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2-Minute Takeaway: The Secret Formula Behind Winning Campaigns

2-Minute Takeaways is a learning series for LEE members to quickly boost their civic leadership IQ. If the topic is intriguing to you, why not explore our related course? Check out: Exploring Elected Leadership.

Why do some candidates win, while others lose? There’s a proven formula at work behind the scenes of successful races – and as a LEE member, you can learn it.

Understanding how power is built is key to understanding your place in the movement for justice – especially for those members who are called to elected office.

LEE coaches have researched the formula for picking, running and winning a race. We call these key ingredients the “5Ms.”

1. Message - What resonates?

Successful candidates lead with a consistent, powerful message – one that is grounded in their identity and personal and community values. Winning candidates lean into clear messages that reflect their values and bring diverse community members to the table. Your campaign's message tells people who you are and why they should want to be a part of your movement! 

2. Match - Where can impact be made?

Not everyone starts out by running for Congress. There are thousands of important positions, from school board to city council, and so many more. The right office allows you to reach your desired impact, while striking a balance with your professional and personal responsibilities. 

3. Movement - How can you create lasting change?

Campaigns turn into movements when they are backed by loyal supporters who spread your message, both in-person and online. Organizing a community toward change starts with getting clear on your goals, who you’re communicating with, and what action you want to take together. 

4. iMpact - What’s the vision?

Memorable vision statements communicate issues you’ve identified within your community and how you plan to become the change you wish to see. A vision helps your community see what you can build toward together – and the steps you can take right now to start that journey.

5. Money - Where are there resources?

Successful campaigns and movements need both organized people and organized money, and gathering resources is much easier when you’re clear in your why. From kick-off fundraising events to interacting with voters and supporters digitally, fundraising is the backbone of a successful campaign and essential for creating lasting change.

It’s not right that diverse, equity-minded future leaders feel barriers to pursuing elected leadership. LEE wants to demystify these processes and show that leadership is for you. If not you, who?

In a series of 30-minute modules, our digital Exploring Elected Leadership course breaks down these 5M’s into easy takeaways.


Exploring Elected Leadership is for you if...

  • You’re a LEE member seeking to create change in the civic sector
  • You want to organize your friends, family, and community toward equity
  • You’re looking for ways to meet this moment and don’t know where to start