The Campaign Fellows Program
Who is the Campaign Fellows program for?
The Campaign Fellows program prepares fellows to lead grassroots political campaigns. Fellows should intend to join the leadership of a campaign after graduating from the program. There is no one model for what a campaign leader looks like, and we encourage people from all backgrounds and ages to apply! Anyone who lives in the United States or its territories, and is at least 18 years old at the time their cohort would start, is eligible to apply.
Most of our fellows will have either some significant campaign experience, or other significant professional or activist/organizer experience in areas relevant to the role they want to play on campaigns. We care deeply about how well you fit with our values, and about your motivation to lead campaigns.
What will I learn at Movement School? How will I learn?
The Campaign Fellows program lasts for 10 weeks, covering key strategies and tools for leading campaigns. The program is structured around an intensive campaign simulation: you will be assigned to a team with other fellows, and a real life campaign scenario. Some material is divided among the four tracks: messaging and communications, finance and fundraising, field and data, and technology and digital.
There will be a variety of training sessions (all nights and weekends, conducted via Zoom webinar) and assignments for your team to complete, as well as an online Slack space for communication among the cohort. Sessions during the beginning and end of the program are designed for all Fellows; sessions during the middle of the program are track-specific. Some assignments are laid out in advance, while others are “wildcards” - surprises that we will throw at you over the course of the campaign. The same experienced campaigners who deliver trainings will also give teams detailed feedback on their assignments, and discuss with them how to improve their strategies or responses. All interaction is online; there is no travel required for the Campaign Fellows program. You will need to have a good internet connection for the webinar sessions, and the ability to regularly communicate with your teammates.
The time commitment needed to participate in the Campaign Fellows program is serious. You are expected to participate in three 2-hr sessions each week, plus other time (usually 5-8 hrs total per week) needed to complete assignments, discuss with your team, and review prep materials for sessions.
Please note: the Campaign Fellows program is designed to be incredibly difficult! We want you to make mistakes in this environment so that you can learn not to make them when leading real campaigns. The program is also designed to encourage community building among fellows. One of the most valuable things you will take away from this experience is the cohort of like-minded, badass organizers across the country who will be there to support you - and you them - throughout all the good and the bad times to come.
Who teaches at Movement School?
We are over the moon about our mentors and our speakers! Some of the best progressive campaign professionals in the country will be conducting trainings and coaching teams through their assignments. Please take advantage of them! Do your homework before the training sessions, come prepared with questions to ask them, and engage with them during the feedback process. You can see a list of our mentors and speakers here.
How long does the Campaign Fellows program last? What happens after I graduate?
The program lasts 10 weeks. After you graduate, we will do our best to help you find a campaign leadership role. No promises though! In any job interview, you’ll have a huge leg up - you will have already done almost everything the job requires, and will have learned from some of the best in the business. We do expect that you will prioritize working for campaigns that live the values of Movement School.
How much does the Campaign Fellows program cost?
We do not charge any tuition fees. Other than needing a decent internet connection, there are no other costs associated with the Campaign Fellows program.
How does the application process work?
You submit your application when the next application period opens. You can read through the application before submitting it and prepare your answers separately. Once your application is submitted, you will get an email confirming receipt and asking you to find one professional/activist reference who can vouch for you - there will be a link in that email with a form they should fill out, just stating that they know you and that they think you would be a good fit for the Campaign Fellows program. Our team reviews every application and makes an initial and final determination on acceptance. If you are accepted, you will hear back from us no more than 3-4 weeks after submitting your application. If you do not hear back from us, it means that unfortunately you were not accepted in that cohort.
Why do you prioritize women, people of color, and people from working class backgrounds?
The Campaign Fellows program intends to be a model for both how to run campaigns, and who should run campaigns. We believe that campaign leadership should represent the communities they are running to serve. We believe that on all campaigns, 60% of leadership should be women and 80% of leadership should either be people of color or people from working class backgrounds. That is why we set these floors for accepted fellows. In the acceptance process, we will also prioritize other people from marginalized communities - for example, people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ people, and transgender or gender fluid people.
I got in! What now?
Badass! Welcome aboard :)
You will be hearing from us shortly after your acceptance letter with the schedule for your cohort, then be introduced to your teammates, and have a few initial administrative tasks to get you signed up for all the right services. Please try to use the same version of your name and email throughout, makes life a little easier for us.
I applied but haven’t heard back yet. What’s the deal?
If you submitted a full application, you will definitely hear back from us - usually around one week after the close of applications.
I didn’t get in this time. Why not? Can I apply to a later cohort?
Unfortunately due to the large amount of interest in the Campaign Fellows program, we cannot give individual feedback on why you were not accepted. This sucks, and we are sorry - Movement School is not a massive team of people, and we just don’t have the bandwidth to do that. However you can absolutely apply to a later cohort! Not being accepted to one cohort has no bearing on future applications.