Your friends and family may not have a lot of extra time to sit down face to face and learn how to advocate on behalf of the Borgen Project. Also, you may know people who are who want to become engaged but do not live in your area. A great way to overcome these problems is to create standardized training e-mails which divide up the knowledge/ skills you want your tribe to have into small, manageable, weekly chunks. Once you do this, you never have to spend time training your tribe again. All you have to do is send out your training e-mails to those who are interested!

STEP 1: What do you want your tribe members to know about The Borgen Project?

A. Make a list of questions you want members of your tribe to be able to answer about the Borgen Project.

Some important questions to consider including are on this list: What is the mission of the Borgen Project? How does the Borgen Project hope to achieve its mission/ what are its operational goals? Is the Borgen Project affiliated with a political party? Why/How was the Borgen Project founded? What are some trademarks of the Borgen Project? Has the Borgen Project received any media coverage? Who are its main funders? How are monetary donations used? Who is on its board?

B. Now, decide on action steps members of your tribe need to take in order to be able to answer these questions. In most cases, directing tribe members to review particular parts of the Borgen Project website is the easiest and most comprehensive way. You might want to consider directing them to recent news articles. Lots of great information can also be found in the documents on Some of these documents such as the “elevator pitch” would be perfect to attach to your training e-mails.

STEP 2 (same process as step 1) What do you want your tribe members to know about global poverty?:

 A. Make a list of background information about global poverty that you want your tribe to know.

Some important information you may want them to know: How big is the problem/ how many people are living in poverty globally? How does global poverty affect the US economy? How are global poverty and US national security linked? What kind of a role does the US currently play in helping to combat global poverty? Are there any success stories? How can you respond to critics who believe that aid is not effective?

B. Decide on action steps members of your tribe need to take in order to be able to answer these questions. Once again, the website, recent news articles, and are great places to go.

STEP 3: (same process as step 1) What advocacy skills do you want your tribe to have?

A. Make a list of advocacy skills you want your tribe to have.

Some possible ones to include: how to make phone calls to representatives, how to e-mail representatives, how to write a letter on behalf of the Borgen Project, how to birddog, various fundraising strategies

B. Decide on action steps members that your tribe need to take in order to have these skills.


STEP 4: Create a chart to help you organize and prioritize (This could be just a mental chart you make in your head. The point is to create a plan for getting your tribe members important info.) See abbreviated example below:

What My Tribe Needs To Know


Action Steps


Borgen Project mission

Provide a brief description in my e-mail and refer tribe members to the “the elevator pitch”

It is crucial that tribe members know what they are advocating for so this will go in e-mail #1

How the Borgen Project aims to achieve its goals

Refer members to the “about us” section of the website

Its important to me that tribe members understand the organizational framework of BP so this will go in e-mail #2

The link between poverty and national security

Provide a link to BP’s YouTube video on the topic

This is important information I want to provide my tribe with. I am going to add it into one of my e-mails as additional information.

How to make phone calls to representatives

I will provide tribe members with phone numbers and a brief description of what to say. I will refer them to the model YouTube video for additional support.

This is the whole purpose of having a tribe so it’s very important to me. Advocacy is the way in which the
BP aims to achieve its mission; therefore, I think it will fit in well with e-mail #2.

How to send e- mails to representatives

I will provide a written description for my tribe members to follow

To me this is an important step after phone calls. I will make it the topic of e-mail #3.

STEP 5: Create your e-mail! Remember that training your tribe is an ongoing process. You can continue to add e-mails any time you think of something new you want your tribe to know about. However, always try to keep time constraints in mind. If you overload your e-mails you run the risk of people not reading them. A good system is to send one e-mail per week. When you recruit a new tribe member, just start them off with the first e-mail and keep track of which e-mail they are on each week until they have received them all.

Some extra things to consider:

  • One of the great things about this format is that you can adapt it to whatever your own needs are and include regionally specific information.
  • Even though you may not be sending out a new training e-mail every week, consider sending a quick reminder e-mail to help keep tribe members in the habit of calling. You might even want to add in a current news article. The Regional Directors facebook page and the blog are great resources for that.
  • Try adding quotes/ poverty facts to your e-mails to keep tribe members inspired It’s a good idea to still try and check in with your tribe members individually when you have the time.
  • Add information on current events for added impact.