Start a Hollaback in your community!

Want to bring Hollaback home? That’s great news!

Hollaback isn’t like most nonprofits you’re familiar with – we’re designed to look, act, and think like a movement. Movements require a lot of voices moving in the same direction, but oftentimes not saying the same thing.  We believe there is value in these divergent perspectives.

Contrastingly, traditional nonprofit best practices would have you believe that a tight and coordinated messaging strategy is the only way to go.  From a business perspective they might be right: a clear coordinated voice can be a powerful thing to the media especially.  But the the one-message strategy leaves too many silenced.  The result is multiple nonprofits popping up around the same issue with slightly different messaging strategies, each one trying to ensure that their unique voices are heard. The new nonprofits make the same mistakes as the old nonprofits–allowing room for only one, coordinated message.  This creates redundancy, and the lack of true voices and representation still isn’t solved. By embodying the true meaning of “grassroots,” Hollaback’s decentralized leadership structure give people who aren’t paid to do the work the same amount of room to lead and the people who are.


How does it work? Running a Hollaback is much, much more than just running a website — it’s running  a movement.  During the startup and launch phase, you should expect to commit 5 hours a week, either on your own or, better, shared with a team of two or more holla-activists!  Here are some specifics on what will be expected of you:

  • A member of your team will be required to attend each of our five webinars during the launch phase, which will cover everything you need to know to run a successful site.  After the launch phase, you will be expected to regularly attend advanced training webinars.  Webinars usually take place on weekends at 1pm EST to accommodate most time zones, and are recorded as well.
  • You will be added to our HOLLAworld listserve and private facebook group, where you can collaborate, learn about street harassment in other cultures, and create campaigns with other Hollaback site leaders internationally.
  • You will be responsible for localizing the movement to end street harassment to your community.  This means you will find other community groups that you can collaborate with, translate materials into your local language, hold events in your community to engage people off-line, and meet with local legislators (if you don’t know how to do these things, don’t worry.  We’ll teach you).
  • You will set goals annually for your site, and check in with our team periodically on your progress towards your goals.

If this sounds like fun and you share our values, join us by filling out this form with some information about yourself, your interest in Hollaback, where you want to run a Hollaback, and why you think your area needs a Hollaback.  From there, we’ll be in touch with next steps. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you soon!  The revolution has been waiting for you.


Here are some FAQ’s:


1. Why are Hollabacks being launched in classes? I mean, how hard can it be to launch a blog?

Hollaback! isn’t just a blog, it’s a movement!


When we started Hollaback! in New York City in 2005, people just like you want to bring Hollaback! to their communities. We thought that was awesome because although the internet is a great place to organize, change happens on the ground with real people rooted in real communities. We developed a start up packet with everything we knew about running a site in it, and sent it anyone interested.  Between 2005-2009, 20 sites launched but only three were successful.


The problem was there was no connection between the site leaders. No community.  No sharing ideas. No training. Nothing.  The work was lonely, and many people gave up despite their best intentions.


When Hollaback! got it’s first executive director in 2010, the team took a long hard look at the process. They came to the conclusion that Hollaback! is a hyper-local, hyper-personal response to a global issue.   Our Hollaback site leaders don’t just run blogs, they led the movement to end street harassment in their communities.  And to do that – they need training and community.


2. OK, but what does the launch process entail?

We launch three classes of Hollaback’s per year.  Before you start the process, you’ll need to work on building your team.  Running a Hollaback! can be a lot of work if you’re doing it alone, and sometimes you’ll need to go on vacation! We’ve found 2-4 people is ideal.


The launch process is a three-month process, and there are a number of deadlines that happen throughout it.   For example, you’ll need to set goals for your site, determine local community resources, and start to build a media list.


In addition, you and your team will need to attend five different one-hour webinars that usually take place on weekends at 1pm EDT.  There, we’ll talk to you about what it means to launch a Hollaback, and train you on things like technology, social media, media, and getting the word out.  You don’t need prior experience doing any of these things, and the webinars are mandatory for at least one member of your team to attend.


3. Why are webinars mandatory? And what’s up with these deadlines? This isn’t corporate America, this is the revolution!

You’re right – this isn’t corporate America – but it is a nonprofit on a shoestring budget.  We are committed to keeping it free to launch a Hollaback for you, but it costs us about $2,500 every time we launch one.


Why so much? Our lead developer has to customize your site, our graphic designer has to make you local logos, our media expert has to train you, and our team has to coordinate the whole operation, and provide hands-on support to you. It’s a big operation, and it could easily cost a lot more money.  By streamlining the operation through webinars, classes, and deadlines, we save money on the process so we can launch more sites in the long-run.


4. Is it free to launch a site?

It costs us about $2,500 with each site we launch.  To keep it free for individual activists, we rely on the support of individuals and foundations, who make tax-deductible donations to us.  Over 85% of our donors donate $10 or less, so this truly is a grassroots led and supported movement. Be a part of the movement by donating now.

Nonprofit organizations or organizations with fiscal sponsors seeking to launch a Hollaback site will need to sign a brand-licence agreement. As part of that agreement, you agree to give 10% of all funding raised specifically for your Hollaback project back to the Hollaback “mothership” as a way of paying it forward.


5. Once we launch, how much autonomy do I have? Do I have to get approval for stuff?

The whole point of Hollaback!’s model is that you know what your community needs most.  We all bring different skills and perspectives to the table, and that’s what makes this a movement.   We are a strongly connected community with a decentralized structure. You don’t need to check in with us before you do media, present workshops, or write blog posts – but we do expect you to share your awesome ideas and adventures with the community so that they can be inspired by your great work.


All this said – if you don’t agree with our values and our anti-discrimination policy, and our comments policy – starting a Hollaback isn’t for you.


6. I feel like there is so much to learn about how to run a Hollaback! How can I learn it all during the launch process?

There is! And you can’t. That’s why we provide ongoing optional monthly webinars from experts on things like bystanders, rape culture, event planning, street art, community organizing, and other topics suggested by our community.


I have more questions! Email holla AT

I’m ready to start a Hollaback! Please fill out this form with some information about yourself, your interest in Hollaback, where you want to run a Hollaback, and why you think your area needs a Hollaback.  From there, we’ll be in touch with next steps. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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