In our trainings for union members and grassroots organizers, we recognize that many people simply don’t have access to quality consultants. it’s a real shame – in many cases, a little bit of advice or technical know-how can save a lot of time and improve the quality of a campaign.

On the other side the aisle, there are many consultants of the digital strategy arts eager to help the labor movement, unions, and grassroots campaigns for economic justice. Some work for well known firms based in Washington DC, while others are freelancers from around the country. This September, they are coming together to offer pro-bono consulting services.

During the month of September, following Labor Day weekend, in honor of the role of organized labor and its allies, Organizing 2.0 and dozens of amazing consultants will be offering expert-level pro-bono consulting services. Please read the details of the project below and participate if you are able!

The Basics:
Forty consultants (including staff at unions and nonprofits recognized for their expertise) are setting aside an hour of time on Labor Day week. Organizing 2.0 will match them with staff and leaders at labor organizations (mostly unions) looking for specific help. After the week is over, we will describe the questions, the consulting assistance offered, and the clients in a report. (This report will omit details as relevant, to protect sensitive information, reputations, etc.)

The Consultants:
This project is starting with a number of consultants already on board. If you would like to participate as a consultant, please apply here. Our initial list of participating consultants is here.

The Clients:
The labor organizations requesting one hour of expert assistance can apply here. We encourage unions, community organizing groups working on economic justice issues, labor studies departments, labor constituency groups, councils and federations to submit requests for help. Our preference is for those who might not have regular contact with the ‘new media and online organizing community.’

The Questions:
What kinds of requests for help are suitable for a single hour of consulting? We’re not sure – one of the goals of this project is to learn about the needs that exist in the field. That said, here are some examples of requests for help that are high value and can be delivered inside of one hour –

  • Assist in the preparation of an RFP for a website or other online consulting services.
  • Review an existing client/consultant relationship. Are you being charged to much? Are there things your current consultants should be taking into account?
  • Review a campaign or communications plan and look for online activities that might be integrated.
  • Engage in a creative brainstorm. What else could be done? What kinds of online efforts make sense given your budget/timeline?
  • Training: video production, Salsa/BSD, social media, Drupal/Wordpress/LaborWeb, or graphics programs. Or accessing resources to plan your own training.
  • Communications review: look at existing websites, social media, email and advocacy campaigns, and hear a professional take on what could be done better.
  • Search for case studies: maybe you are trying to do something that’s been done before. Use our network to find case studies you can use and make contact with others who have done it before.

Submit your questions here.

The Consulting:
If your question is selected, our first step is to set up a time between the client and the consultant. We’ll be making the most appropriate matches; not everyone will be selected. We expect the consulting to take place on the phone, via email, instant messaging (skype/gchat) and webinar software. In some cases, the consultant will spend part of the time learning about the issue, and then circle back at a later date to provide the appropriate service.

Additional Information:
Consultant rates are generally from $75-$250/hour. Most of the consultants on our list charge $100/hour (for freelancers) or $200/hour (for the larger firms). Based on that, we expect to provide at least $6,000 of consultant services.

Sponsors and Sponsorships:
We are grateful to Mobile Commons and Rogue Repairman for their ongoing assistance to Organizing 2.0. For the Labor Consulting Project we are seeking additional sponsors to help us with publicity. If you would like to help, please contact us.

Our Consultants: