Collaboration between two trailblazers in the new grassroots movement.

Jeffrey Durland
Dec 5, 2017 · 3 min read

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, a few former Congressional staffers set out to create a manual for opposition. Their Indivisible Guide distilled effective local tactics and put them into the hands of grassroots progressive organizers. What started as a humble Google Doc became a handbook for the hundreds of Indivisible chapters that quickly sprung up across the country, each using the guide to empower local action. The decentralized nature of the movement was at the core of its appeal (“we’re not the leaders — you are”), but became an organizational challenge as it grew. How could Indivisible act local yet think big when it came to managing mountains of email signups and tons of local group information? How could they coordinate all of this information to make their grassroots efforts even more effective?

This is exactly the type of challenge that Ragtag is ready to tackle. Ragtag is a team of technology experts dedicated to helping progressive activists, candidates, and organizers level-up their work through technology. (Ragtag is a volunteer organization and anyone with tech experience and a love of a good creative challenge can join.)

The first step was identifying what Indivisible needed, and what would fit into their existing workflow. The Indivisible team already had an advocacy tool to organize individual activists, but they also wanted to expand the power of their growing database — they needed to understand the local independent groups that were also attracting members around the country, inspired by the guide, and how these groups related to all the people on their email lists. The solution needed to perform out of the gate, at scale, to keep up with the viral growth of the organization. In other words, they needed a CRM, and they needed to pick the right one from the get-go.

Ragtag volunteers helped Indivisible select the right CRM software to set them up for success. “Ragtag helped us to zero down the finalists from an API standpoint to find the one that would work best in integrating with our advocacy tool,” said Maya Yair of Indivisible.

To be most effective, Indivisible’s advocacy tool and their newly-deployed CRM needed to work together. Ragtag developed and deployed a system to keep data synchronized across the two tools, allowing Indivisible to coordinate with local leaders and learn about the most effective local tactics and events. “Before, everything was based in email campaigns, and [Indivisible] needed to start getting geographic by coordinating and tracking efforts with specific local organizers, which the CRM we helped them spec enables them to do,” said Nick Keenan, Ragtag’s tech lead on the project. “With the sync, they’re able to see the whole combined picture of the Indivisible Network in a way they couldn’t before.”

Now, Indivisible volunteers can stand together better than ever — learning from each other’s efforts and collaborating more seamlessly. And that means they are smarter, more efficient, more targeted in how they affect change. Ragtag is proud to be part of putting a creative technological solution to work for Indivisible, and focused on finding more ways tech can go to work for a good cause.

You can read more about how to take action locally with Indivisible and learn more about how you can support Ragtag and its many projects to support progressive candidates and causes. If you’re ready to contribute your time and skills (or even your money!), either organization is a great place to jump in and make a difference.

Ragtag notes

We are a ragtag volunteer team of technologists, tech enthusiasts, political and community organizers, and activists building progressive change from the ground up. This is where we talk about our work.

Jeffrey Durland

Written by

Ragtag notes

We are a ragtag volunteer team of technologists, tech enthusiasts, political and community organizers, and activists building progressive change from the ground up. This is where we talk about our work.

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