Creating an organization targeted towards either advocacy or political action.


by iransource

If you want to share the Persian version of this with someone in Iran, it can be found by clicking here.



Phase 1 – Setting Core Values


This group should meet and come to consensus on a series of questions:


1.                  Who are you?

a.       Looking
around the room, who are the founding members, have someone write on a
board all the adjectives that describe each person in the room.  It is
important to use both positive and negative attributes and be as
thorough as possible.  Examples of words written during this phase

                                                              i.      Man

                                                            ii.      Woman

                                                           iii.      Student

                                                          iv.      Businessman

                                                            v.      Middle Class

                                                          vi.      Educated

                                                         vii.      Live in city

                                                       viii.      Rural

                                                          ix.      Trader

2.                  What do you stand for?

a.       Each
person should write out what they think the top five issues facing Iran
that can be addressed through the legislative process are.  They should
put those in order of priority and write a one-paragraph summary of
what the problem is.

b.      As
a group, you should compare, debate and prioritize, so the group as a
whole has a list of five key issues that will be the basis behind your

3.                  Who do you represent?

a.       Looking
at the issues and the solutions in question 2, ask the group, who are
we representing.  This should be a brainstorming session with multiple
answers written on the wall, and the more specific the parameters the
better.  Examples of what might be written include:

                                                              i.      Recent college graduates.

                                                            ii.      Men over 35

                                                           iii.      Women who live in Shiraz

b.      It
is important to note that during this exercise, stick to individual
groups that can be identified through demographic or geographic
characteristics.  In other words, don’t put “liberal” but “women under
30 living in Shiraz.”

c.       If
the list of attributes in section 1 and this section do not match, look
around and identify how you need to expand the core group in order to
be fully representative of the people you are hoping to reach out to.

4.                  Why are you the best group to solve the current problems in Iran?

a.       As
a group, you should lead a facilitated discussion about why the
organization you are creating can solve the issues you’ve identified
above.  It will be important to note what you are different then the
people already in office and working to solve these problems.

b.      This is an important step, as it will serve as one of the foundations of your message/platform when you reach that stage.

c.       For
the five core issues arrived at in question 2, the answer to this
question should directly address why you are the best group to address
those issues.

5.                  How will you solve the current problems in Iran?

a.       Going back to the five key issues – come up with legislative solutions for each issue you’ve identified.


answers to these questions will serve as the core of your mission
statement or platform.  At the end of this stage, looking at the
answers, you need to make a decision on whether you are going to create
change through an advocacy organization or political society – but you
should keep an open mind until this stage is completed.


Phase 2 – Identifying Resources


the first discussion, your group has identified the beginnings of who
you are and why you are the best group to effect change in Iran.  For
the next phase you must identify the different resources that might be
available.  Each person should do this at a personal level but then
compare to see what people are on more than one lists.  These should
become top priority targets.


Ways to Organize Lists:



College Alum list

Neighborhood association friends

Former co-workers


Graduate/Law school friends






Insurance industry

Labor Unions

Business Groups


Questions to Ask About Each Person:


What group are they in?

Why should they want to give?

What other groups do they belong to?

How much can they give?

How much can they raise?

What lists can they obtain?

What tool should be used to maximize the cost-benefit of getting their support?


note, this is an area you want to be specific on.  If you can’t put
down someone’s name and a way to contact them, they don’t belong in
this section.


Phase 3 – Creating a Strategic Plan


you have created the outline of who you are, what you stand for and how
you will find resources, the group needs to identify some reasonable
and achievable objectives that can be met over the next 12-18 months.


There are a few key steps to creating a strategic plan. 


·         Agree on a strategic planning process.

·         Conduct a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.

·         Identify key issues, questions and choices to be part of the strategic plan.

·         Define or review the organization’s values, community vision and mission.

·         Develop a shared mission for the organization.

·         Develop
a series of goals or organizational status statements which describe
the organization in a specific number of months and years.

·         Agree on key strategies to reach the goal and address key issues identified through the environmental scan.

·         Develop an action plan that addresses goals and specifies objectives and workplans on a regular basis.

·         Finalize a written strategic plan that summarizes the results and decisions of the strategic planning process.

·         Build in procedures for monitoring and for modifying strategies based on changes in the external environment or organization.




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Thank you Sir/Madam, now would you kindly be the first to...

by Ostaad on

publicaly provide answers to the questions in the "Phase 1: Setting Core values" category, in order to get going?

I find it quite odd that you haven't even posted this piece using your real name!

Don't you think, some of us Iranians, are more sensitive about taking candy from the strangers under these circumstances?!!!

Let's start with:

Who you are

What you stand for

Who you represent

How much are you willing to give?

I hope I haven't asked too many questions considering you've asked for a hell of a lot from us.