How do you determine what makes a campaign succeed… or fail?
Issue advocacy is part art and part science. There’s no secret formula for winning.
RALLY partnered with the Omidyar Network to do a deep dive into eight of the decade’s most impactful campaigns – from the national fight to pass the Affordable Care Act to local ballot measures to tax soda sales – to see what we can learn about their strategies and identify patterns that successful campaigns have in common.
The RALLY team identified eight campaigns – some winners, some losers, and some are still unresolved – to identify patterns and see what we could learn about their strategies, and came up with the beginnings of a blueprint for what makes a campaign successful. We dove into both academic research and spoke to the strategists who designed and executed these campaigns. In total, we read 405 books, articles, and reports; interviewed 31 activists, evaluators, and political scientists; hosted two panel discussions; filmed a dozen interviews; and wrote 51,549 words.
We created a website, wrote a report, and produced multiple videos that captured conversations with advocates across issue areas and one-on-one interviews with campaign strategists. The end result, Fighting For Change, is an analytical look into what both political science says makes a successful campaign, and how campaign strategists themselves reflect on their own wins and losses.