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In the context of social movement organizing, retention involves strategies to absorb and continue interest in a movement. Retention seeks to transform curiosity and interest into a desire to get involved and actively participate in the movement. Retention is achieved by providing tools and capacity for team members, as well as creating a group culture that is welcoming. The goal is to empower these people so that they can act in the movement on their own with the necessary knowledge and resources to do so. -The HUB

See our page on recruitment and retention suggestions for examples of retention strategies.

Strategies to encourage retention [1]

Social ties

  • Include social events and time for social engagement in your activist groups. For example, holding an optional social after a meeting, or carving out meeting time to check in on one another.

Alignment on strategy and tactics

  • Ensure members are on the same page with regards to the type of actions they want to engage in, and whether their values align.

Clear structure

  • Having an intentional structure where power dynamics are transparently recognized, who is responsible for what is clear and decisions can be made is key.

Encourage reflection on oppressive dynamics regularly

  • Members who have marginalized identities will feel squeezed out and leave if these dynamics are not acknowledged and addressed. Make an active effort to include reflection on how your group can be more anti-oppressive to encourage a culture that values continuous learning.

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