D: Connect With a Local Group
Why reinvent the wheel? Do some research to find out if a group already exists near you that addresses the subject of Unconventional Gas Development. Connect with this local group and see how you can help the work they are already doing. Local groups working on these issues are often small grassroots organizations that need volunteers and resources. Finding new members willing to help with this important work can often breathe new life into an organization that may already be working to protect their community from the impacts of natural gas infrastructure.
Connecting with an existing group will expedite your ability to begin organizing in your area. You may find groups that support or agree with your mission, but do not have the capacity to organize in your community. These groups are a valuable resource, so please consider volunteering or becoming a member in order to foster a strong working relationship that has mutual benefit. With your added time contribution and skills, they may have the ability to help your community by conducting additional outreach or possibly starting a chapter in your area. Check out Halt the Harm’s network to see if there is a community leader working in your area or neighboring communities.
When working with other groups, be realistic about the resources you have available to commit to the group and its mission. One of the main ways you can secure allies is to simply “show up” and support their work. It is important to learn more about the work that has already been done to prevent you from duplicating efforts. By understanding a group’s mission and past achievements, you will know what resources you can best offer (e.g., time, money, contacts, local knowledge or personal skills). These resources will likely help the organization increase its effectiveness in advancing its mission.