The New Media Mentors Digital Academy is a program designed to address the needs of organizations with varying budgets, experience and capacity. The Academy covers the most important aspects of successful digital campaigns, based on our experience in the field.

The program is based on the principle that using new media such as email, social media and social action technology effectively is key to an organization’s success both on and offline. New Media Mentors' “learning by doing” model insures the adoption of new knowledge and skills.

The Academy is comprised of one-month courses. Each course includes:

  • Three virtual interactive group workshops.
  • Three 1:1 mentoring sessions.
  • Downloadable worksheets and templates.


Fall Digital Academy courses will be announced soon. Join our email list and we'll let you know as soon as they've been scheduled.

Past courses include:

Digital Fundamentals

This course is designed to give campaigners a solid foundation for digital organizing, encompassing best practices for using email, Facebook, Twitter and websites for digital mobilization. In this course, we review how to:

  • Get the most out of building and segmenting email lists, and boost action rates with techniques like simple A/B testing
  • Review the latest smart tactics for optimizing organic reach on Facebook, as well as paid reach options
  • Learn time-saving methods to turbo charge Twitter use, as well as demystify Twitter Analytics
  • Examine fundamental ways to increase Search Engine Optimization and strengthen landing pages for your website
  • Bring all elements together in a comprehensive, cross-channel approach that amplifies each platform

Digital Leadership

This course is designed to turn digital campaigners into digital leaders. In this digital course we break down how to:

  • Develop a strategy to ensure that your digital work is aligned with your organization’s goals
  • Build measures and metrics to help you evaluate your work
  • Be accountable to executives and tell the story of your work in a way that resonates with them
  • Evaluate and justify your budget to superiors
  • Use ROI to evaluate paid list growth, advertising, etc.
  • Structure an online team to maximize your organization’s success

Digital Advocacy & Ladder of Engagement

In a world where digital media use is maturing, it’s time to revisit the ladder of engagement and give it a reboot. In this project-focused digital course, we break-down how to:

  • Foster online growth and develop offline leadership
  • Develop a meaningful definition of “engagement,” and a system for measuring it
  • Outline and operationalize your own ladder of engagement
  • Integrate the ladder of engagement into the organizing you do every day

Digital Fundraising

Every group needs to find the resources to be sustainable. This course is designed to make fundraising programs more robust.  In this digital course we break-down how to:

  • Plan for online fundraising, including developing goals and writing a fundraising plan
  • Figure out which tactics are right for your organization, and examine both proven and experimental options
  • Squeeze every dollar possible out of your campaigns, using best practices, segmentation, a/b testing and tracking

Group Workshops

Each Digital Academy course includes three interactive 60-minute group workshops. Group workshops are scheduled for specific dates, but recordings will be made available to students who aren't able to make it to the live session(s).

1:1 Mentoring

Each course includes three 50-minute 1:1 sessions with a mentor. This is an opportunity to connect with a mentor via video chat and get feedback, ask questions, etc. We recommend that students schedule their 1:1 sessions within a few days of the group sessions (and before the next group session).

Downloadable Tools

Each course includes downloadable tools designed to make it easier for students to implement what they've learned.

course Mentors

Digital Academy courses are led by the following mentors:


Tanya Tarr is a Senior Mentor with New Media Mentors, supporting change for organizations so that they can change the world.  She has worked in electoral and union campaigns for 15 years, most recently as Director of Legislative and Political Mobilization for the Texas American Federation of Teachers. Tanya is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy and Management, with a Master of Science in Performance Measurement.

Melissa Foley

Melissa Foley is the Director of Training and Mentoring for New Media Mentors and Netroots Nation. In addition to mentoring, Melissa oversees the 45+ trainings offered at the annual Netroots Nation convention. Prior to joining New Media Mentors, she worked as a senior member of the online communications team at Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and as Director of Marketing and Operations for a web-based social enterprise. Melissa holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a BA from UC San Diego.