The ONE Campaign is a movement of more than four million people dedicated to ending extreme poverty. I committed more than five years of my life to ONE, first as a volunteer, then as an intern, and later managing their ONE Vote 2010 operation in Colorado. ONE is exciting because it operated much like a political campaign in that it would rally around relevant Congressional legislation and drive full-steam ahead with all of its resources to get it passed. Though I was young and inexperienced when I began at ONE, I learned a great deal about leadership, communication and vision during my time there.
My role at ONE is best described as that of a community organizer. By any means necessary I organized people to raise awareness of global poverty issues and reach out to their elected officials to support legislation to address these issues.
For three years I was a Campus Outreach Ambassador for the ONE Campus Challenge. I increased campus awareness of poverty issues, developed relationships with elected officials and helped students on other campuses throughout the Midwest to do the same. During one summer I moved to Washington, DC to intern on ONE’s Internet Team. I managed social media profiles and developed content strategy for the ONE Campus Challenge website.
Upon finishing my undergrad, ONE hired me to head up their ONE Vote effort in Colorado for the 2010 US Senate elections. I juggled a lot of responsibilities including managing relationships with Senate candidates and training volunteers.
Leading the ONE Webster student organization provided me with the perfect training ground to practice what I was learning as a public relations major. Unlike other student organizations who took a tactical approach to generating awareness, I encouraged our team to step back and look strategically at the audience, key messages and long-term goals of our group. This made us more effective at increasing not only awareness of ONE, but also its political influence.
I carried this strategic mindset to my work on the ONE Vote 2010 Campaign. I was well-versed in ONE’s issues and messaging so I could easily tailor pitches to a wide range of audiences from conservatives to liberals, and Millenials to Boomers.
- community organizing
- political organizing
- relationship management
- US Senators
- community leaders
- university administration
- student leaders
- volunteer training
- team building
- information architecture
- content strategy
- social media management
- branding and messaging
- media spokesperson
- public speaking
- event planning
As a result of our strategic approach to student organizing, ONE Webster created some of the strongest relationships with our elected officials in the ONE Campus Challenge. We met with the offices of US Senators McCaskill and Bond on several occasions in both St. Louis and Washington, DC. Senator Bond accepted our invitation to speak at Webster on global poverty and its relation to foreign policy. In its first year of existence, ONE Webster was among the most active groups on campus and was sought after as a partner for numerous student events. We succeeded in getting the school's administration to declare the school a “ONE Campus” formally dedicated to ending extreme poverty. During a visit to our school by Twitter creator, Jack Dorsey, I asked him to make ONE a suggested follower on Twitter. As a result, ONE’s Twitter following increased from roughly 15,000 to hundreds of thousands in the span of months before suggested followers were phased out of Twitter.
As Colorado Field Organizer for the ONE Vote 2010 Campaign I recruited and trained nearly 100 volunteers who engaged US Senate candidates 30 times and signed up 1,000 new members. Despite initial pushback from one of the candidates my team of volunteers worked diligently to build relationships that led to support from both major party US Senate candidates by the end of the race. I organized eight events and landed six media mentions in Colorado news outlets. Despite a diverse and sometimes difficult political climate, Colorado’s ONE effort became a model for other states in the country. In 2011, after leaving the ONE Campaign I volunteered on a small team that built a training program that became part of ONE's national model.
Our efforts at ONE have contributed to more than 7.5 million people getting access to life-saving AIDS medication and cutting Malaria by more than 75 percent in eight countries.
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