What is a snowflake?

Snowflakes – they come in all shapes, sizes and complex designs. Wisconsin has quite a reputation for snowy, winter weather, but when we talk snowflakes we’re not just talking about the weather. We’re also talking about the unique way Wisconsin teams organize in their own communities.

President Obama has made his campaign about the empowering people to create change in their own communities. Local friends and neighbors have come together to organize into neighborhood teams. Together, people who care about their community come together to have an impact on the political process. These teams became the strong grassroots support network that helped to elect Barack Obama in 2008.

So what is the snowflake model?

A snowflake is a type of organizing model we use to build our neighborhood teams. It is a way for teams to delegate and share responsibilities. We’ve all been a part of different teams in our community. Sometimes a leader takes sole ownership of everything and doesn’t delegate tasks to others on the team. Other times, the members of a team go their own direction and don’t coordinate what they’re doing.

Team Snowflake
The snowflake model solves these organizational problems by creating a system in which members of the team have shared responsibility for a common goal but work independently toward achieving their own components. Our teams across the state have worked to create a unique snowflake model for their teams so they can work together towards their common goals. A team has a Team Leader who helps to coordinate all of the different pieces. Other team members take on roles to help with data, recruiting volunteers, and preparing materials for phone banks and door-to-door canvasses. Because responsibility is shared, one person doesn’t need to carry all of the weight. As our teams grow, their snowflake changes to incorporate new people into their team.

Here in Wisconsin, we’ve had teams that first helped elect President Obama in 2008 continue to organize their communities. In other neighborhoods, we are building new teams who have decided to commit to supporting the President in 2012.

Wondering how you can help? There is always a place for you on one of our local Organizing for America teams! Are you interested in canvassing, helping with data, working on our Facebook page, or doing outreach in your own community? Sign up today and we can help you find a team in your area.