The membership decides ACORN policies and campaigns. It is a three-tier national structure, with local groups, district branches and two national level decision making bodies (the National Strategy Group and the Board). The members National Conference is the supreme policy making body.
The basic unit in ACORN is the Local Group. Each group is organised “from scratch” beginning with an Organising Committee that takes responsibility for researching and developing issues, recruiting their neighbours through door knocking and leafleting.
ACORN members in a town/city coordinate their work through a District Branch. The District holds an ‘all member’ meeting every quarter to vote on campaigns and elect individuals. Every month where there isn’t a quarterly meeting, members meet to plan campaigns or hold training sessions etc.
The District Branch Committee meets monthly to plan meetings, actions and campaigns. A committee comprises of:
- Membership Officer
- Communications Officer
- Local Group Delegates
Each Region with one active District Branch or more will have two seats to elect for the National Board. This is the governance level of the organisation. The boards have standing committees, according to current objectives. While non-board are encouraged to serve on various committees, they do not have a vote on the board and participate in board meetings only upon invitation. The Board elects officers including a chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer.
National Strategy Group
Makes day-to-day strategic decisions in line with the National Conference, where national policy is decided. It is comprised of Directors plus Branch Secretaries and is coordinated by the Head Organiser.
ACORN staff organisers and other staff work under the direction of a Head Organiser, responsible for managing and coordinating the daily operations of the organisation. The Head organiser is hired by, works with and is accountable to, the National Board. Organisers can neither vote nor hold elected office in the organisation. The Field Director manages the field operation – all field organising staff. Field Organisers build ACORN Local Groups and support the District Branch Committee. The National Organisers work to support emerging member-organised (i.e. non-staffed) Local Groups and District Branches.