do you want to provide a meal, snacks, drinks? If you’re not hosting the event at a cafe or other place where people can purchase drinks and food, it is a good idea to provide some sustenance.
Invite people! Write up all the details and let people know they’re invited to join you. If you use Facebook and would like to make your event open to the public, you may want to set up a Facebook Event to share. You can also spread the word by text, WhatsApp, email, etc. Ask your friends to share the event, if you have space for it. You can even list your event with local groups working on these issues if you like. Plan on sending out the info several times.
Follow up with RSVPs. Send an email or a text to everyone who RSVPs “Yes,” letting them know you’re looking forward to seeing them, asking them to add the event to their calendar, and letting them know what they’ll need to bring with them (cell phone, laptop, etc.).
Send a reminder the day before. People are busy and everyone forgets things, so it’s a good idea to send out a reminder to everyone who said they want to attend the day before the event. Make sure to include a big ol' reminder to bring their cell phone and laptop with them, too.
Before you get started, get personal. Once you’ve gathered, we would love it if you can encourage people to sign up for NRDC’s All In program so we can give them ways to take action in their community. Have them text ALL IN to 21333. Then, go around the room have everyone share their names and something unexpected and fun, e.g. favorite cereal, guilty pleasure, first celebrity crush, etc.
Get started on your chosen activity. Introduce your chosen activity, explain how it will work, hand out supplies, and get started.
Encourage people to take the next step. Finally, last of all, ask one person to consider hosting their own meet up. Be sure to share our instructions with them to help them get started.