Dear New Mobilizer,
We’re glad to welcome you to TCM! As you know, we're fighting to save humanity and the natural world from the catastrophic consequences of climate change. The work that you’ll be doing therefore is of the utmost importance. Whether it’s updating the database or drafting a piece of legislation, whether you can devote just 10 hours a week or you’re coming on full time, know that your contribution is incredibly valuable and valued.
We’ve created this packet of information as a guide to be reviewed in your first few days and referenced whenever you have questions throughout your work with TCM. But of course, if you can’t find an answer to your question here, always feel free to ask your team leader.
Welcome to the team. We’re so excited to be mobilizing with you!
The Climate Mobilization
Working with TCM Overview
To initiate a WWII-scale mobilization that protects humanity and the natural world
We are some kind of cross between a startup, an NGO, and a sacred mission. We are a relatively small group of everyday people trying to accomplish the most ambitious goal imaginable. We are literally trying to save the world.
We understand that “winning slowly is the same as losing” (Bill McKibben) and that Gradualism=Death.
Our work covers policy research, grassroots organizing, media, and more. People who contribute to The Climate Mobilization generally do so with great passion and dedication. Most people in TCM work for free, and the few who are paid could certainly garner much more in the market. We work a lot. We work at a fast pace.
We are chronically over capacity, which means we are very careful with what, and who, we spend time on. We try to work smart—which is why everyone should read The Lean Startup. We aim for an organizational structure for streamlined, effective action.
We are respectful of each other’s time, and we aim to keep communications as clear and concise as possible.
Like most startups, people do multiple jobs, and roles shift and grow. Change is the only constant.
When and Where to Work
Generally, we work on our own schedules and take our own time off, though the most popular hours for TCM Central are M - F, 8 am - 8 pm ET. You need to make a schedule that works for you, including your very human needs for rest, relaxation, and socialization. Please communicate your general schedule to your team leader, so they know when to expect you, and please let your team leader and other relevant people know if for any reason you will not be able to complete your part of a project on time. Otherwise, there is no need to ask permission for time off, and unless you're told otherwise by your team leader, there's no need to report your hours.
Public-facing conference calls are often held on our City by City line: 917-444-5627 or www.uberconference.com/theclimatemobilization.
We don’t have an office (other than Slack!). Maybe we will in future, but we don’t yet. People work from their homes or from local cafes or libraries, from all over the country and world. We use Eastern Time as our default timezone.
Main Effort: Mobilize California
While organizers are working in cities across the country, our emphasis is in California.
Our "City by City" campaign is looking to get a wave of climate emergency declarations, committments to zero emissions at emergency speed, and Climate Emergency Mobilization Departments established locally, and then shift to pressuring California to declare a climate emergency, initiate mobilization within California, and take on an active role as advocate for emergency climate mobilization.
Finding the best people in the world and putting people to work in roles that work for them.
We're expanding every day, and our “main effort” is to grow our CAPACITY—that means our ability to act effectively (and quickly) as an organization.
We grow our capacity when we recruit and onboard great people (but we lose capacity when we onboard difficult people), when we raise funds, and when we build coalitions and make key strategic partnerships.
Since our advocacy is based in climate truth, in science and morality, and since we offer a credible way forward for humanity, we are consistently inspiring people to support us and join us!
However, having tons of interest in joining poses its own challenges. When people hear about TCM, often they get extremely excited and want to throw themselves into the work!
Volunteers need to be onboarded, managed, and evaluated. We strive to use the operational system articulated in The Art of Action and give mobilizers at all levels significant autonomy in how to carry out their tasks. That said, we do not have an “anything goes” ethos; rather we seek to expand without compromising the clarity of our message.
We are always looking for leaders—people who are willing to take on responsibility for projects, and who can build teams to get them done! As new mobilizers show us their abilities and commitment, we should expand the scope of their autonomy and responsibilities, “promoting” them as much as they can manage.
Rules for the Ride
*Always be respectful, mature, and peaceable, even when provoked. Set an example through your comportment.
*Use the "lean" approach—make sure to use your capacity wisely through avoiding creating complex plans (especially when involving technical build-outs such as creating new webpages), but rather taking an iterative approach in which you test your assumptions. (That's why The Lean Startup is the TOP book we ask new mobilizers to read.)
*Utilize others (especially those who have been at TCM for longer) to talk through your ideas.
*Stay on message: no gradualism. TCM is a single-message campaign for one big demand (World War II-scale climate mobilization), but not on a single issue. While we want to stay focused on the big message, we want to make clear whenever possible that solving the ecological crisis through mobilization overlaps with many other issues (e.g., addressing economic inequality, creating dignified work at a living wage for all Americans, dismantling structural racism, countering xenophobia, humane immigration policy, honoring Indigenous rights, securing reproductive rights for all, moving toward a foreign policy not based on endless war over control of fossil fuels, wildlife regeneration, shifting to plant-based diets, and transforming a broken food system). We also want to avoid “lefty” or “movement” language whenever possible — we must achieve national unity, and be mindful of language that may needlessly alienate those who aren't already convinced of our cause.
*Team leaders sign off on public communications (press release, website change, email to whole group).
Utilizing the Team
We have, in each other, a huge resource: a team that works together effectively and supportively. Please reach out to your fellow mobilizers to complete your work efficiently and keep it high quality. As you’re starting out, before you publish anything—even if it’s an email or just a quick note to a local group—ask a fellow mobilizer to look it over.
TCM and CMP Basics
In the course of your work, you might hear the terms “c4” and “c3” thrown around. The Climate Mobilization (TCM) is a 501(c)(4) or social welfare organization. As a “c4,” TCM may engage in unlimited lobbying and in limited partisan political campaign work. Contributions to 501(c)(4)s are not tax deductible.
Climate Mobilization Project (CMP) is TCM’s 501(c)(3) affiliate. As a “c3,” CMP is more restricted in what it can do: It cannot be involved with influencing elections by supporting or opposing candidates, and it can do only a limited amount of lobbying. In turn, however, contributions to 501(c)(3)s are tax deductible.
Unless you're told otherwise, you can consider yourself a volunteer of TCM, the c4. Feel free to ask Nicole if you have any questions about this distinction and what it means.
Preparing for Your First Day
Tech Prep: Get the Right Apps!
Basic Prep: Please read our Key Internal Documents. We assume that you have already taken the Pledge to Mobilize and read our key documents. If not, please do. Also please watch our Intro Video (28 minutes) and our Discussion of Origin and Values (45 minutes).
Advanced Prep: Check out our full book and video list.
Manuals and Resources