…how we get so much done
350 Seattle is mission-driven: we work on all levels to address the climate crisis. We suspect you’ll be able to find a place to plug in that matches your interests and skills, but we don’t offer a one-size-fits-all volunteer engagement experience. Read on to understand how to get involved, and how we work. You should also check out our Points of Unity!
Our structure distributes most organizing power to volunteer teams that are grouped together into “workgroups”—these represent bodies of work that our Leadership Team has approved as being a good fit with our mission (so for example, the different infrastructure-fighting teams are part of a workgroup called Keep it in the Ground). Workgroups are mostly an internal categorization; for the broader public, the easiest way to group our teams is into the four categories of resistance, solutions, accountability, and movement support.
Either way, teams (and sub-teams) network–they are not centrally coordinated. Once established, they’re also pretty autonomous: only major reputational or financial decisions need to be approved by another body—sometimes a wider group of leadership, sometimes rotating smaller bodies like the Board or the Policy and Endorsements Committee. While attending to our longer strategic arc, we also often go where there’s energy, and new campaigns and projects pop up all the time. One of the things that makes us unique is that we respond to opportunities and threats quickly–because we’re driven by our passion and commitment to making change (not by our strategic plan or funders).
We were fortunate to be a member of the Nonprofit Democracy Network, a nine-month cohort of organizations that want to deepen democracy within their organizations and make our movements for justice more participatory, responsive, and leaderful. We’re learning as we go, and hope to bring back practices that are working in other organizations. It’s important to remember that we continue to adapt how we work — we get stronger by learning and growing!
We hope to blog about our experience with the evolution of our structure..but it may be awhile!
Some resources that informed our work:
- Reinventing Organizations – Teal Organizations
- Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Worker Self-Directed Nonprofits resources
- Ayni Institute
- Enspiral Network Handbook
- This is an Uprising
- Article: “How to Grow Distributed Leadership”