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Climate Strike Recruitment Captain Guide

Strike Recruitment Captain Guide Google Doc

You are the right person to take this on!

Enacting the Green New Deal will be the largest project we’ve taken on as a country in decades, and perhaps ever. Scientists are crystal clear that to avoid catastrophe, we need “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

We have seen this kind of massive change in our country only once or twice before, in times like the civil rights movement. Looking back, history shows us that societal transformation only comes when millions of people take to the streets to demand it. Every social movement that’s made change at the scale we’re discussing has done so by recruiting millions of regular people like you and me to stand up, take action, and stop complying with business as usual.

So that’s exactly what we’re gonna do–we’re gonna hold a series of coordinated nationwide strikes and repeatedly shut down business as usual until we win a Green New Deal.

We know for a fact that we can win: Research shows no movement has ever failed to win its demands once just 3.5% of the population is consistently involved in the fight. In the US, that’s just 11 million people, about 3 times the 2017 Women’s March. So once we get 11 million people to strike with us, we’ll be unstoppable.

We’re already on our way–and over the next year, thousands of strike organizers like are gonna get us the rest of the way there. Let’s get to work!

  • Timeline of Major Strike Dates:
  • 1st strike: Sep. 20, 2019 - Global Climate Strikes
  • 2nd strike: Dec. 6, 2019 - Just weeks away from the start of 2020 primary season!
  • 3rd strike: April 22, 2020 - The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day - MASS STRIKES!
  • 4th strike: 2021 - Mass Youth Strike after the presidential election. 11 million strikers!

Your role as a Strike Recruitment Captain couldn’t be more vital. Welcome to the movement! Let’s dive in!

  • Step-By-Step Guide to Rocking Recruitment:
    • Step 1: Your Mission as a Strike Recruitment Captain
    • Step 2: Find Your Local Strike!
    • Step 3: Set your recruitment goal
    • Step 4: Confirm!
    • Step 5: Follow Up
  • Support & Frequently Asked Questions
    • Additional Support
    • Resource Library (find templates, toolkits, and media folders here)
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Checklist

Your mission as a Strike Recruitment Captain is to recruit as many people as possible to attend your local climate strike!

We ask all Strike Recruitment Captains to commit to the following baseline goals:

  • Recruiting at least 10 people to join you at a nearby climate strike, and
  • Recruiting at least 3 other people to join you as another Recruitment Captain. (NOTE: If every Recruitment Captain recruits at least one other Recruitment Captain, our numbers will grow exponentially!).

That’s all there is to it! The more people you recruit, the more powerful our movement grows, and the closer we get to a Green New Deal!

First, check out the US Youth Climate Strike event map to find the closest event near you. Note: this map displays strikes organized by various US Strike Coalition groups, not exclusively Sunrise events. We encourage you to collaborate!

  • RSVP now to stay informed about all the details of the event.
  • The event will display the strike host’s email address. If you aren’t already in contact, email them to let them know that you’re interested and able to serve as a Strike Recruitment Captain for the event!

If your closest strike is being organized by a Sunrise hub, you’ll likely have other Recruitment Captains to talk to and coordinate with (hooray!).

If the strike is being organized by a group of people outside of a Sunrise hub, this is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded young people! After the strike, you may even consider working together to start your own Sunrise hub!

If there isn’t a strike near you, you have two options:

  1. Check back in on the strike map in a few days to see whether someone steps up to host a strike near you.
  2. Recommended: Consider becoming a Strike Organizer yourself! Don’t worry – you don’t need any previous experience. We’ve got all the resources and support you need to take this on. Sign up here to be a Strike Organizer!

You and your team will decide what goals make sense for the scale of your event. It might make sense to increase the number of recruitment captains if you want a massive, escalated strike event! Here’s what we recommend for your goals:

  • Goal 1. Recruit at least 10 people to join you at a nearby climate strike.

This means getting 10+ people to RSVP to your event form on Action Network. Connect with your strike host to request the direct event URL so you can share it with the people you are recruiting.

  • Goal 2. Recruit 3 other people to join you as another Recruitment Captain.

This means getting confirmation from another person to fulfill this role with you. Please note that it is absolutely necessary that they fill out the strike pledge so that we can send them all of the resources and support just like you!

  • Bonus Goal: If you’ve already met your goals above of organizing your direct community (school/ work), then you can go ahead and reach out to your extended community.

This can include your religious/spiritual establishment, a sports or activity group, local environmental organizations, local unions, local social justice organizations, and restaurants/establishments you could flyer at. REMEMBER: this should only be done after you have mobilized your direct community that you’ll be striking with (school/work).

IMPORTANT: Keep Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in mind as you recruit

The climate movement cannot win until it is a multiracial, multiclass, multisector, multigenerational movement. Climate “wins” are only wins if they lift up communities of color and poor communities. As you do recruitment, ask yourself: Am I doing this in an equitable way? Am I working with and reaching out to those most impacted by the climate crisis?

IMPORTANT: You are the exact right person to take this on!

You don’t need to be an expert or have any previous experience. Your presence, your passion and your voice are what’s going to count. So get out there and get to it! (And know that our whole movement will have your back).

First, set a recruitment timeline! Taking the time to write out all of your intermediate steps with a timeline is important! This will help organize your goals and make sure you don’t feel rushed as the strike date approaches. You may find you’ll have to take several recruitment approaches to reach your desired goals so it’s good to start early!

Look at Step 5 below to think about how you are tracking confirmations before you start recruiting.

Target Audience: WHO should you recruit?

Don’t worry about organizing every single person in your community–instead, you should focus on the place you’ll be on that Friday. If you’ll be in school, organize your fellow students (and teachers!). If you’ll be at work, organize your coworkers.

TIP: Have your event sign-up link ready so people can register ASAP!

Recruitment Methods: HOW to communicate your call to action?

Plan outreach and promotion via email, phone calls, talking to friends in person, social media, flyers, posters, speaking at other events, and more. Get creative! Feel free to take the route that will best communicate the necessity of participating in the Climate Strike for your group. Below are some templates, tips and tricks for various outreach methods:

  1. Word of Mouth: Reach out to fellow community members, classmates, friends and family to join you! Ask your classmates and coworkers. PRO TIP: In-person conversations are the most powerful and effective form of recruitment. Set up 1:1 conversations and try to make your ask face-to-face whenever possible.
  2. Canvassing: This is an important way to reach members of your community you might not reach otherwise! You can station yourself in one spot or walk around, engage people in conversation and ask them to join you. This is more fun with friends so hit the streets at a time when there’s lots of foot traffic! Check out this canvassing guide to learn more!
  3. Social Media: Spread the word even further by posting about it on social media! Make a facebook event, put it in your instagram bio.
    1. Facebook Event: Create your own Facebook event. Share with your friends and post to partner groups! Put the link to your Action Network RSVP page in your Facebook event and encourage people to register. This way, you will be able to follow up with them after the event!
    2. Choose your favorite Sunrise photo to use as a cover photo here.
    3. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram templates found here!
  4. Email: Depending on your target audience (school/work), you’ll know which is the best way to reach them. You can send emails to individual people, a group, or to relevant listservs. IMPORTANT: If you send an email to more than one person, remember to use BCC! Check this document for a template message and explanation of how to use BCC.
  5. Phone Calls: In terms of recruitment, phone calls are one of the absolute most effective ways to turn people out to an action, training or event. Why? There are any number of reasons they might not come to your event, even if they get texts and emails about it. They might not understand why it is important, might feel nervous or anxious about going to meet a new group of people, might feel like the event is not intended for them. Over the phone, you can explain all these things and make a personal connection, making the person you are calling way more likely to attend! Find suggested scripts here.
  6. Texts: Many people aren’t frequent email checkers. Call or text through your Hub members (or make a list of about 30 friends) to get RSVPs. Be sure to ask them to invite their friends too!
    1. Use this guide to set up a google voice number that will allow you/your hub to set up a free mini text banking operation
  7. Art: Posters, flyers, and videos are a great way to get people’s attention.
    1. Check out the US Youth Climate Strike Graphics Folder with social media banners and signs to add to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
    2. View this Strike Art Kit for a variety of designs for posters, murals, stencils, to make your strike even more powerful. Notice there are posters in various languages! Make sure to consider your audience.
    3. Sunrise is putting together a folder within our Digital Assets Library with Sunrise Climate Strike Art Templates. Find Sunrise’s 12/6 flyers here.

Get hard commitments from as many people as possible to participate in the action. The link created by the Action Network map is a useful way to do this – ask people to RSVP to your action (that way you can remind them the day before!)%%

How are you tracking confirmations?

  • Create a google/excel sheet to track your work so you can mark who and when you contacted each person. Template for this!
  • When talking to people about your strike, make sure to have both: the electronic RSVP form (Action Network event URL) + a paper version you can pass around. Ideally, people would use the electronic version and spare you the transcription time. As soon as people express interest in attending your event, encourage them to RSVP right there!

How will you follow up with people who want to come?

  • For people who RSVP’d for the strike event, you can send everyone an email when you log in as an administrator in the Action Network event. Coordinate with the event organizer to have access to this list!
  • Alternatively, you can ask your event organizer for the list of emails or the list you’ve gathered during your recruiting (on clipboards, excel/google sheets, another method) and use mail merge (Gmail example) or use BCC!
    • If the list is too long, you can split contacts between Strike Captains (if there are multiple in the planning team).
    • Make your fast replies automatic in Action Network by customizing the email reminders! Post to the discussion board in your event to get the conversation started Check out some templates for reminder texts + emails.
    • Action network also offers some live webinar trainings coming up before the Strike.

Action network also offers some live webinar trainings coming up before the Strike

TIP: Follow up with people FAST after they’ve RSVP’d! A Facebook study showed that contacting someone 5 minutes after they fill out a form is 21x more likely to turn into a qualified lead than if contacted 30 minutes later.

When should you confirm RSVPs?

  • Refer to your recruitment timeline you created in Step 4! A suggestion timeline is:
    • Immediately after they sign up: Prepare an automatic kickback email on your event form to send an email confirmation of their RSVP.
    • 1 week before: Remind in person/ call/ email 1 day before: text/call/email
    • Possibly day of: mass text

Tip: If you have access to your Action Network event, you can set up automatic emails that are sent to every RSVP!

How will you get the details of folks who show up, and follow up to thank them for joining?

Luckily, people hear about your event through word of mouth, social media, and many other channels. There will invariably be people who did not RSVP on your event who will show up! This means you need to have a system in place during the strike event to capture attendee data. A few options are:

  • Physical clipboard with several copies of your sign-in form.
  • Possibly: electronic devices (phones, laptops, ipads) set up with your Action Network event sign-in form.

Wow! You just did an incredible thing. Before you celebrate, make sure you share your story.

  • Debrief with your team and participants!
  • Share: What went well? What could be improved for next time? What did you learn?
  • Make sure to create space to celebrate each other and hang out!
  • If you weren’t organizing as part of a hub, seriously consider starting one! This amount of work is more than enough to show the capacity of your team to organize your community and continue fighting for a Green New Deal!


  • Make at least one social media post (ideally on Twitter) using the hashtag #ClimateStrike, #GenGND & #StrikeWithUs and tag @sunrisemvmt.
  • Send out your press release to your media list during or immediately after your event! .
  • IMPORTANT: Upload your five best photos and videos to Sunrise’s Digital Assets Library
  • Follow up with everyone who attended! Thank them for their support and plug them in to upcoming meetings or volunteer opportunities.

Don’t see an answer here? We want to help you out! Try one of the following: Post in the #climatestrike channel if you’re in the Sunrise slack Email

Can I be a Strike Captain even if I’m not part of a Sunrise hub?

Of course! There is no experience needed to recruit for a strike in your community. Let us know if you’d like some additional support by posting in the Slack channel #ClimateStrike or emailing

What if there’s another strike event happening close to mine?

Join forces! The event will display the strike host’s email address. Reach out to the host and make the strike even stronger!

How can I engage people who cannot strike? Can they still contribute?

If striking poses too high a risk for someone, there are still ways to contribute! See below for a few ideas:

  • The most significant way is to become a Recruitment Captain for a strike. This way people can contribute to recruiting for the strike even if they can’t do so themselves!
  • Perform symbolic walk-out during lunch breaks. That can also be an opportunity for a teaching moment to inform fellow coworkers about the climate crisis.
  • If work does not require uniforms, people can coordinate with coworkers/students by wearing matching clothes (eg: Sunrise shirts!) Share the strikes on social media! #ClimateStrike @sunrisemvmt

Day before:

  1. Text your RSVPs to remind them of the event and any other info they should know!
  2. Coordinate with your strike organizer to determine if they are already doing this.
  3. Post on social media to hype people up!

Day of/ During the strike:

  1. Text RSVPs and your contacts!
  2. Post on social media to hype people up!
  3. (Possibly) Help people sign-in! Check with your organizer if they need people to fill this role.
  4. Welcome new people, have fun, take powerful photos! Encourage all attendees to post their photos to social media and upload them in this drive: Digital Assets Library

Day after:

  1. Debrief with your team!
  2. Keep posting on social media and think about how to keep the momentum going! Perhaps consider joining the next Sunrise hub meeting, starting a hub, or attending the South Summit!
  3. Check out Step 6. Follow up for more details!