Brand New Bundestag is a grassroots movement, which will channel the energy of social movements into the German parliament by encouraging civil society leaders to run for office and helping them win.
The team described their mission statement as follows:
“As a civil society movement, we want to promote a new generation of political leaders in Germany that shape our future society progressively and courageously. This is why we are kicking-off the #BrandNewBundestag nomination campaign in March 2020, calling for nominations for candidates for the 2021 Bundestag election. Together we will find and support all those who are willing and capable to effectively implement a progressive political agenda. Our goal is to reach up to 10,000 nominees, 1,000 finalists and 10 candidates running for Parliament. Our candidates will commit themselves to fight for our progressive agenda, despite faction pressure or other obstacles the established political system may place in their way. This makes them more trustworthy and credible than their competitors. They will truly represent our communities and fight for solutions that match the scale of our crises.”
Once their ten candidates have officially been nominated, they will develop strategies for them to win their respective electoral districts. They will particularly target direct mandates for which they can compete – depending on their preference and chances of success – as party candidates or independents. By employing community organizing techniques, including political crowdfunding, the BNB team will help build local progressive movements. They will especially target rural districts that have long been strongholds of Conservative MPs. Their candidates will be accompanied not only by professional support in how to organize their campaign, but also with personal coaching, which will help them grow as individuals.
Until now, they already managed to elaborate the concept and strategy behind BNB, set up the above-named organisational structure, conduct stakeholder feedback workshops, maintain outreach to civil society groups, political parties, and other relevant stakeholders, grow a team of four initiators to two local groups with in total around 60 volunteers supporting BNB, (soft) launch the social media activities, acquire design and programming pros to build our online presence pro bono, and work in a focused fashion to be campaign-ready online and offline.
Risk One – They do not secure the reach & people they need
For the movement to be successful it is essential to gain momentum and reach people especially in more remote and/or conservative parts of Germany. It is a challenge for BNB to address people all over the country and expand their network. Therefore, they need different communication channels, such as an online marketing campaign, (local) press coverage and word-of-mouth recommendations in their diverse partner network. This is why they are focusing on developing strategies to be successful in growing their grassroots network also in rural areas.
Risk Two – They are unable to secure long term funding
If BNB wants to build up a professional, reliable and impactful movement they have to attract the most capable employees, finance their campaigns, pay for strategists/coaches/advisers and travel. In order to deliver, they need up to an estimated €1 mil. for the next two years until the 2021 Bundestag election in order to provide their candidates with a realistic chance of winning. In order to address this risk, they have already developed a fundraising strategy and respective material, including a pitch deck, are talking to foundations and individuals that believe in their work and are willing to support their vision. Fundraising experts that are part of the BNB movement are steering the process.
The Guerrilla Grant
Our funding is being used to strengthen the structures of the BNB volunteer network, coordinate the roll-out of the nomination campaign, and start organising of the electoral districts, which they are currently targeting.
We are the first institutional donor at the moment and the movement up until this point has relied entirely on volunteer work. However the first crowdfunding campaign will be launched in June 2020 (once the BNB candidates have been selected).
With the help of the grant the BNB team are going to reinforce the current structures of their volunteer network. They are aiming to establish shared understandings regarding values, roles and work processes through a specific volunteer manual, develop and conduct on-boarding workshops with group leaders and establish at least three more local groups, two of which are located in Eastern Germany, until the end of May 2020.
The grant would partly also be used to hire a part-time employee, who takes care of coordinating all of BNBs activities, including the roll-out of the nomination campaign, intersecting it with the development of the volunteer network and targeted community organising efforts. In addition, the coordinator will be in charge of scaling up their social media presence as well as more mainstream media outlets.
They have commenced community organising activities in the electoral districts, they are targeting. For that purpose, they will first identify partners from the local community willing to assume an organising role. They will then set up small community events, e.g. – following the “AOC-style” – in local bars, living rooms or club houses. They are onboarding the local organisers and equipping them with materials, including the volunteer manual referred to above as well as BNB marketing materials. In addition, they will bring coaches with experience in building up organising structures to the respective district and try to build capacity in every which way.