Digital Ads Apprenticeship for Organising (12-week programme)

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Digital Ads Apprenticeship for Organising (12-week programme)

January 28 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Digital Ads Apprenticeship for Organising

Hundreds of people are in the street. Three people in the front of the crowd are in the middle of a dance move, fists raised in the air.

Hundreds join in dance during a June 2020 California protest related to #OscarsSoWhite and the movie Selma, bringing creativity and joy to sustain direct action. Credit: Mayumi Rhone (dancing), Chris Pizello/AP

Create ads that move people, money, and narrative to win campaigns. Earn SMT’s Certificate in Digital Ads for Organising.

18 Sessions over 12 weeks, March 4 – May 25 2021

Around the world, movement organisations are using digital ads to find, engage, and activate their people – from unions finding organising leads in niche industries, to Indigenous organisers finding and engaging Native voters where voter file data was lacking, to local racial justice groups generating thousands of letters to pressure local elected officials while building their base.

This 18-session Digital Ads Apprenticeship will dramatically advance your ability to use digital ads to build power. From selecting the right channel, to targeting the right audience, to landing pages, you will learn how to move people, money, and narrative with ads.

This apprenticeship is for you if:

  • You are part of an issue organising, electoral group, or union that is building power to win change
  • You are in a communications, organising, or fundraising role where online ads could support your work
  • You want to grow your base, attract donors, pressure targets, and shape narrative via online ads
  • Your organisation contracts out for ads and you want to get more savvy to work with your contractor, or bring the work in-house
  • You have the organisational buy-in to design and launch a real ad campaign during the course of the apprenticeship; with at least $200 USD in spend

In-depth Training: What we’ll cover

The 18 sessions will cover ad campaigns from scratch for beginners, but also provide intermediate practitioners strong examples of how to refine campaigns and integrate them better into organising. Intermediate and advanced participants will have the opportunity to break out in small groups appropriate to their level.

This hands-on apprenticeship will require a time commitment of 3 hours/week in-session and 1-3 hours/week outside of the sessions. You will engage with existing ad campaigns and case studies from movement groups. You’ll complete assignments for each session that will step-by-step build a powerful online ad program. You’ll build and share real ad campaigns for instructor feedback, including refining the ad, ad targeting, and call-to-action. Then, after launching the ad, you’ll work closely with an instructor to interpret the results and further refine the campaign.

View the full curriculum here

Apprenticeship requirements

  • Attendance: Sessions will be recorded, but you must attend 11 of the 14 required sessions to receive credit. 4 of the 18 sessions are optional.
  • 1-3 hours per week to complete assignments and prep work: to process the learning, to complete assignments for each session, and to prepare your organisation’s accounts to run ad campaigns (if necessary).
  • Access to run campaigns: you will create multiple ad campaigns, and run at least one in order to be able to edit and improve based on the results
  • Budget for ad campaigns: budget of at least $200 (not included in session cost). Then, you will refine the campaign based on initial results.

Participate from around the globe

Sessions will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays at this time:

9-10:30am PST (Mexico)
12-1:30pm EST (New York)
5-6:30pm UTC (London)
7-8:30pm EET (Palestine)
8-9:30pm EAT (Kenya)
10-11:30pm IST (Mumbai)

Presentation content will be recorded.

Social Movement Technologies is committed to supporting people power around the world. The core schedule will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the above time, but with 10 confirmed signups from another time zone, we will launch small group critiques at times that work better for other global regions such as Oceania, Asia, or Africa.

Language and Hearing Accessibility

Instruction will be in English. Simultaneous interpretation in all 18 sessions can be provided at no additional cost if at least 10 registrants prefer that language. Slides will also be provided in the translated language.

All live sessions will be live captioned and all recordings will be captioned in English and any languages with a group of 10 or more users, at no additional cost. Additional languages must be arranged ahead of time.


Additional instructors will be announced as the start date of the training approaches.

Scotty Brown. Scotty (they/them) is an artist, organiser, and community builder with roots in Philadelphia, living in Washington, DC. They have worked on the Digital Team at Color Of Change since 2018, building out digital ads and grassroots video content to amplify campaigns for Black liberation. They organise with Occupation Free DC for international abolition and an end to U.S. complicity in Palestinian oppression, and they build community solidarity through Ward 1 Mutual Aid Network and their artist/activist collective. They also are a founding member of DC’s only queer Yiddish burlesque troupe, The Shmutzik Shmates.

Evonna McDonald, SMT Staff Partner. Evonna has 7 years of ad experience in the private sector and at Color of Change. At Color of Change, Evonna’s work helped the organisation navigate the ad restrictions leading up to the 2020 election with a multi-platform integrated strategy on Facebook, Snapchat, Reddit, Google Display & YouTube. Campaigns focusing on expanding reach and visibility reached the highest engagement rates with low propensity voters. Ramping up on Snapchat, Get Out the Vote messaging reached tens of millions of users aged 18-24. Outside the digital space, Evonna is deeply immersed in spiritual activism, yoga and wellness.

Kevin Pujanauski, SMT North America Movement Support Lead. Kevin (he/him) focuses on using digital tools to reach and organise with community members and voters, including texting, tech-enabled relational outreach, and online ads. Kevin has supported unions, issue organising groups, and electoral groups on dozens of ad campaigns, connecting the organisations with tens of thousands of new supporters. Kevin’s background includes issue and electoral organising at the local and state level, from leading digital on a successful City Council campaign and supporting digital efforts for multiple campaigns in Chicago and throughout Illinois fighting mass incarceration.


$750      Early bird pricing – goes up to $900 on Feb 5th, and $950 on March 1

$750      Additional person from the same organisation (same email domain)

$750      Groups with budgets of less than $500,000/year USD (must provide documentation, uploaded in the registration form)

$4000   Group Rate (up to 10 seats) –  designed to help networks and funders make this program accessible to their communities. This requires a matching registration fee of $300 per group, paid online through SMT.

Note for all: organisations must also enable participant to spend $200 in ads over the course of the program.

Payment is by bank transfer (no fee), check (no fee), or credit card (3% fee). Fill out the registration to select the appropriate payment method.


January 28
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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