November, 2016. Like more than half of the country, the Javelina team was feeling despair. Donald Trump had been elected President, and no amount of wishing would change that. As far as I remember, it rained for the entire month of November – nothing but drizzle and grey skies. But given that our main offices are in Phoenix, Arizona, I think that’s a false memory.
The despair was felt in communities across the country and the same conversation happened in living rooms, conference rooms, and coffee shops everywhere – “what can I do?”
Political change is a huge part of what we do at Javelina, so we spent time thinking about how we could support different kinds of candidates to run for office – women, people of color, younger people. At some level, every candidate needs support from people who know political campaigns.
Here’s why. There are a few things that make it far likelier that you will get elected:
- Access to piles of cash, or a demonstrated ability to raise money
- A high profile or reputation (which is why celebrities are more electable than they should be)
- Relationships and support from people that will help you with #1 and #2
As most people are not millionaires or celebrities, it means #3 is the path most traveled to elected office, and the people who can help you get there are consultants
But here is where we run into trouble, because people who know and can afford campaign consultants usually have a leg up in the world of politics. They may have grown up in a political family, or have worked in government and politics in some way. They’re insiders to begin with. Not to mention, campaign consulting is expensive. It is a customized, highly-priced product.
Before you change the campaign consulting profession, you’re unlikely to see much change in who is elected.
And then came an important question: What if we made our campaign consulting services available online?
Because if you can use the internet to summon a cab, buy all of your holiday gifts and order dinner, then why can’t you use it to write your very first campaign plan?
The beauty of the internet is that it reduces cost and increases access. So that’s what we wanted to do for campaign consulting – make it less expensive and easier to get to. There are a ton of amazing people who can transform our world by serving in public office. Nurses, teachers, small business owners, nonprofit professionals, construction workers, you name it – there are incredible people from every walk of life who could have a tremendous impact in an elected role. They can bring a unique perspective and true passion to make real change for their communities.
The way we see it, knowing how to run a campaign should never be a barrier that keeps someone passionate about positive community change from winning elected office. So we took everything we learned from decades of campaign management at every level office across the US and put it in If Not Now – a 6-week online course. In this program, you learn about campaign plans and budgets, scheduling and managing your time, messaging and fundraising, building a team, and nitty-gritty details like how to open the bank account for a campaign committee. It’s soup to nuts. Campaign consulting in a webinar. And it’s $249.
It is for people who know exactly what they intend to run for or people who want to run “for something, someday”.
You’ll finish If Not Now with a detailed written campaign plan that’s unique to you. And because the course is fully online, you can complete the materials at your own time and convenience.
We created it because we need to make a change in our world. If not now, when? And if not you, who?