New Organizing Institute

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New Organizing Institute
Motto For organizers, by organizers
Established 2005
Focus campaign tactics
Location Washington, D.C.
Dissolved 2015

The New Organizing Institute (NOI) was a progressive grassroots organization located in Washington, D.C. until it dissolved in 2015. Founded in 2005 by Judith Freeman and Zack Exley, the non-profit organization was responsible for training many of the Democratic Party's digital organizers.[1] NOI provided data, digital, and other trainings to progressive campaigners and organizers.[2] The Washington Post called NOI "the left's think tank for campaign know-how."[3]


Rosalyn Lemieux served as the first Executive Director from 2006 to 07.[4] Judith Freeman served as the Executive Director from 2007 to 13,[5] with leave in 2008 to serve on the Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008. Laura Packard served as interim Executive Director at that time. In 2013, Former Obama for America data director Ethan Roeder was tapped as Executive Director.[6]

The first bootcamp for progressive digital organizers was held in the winter of 2006, and nine classes of bootcamps were held in total through the years.[7] NOI was the sponsor RootsCamp, an annual political "unconference". In 2011, NOI partnered with, USAction, People for the American Way, and Rebuild the Dream in a drive to recruit, train and support 2,012 progressive candidates in 2012 for state, local and national office.[8] Donors included the Open Society Foundations,[9] the Bauman Foundation,[10] the Ford Foundation,[11] and the Atlantic Philanthropies.[12]

In February 2015, eight senior staffers and a number of other paid employees left NOI due to frustrations over fundraising and the management style of Executive Director Ethan Roeder. Another 7 staffers were then fired. The fired staffers asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate the matter.[1] On October 9, 2015, NOI announced that it was closing shop and handing over certain aspects of its work to Wellstone Action.[13]


  1. ^ a b McMorris-Santoro, Evan (February 10, 2015). "Liberal Organizing Group Implodes In One Tumultuous Afternoon". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "What We Do". New Organizing Institute. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Fung, Brian (July 8, 2014). "Inside the Democratic party’s Hogwarts for digital wizardry". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Hundreds of DC's Young Progressives Set to 'Make Some NOIse!;' June 12 Happy- Hour Event to Benefit New Organizing Institute". PR Newswire. June 11, 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "New Organizing Institute Changes Leadership". TechPresident. January 8, 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ vanden Heuvel, Katrina (November 5, 2011). "Progressives on the march to take over Congress". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "New Organizing Institute Education Fund". Open Society Foundations. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "New Organizing Institute Education Fund". Bauman Foundation. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "New Organizing Institute Education Fund". Ford Foundation. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "New Organizing Institute". Atlantic Philanthropies. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Grim, Ryan (October 9, 2015). "Comment Key Progressive Group To Be Absorbed By Wellstone Action". Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 October 2015.