Relational Organizing at Scale: When to Run an Incentivized vs Volunteer Program

Relational Organizing at Scale: When to Run an Incentivized vs Volunteer Program

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 15 3:45 PM (Central)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 15 4:45 PM (Central)

Room: Salon C-3/4

In 2022, we saw the first-ever experiments demonstrating the persuasive impact of relational. This new research shows relational organizing can be more impactful and efficient than other modes of campaign communication such as TV, mail and door, and latest advancements have finally unlocked the ability of relational to scale. This panel will examine the new research around RO’s persuasive impact and the innovations in the space that have allowed groups to scale—from paid relational programs to volunteer ones that leverage growth over time. In this panel, experienced relational organizers will discuss their paid vs volunteer campaign strategies, outcomes and the lessons learned from the largest relational campaigns this last cycle.



Amanda Brink

Amanda Brink is a longtime Wisconsin political operative who brings over a decade of experience to Empower Project as Deputy Executive Director. Prior to joining Empower Project, Amanda served as campaign manager 2 statewide campaigns, including Tony Evers for State Superintendent where he doubled his fundraising from previous cycles and won with 70% of the vote. Amanda got her start in politics with OFA in 2007, was also the GOTV Director for Wisconsin in 2016, worked on the Democratic National Convention Committee, and served as the Operations Director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for 6 years.

Amanda has extensive experience in operations, grassroots organizing, voter mobilization, fundraising, digital engagement, campaign management, campaign advance, logistics and more. She enjoys vlookup and spending time with her husband and two maltese puppies→ Blue & Gizmo.

my website

Amity Foster

Amity Foster is the Data Manager at ISAIAH, a multi-faith, multi-racial statewide coalition of leaders fighting for racial, economic and social justice, and for Faith in Minnesota; our sister c4 and a political home for people who want to create people-centered politics, grounded in abundance and not scarcity. She started out as an executive assistant at ISAIAH, then a leader in criminal justice organizing, and started to get clear that the institutions we all move in can either bring more people into democracy, or continue to keep people out. She believes that we build power and make systemic change when people claim their own agency and voice, and move together, with shared values and agendas. Grassroots data helps us tell the story of that power, through leadership development and basebuilding, and she is interested in tracking that growth, in a systemic way-of leaders in their own networks and bases and how that connects back to grassroots organizations and builds power for the organization AND individual.

Other sessions: How Data Engineering Can Make Organizers' Dreams Come True

Sri Kulkarni


Sri Preston Kulkarni is currently Chief Strategist for the largest relational voter turnout network in the the country, 2 Million Texans, a project of Texas Blue Action.

Prior to his current role, Sri was the Democratic nominee for US Congress (TX-22) twice, served Chief of External Affairs for AmeriCorps in the Biden Administration, was a Pearson Fellow in the US Senate, and served 14 years as a US Foreign Service Officer overseas in Taiwan, Russia, Israel, Iraq, and Jamaica, as well as led the Campaign Team for the Ukraine Task Force in the State Department to counter Russian disinformation.

In 2017, following the Charlottesville Nazi rally, Sri resigned from the Foreign Service and returned home to Texas, where he ran for Congress in a district that had been won by the Rebublican incumbent by 34.9%. Using a combination of multilingual (27-language) grassroots organizing and the largest relational network for a Congressional candidate at the time, he cut that lead to 4.9% and helped flip his county blue for the first time in his lifetime. After breaking all fundraising and organizing records in what became a $14 million race, Sri helped the Ossoff campaign in Georgia build 160,000 voter relational voter turnout network for his successful 2021 Senate runoff. In August 2022, Sri returned home to join Texas Blue Action and launch 2 Million Texans, a relational network using the REACH platform, which currently has over 7,300 volunteers and over 500,000 voters in the network, with the goal of exceeding 4 million voters in the network by November 2024.

Sri earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, speaks Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, and Hindi, and is a native of Houston, Texas. He currently resides in Austin.

Sri can be contacted at

my website