For example, writing letters to politicians can be quite effective, which can make it a good tactic. Whatever it is that your community is fighting for; reducing the usage of fossil fuels by shifting focus on renewables or fighting for more/equal pay, make sure to list out what it is you want to achieve. As the community organizer, you should divide the goals into 2 categories: Remember: By doing this, you’ve now kept the group centred on exactly what it hopes to achieve. Start by building relationships in person, then incorporate digital and social second to spread your message. A version of this guide was originally presented at the 2019 Organizing 2.0 Conference at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. By listening and talking in person, you gain a fair understanding of the people who want to work towards bettering a situation as opposed to the ones who merely want to vent but not work. Call their office and leave a voicemail. Leverage upon your allies, and figure out ways to tackle opposing parties. Community organizing — or CO, as we will refer to it throughout this Community Organizing Toolbox— is one of the few strategies working to build grassroots leadership, community initiative and constituent influence in neighborhoods and communities that are often forgotten or ignored by those in power. If it has, we'd be grateful if you share it with your network. That said, trust us when we say organizing is hard, often thankless work. Record and livestream as much of your work as you can. The first four models of change, which address planning and organizing, have been articulated previously by Rothman (1968, 1974) … That means they want to hear from constituents like you (and your community) about what's important to them. Make use of different kinds of tools for implementation: patch through calling to reach out to local representatives, peer to peer texting to mobilize supporters on the ground, and social media to reach out to people are just a few examples. The best, most effective organizers we know are people who genuinely care about the community and mission they're serving, put others first, and are powered by the love and positivity they feel doing the work. Also, be mindful of privilege and power dynamics in your own approach. If you're tabling (setting up a table or stand), you likely do need a permit, Tip #3: If you need help coordinating your work, Brightest makes it easy to coordinate canvassing shifts and volunteer signups and share assignments with your supporters. What Are Some Lessons Learned About Community Organization and Change? Recruitment - and keeping people engaged and coming back - is essential to organizing success. As a smart organizer, we start to build public community support through town halls, rallies, meetups, protests, news editorials, and other actions. This is a PowerPoint presentation used to help familiarize new activists with some of the key organizing models for building movements for change and increasing the power and leadership of the poor and oppressed. The guide also includes information about key organizing techniques that can be used throughout your education reform efforts: developing organizational resources and troubleshooting. In our experience, you're most likely to run into problems if (1) you have too much structure slowing decisions and progress, or (2) you have too little structure so no one knows what to do or who's responsible for certain work. If you're organizing for a positive cause, you're welcome to create a free organizer account on Brightest to list your event(s), grow and activate your supporters, and keep track of members. Check your local event calendar(s) to make sure the date and time you pick doesn’t conflict with any big events that might hurt your turnout (other grassroots actions, major speakers, big sports events, etc). Developing leaders is an important step as they serve as a point of contact for the flow of information among volunteers, other community heads, and district organizers. Clearly, you should first have an issue in mind which affects a community that you want to help it... Clarify your goals. When citizens organize effectively around a particular cause or issue, we are a powerful political force. Saul Alinsky (1971) incorporated the idea of self-interest as a motivating factor for community … Organize regular training workshops for volunteers, to prepare them during the time of action. With the right message, meeting cadence, and recruiting strategy, you can turn inviting five friends into a 10-20 person event that can serve as your base for follow-on community-building. Varshini Prakash of Sunrise Movement during a direct action in support of the Green New Deal. While it is possible to get a community going online with the right message, platform, and social media skills - in our experience it's much more challenging. It focuses on collective action; the power derived from the synchronized actions of people in unity, as opposed to separate individuals. Community organizing involves mobilizing a group of people to address common issues and concerns and enabling them to take action. Organizers should aim at moving supporters along an engagement funnel starting them on low-barrier asks like signing a petition or sharing a post on social media. To provide a practical example, let's say we're organizing for GoodHomes, a fictional community group focused on tenants rights and affordable housing. There are many options … What makes a good action? Creating a website for your community is essential; in addition to posting images and videos of previous rallies and demonstrations, you can also post details of upcoming tasks along with their venues and timelines. The single best organizing tactics are direct advocacy and direct action. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is! As an organizer, it's very important to be truthful with yourself, and to stay on the lookout for issues with diversity, inclusivity, or elitism in your approach. Do your best to figure out answers to these questions early. This involves talking to people and finding out what their concerns are and what pain points they’re facing and would like to fight for (or against). Further, organizing can include both collaborative and pressure strategies - often strategically applied together. While strategizing, you’ll also have to keep in mind who your potential allies are, and who or what your opposition is. By making our collective voice loud enough (re: power), it becomes clear to the city's politicians if they don't change the laws in our favor, we'll vote them out in the next election cycle. Depending on the size of your outreach, use different ways to contact people: go door knocking if you’re targeting a neighborhood, or if your community is scattered, use social media to attract people’s attention and set up meeting spots. It describes four steps to develop and implement a community action plan. First, we identify a community problem: there are thousands of people who are homeless or live in poverty in our city, insufficient affordable housing, and rents keep rising because of commercial real estate development that only benefits a few wealthy individuals. Would the community agree with your diagnosis? Community organizing is a democratic strategy used by social movements, labor unions, under-represented communities, and marginalized groups to gain rights, win collective political power, and create positive change. Here are few best practices and tips for getting started as an organizer, connecting with individual people, then organizing and inspiring them to action. Successful movements establish structure, limits on structure, or "semi-structure" early, and make that a part of their movement identity. Now that you’ve identified your community members, the next step is to pinpoint your mission and its corresponding goals. How well do you actually know the community and its problems? It emphasizes active participation from the community in identifying key health issues and strategies to address them. Community Organizing: Important strategies to keep in Mind Listen to people. Representing both an homage to, and a departure from the "alinsky traditions" of organizing, Consensus Organizing offers techniques that are specifically designed for urban and rural communities struggling to succeed in the global economy and the information age. There's no "right" answer for organizing. Other movements balance central power at the top with distributed, local responsibility and decision-making freedom. Strong leaders can include both individuals who take on the work and the organization(s) that spearhead collaborative efforts. This step involves gathering people and taking collective action for achieving your mission. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. One of the most effective supporting tactics is canvassing. While there are many different types of online and offline organizing, the main job of an organizer is to create unity (and solidarity), then help their community work together to solve problems and reach shared goals. What do Community Organizers do? Both types have their place in movement-building. As a movement leader, part of your responsibility is to keep movement energy and momentum up, while also helping your people rest, recover, and stay safe. How do decisions get made? We hope this has been informative and helpful. coordinate canvassing shifts and volunteer signups, Non-Profits & Social Justice Organizations, Volunteer Management, Organizing & People Power, Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus. Getting a federal law passed or changed is hard - but with a smart organizing strategy you can often have a major impact at the city, county, or state level with fewer people and less resources. Reyes, Reva Crawford. This community organizing guide provides a systematic approach to action planning. Almost all active movements meet monthly to sustain affinity. Community organizing is both a tactic to address specific problems and issues and a longer-term engagement and empowerment strategy. What matters most is that you've identified a problem, invited people impacted by it (or at the very least other people who also care), and clearly articulated the goal of the meeting - even if the goal itself is to have an open dialogue or conversation about the issue. You can also use the welcome message opportunity to explain the purpose of the community and give them ideas for their first post or conversation. Usually, a good action is either effective or attention-getting. Clearly, you should first have an issue in mind which affects a community that you want to help it resolve. Longer-term objectives of community organizing are to develop the internal capabilities and to increase the decision-making power and … Gamify. From strategies, your organization should develop specific tactics for the strategy you have chosen. Canvassing can also be used to help register voters, another step to strengthen your political power and influence. Remember: The aim here is to identify a set of people who would be willing to work towards a common cause, and are interested in initiating action. Now that you’ve identified your community members, the … In the ideal, for example, this can get community-organizing groups a place at the table before important decisions are made. And remember, you don't need permission to go out and start organizing for progress, you just need a mission and the courage to get started. Community organizing can in fact refer to the entire process of organizing relationships, identifying issues, mobilizing around those issues, and maintaining an enduring organization. Community organizing strategies have developed in recent decades along two lines. We cannot and are not offering you legal advice, or advocating for one or the other. Sunday and Monday nights can also work for virtual events like a webinar or hangout. Organizing Strategies - Free download as Powerpoint Presentation (.ppt), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or view presentation slides online. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure they're clear, templated, available, and easily shareable. If your cause or organization doesn't already have them, come up with a plan for your brand, visual identity, symbols, and key messages. Are you involving them in your solution and giving them a say? For this, go about creating a blueprint of actions that your team is going to follow to effect change. If you’re fighting for equal pay, your allies could be labor unions fighting the same problem in another factory or company, while your opposition could be upper management intent on cutting costs by paying less in salaries. It’s the job of your elected leaders to represent you. We also discover our city's budget for affordable housing is too low, because it's spending money in other places we don't want. Pick a neighborhood ("turf") or public area to work like a college campus, community center, or farmer's market, prepare a very short script (example: "Hi, I'm Sasha from GoodHomes - we're fighting to make housing more affordable for working families like yours. Remember: Use a combination of methods which will help you achieve your aims. Make an appointment to show up at their office (and if they won't give you one, show up anyway). It can be tremendously rewarding and important, but it's rarely easy. Remember: For mobilizing effectively, your outreach needs to be varied, as different people prefer different ways of being contacted or informed. Strategies of Community Organization: A Book of Readings By being community leaders, they get to do this. The key to organizing effective actions and sustainable movements is to be creative, empathetic, and solution-oriented - and have empathy for what your group needs next. While we talked about the steps involved in a previous article on community organizing, we now focus on important community organizing strategies which make it simpler without losing the desired end impact. This is one of the simpler community engagement strategies, but it’s incredibly effective. Consensus organizing techniques encourage focus on what the COMMUNITY believes more relevant. Feminist author and activist Jo Freeman has a famous essay about the difficulty of working in movements with no power hierarchy, "The Tyranny of Structurelessness," which you can read (free) here. As the frequency of engagement increases the supporter is moved lower down the funnel to high-barrier asks like joining a door to door canvass or even organizing their own team. The goals of the Community Organizing, Planning, and Development cluster in the Social Work, Social Policy, and Social Administration (SW) program are: To introduce students to the important theories of community organization and change, so that students can assess the role and prospects for success of community-level interventions. Black Lives Matter. Use a combination of ways to contact members. The more people you have willing to go the extra mile, the greater is the chance of reaching your objectives in a shorter amount of time. The best organizers and affinity groups host parties, go to comedy shows and arts events, and emphasize wellness and self-care to build relationships and manage activism stress. Developing and rallying people around this type of social change cycle is how community organizers operate. From fighting social injustice to inequality, community organizing finds its roots in movements of the past such as the suffragettes and the trade union movements, among others. Sometimes it can be downright exhausting. To put it simply, community organizing consists of these five steps: This article expands on each step to paint a clearer picture of what community organizing entails with tips which you as community organizers can implement in your organizational efforts. But very few movements grow from postcard parties. The main job responsibilities of a community organizer typically include: Organizers are people-driven problem-solvers - a rare profile that requires working across events, recruiting, relationship-building, marketing, and healing. Community organizing has as a core goal the generation of durable power for an organization representing the community, allowing it to influence key decision-makers on a range of issues over time. By examining the system, we realize there are existing municipal (city) laws that benefit a few dozen real estate developers at the expense of thousands of working-class people. It's about putting together all the pieces necessary for social change: vision, skills, incentives, resources, and an action plan. Required fields are marked *, Try CallHub texting and calling tools for free, Send personalized texts, receive responses and build your subscriber list, One to one text message conversations at scale. This book summarizes the role of community organizing principles in a successful adult education program serving Native American adults. Sunrise Movement. Face to face meetings are the most effective as they show people that you genuinely care about wanting to help them help themselves (by achieving the collective end goal). Get creative. Applying consensus organizing strategies brings relevant groups together around central issues. Cover all your bases. The community organizing discussed here is rooted in democratic values and the social justice teachings of the world’s great religious traditions. Invite them first and ask them to share your event and bring friends. 9. Remember: This step involves identifying potential leaders and giving them the necessary training to take action. Tweet and comment (@) at your relevant politicians. After all, if everyone in a group is involved, everyone should be allowed to take up tasks of importance. Developing a shared solution (and narrative) for how the solve the community's problem (s). Focusing only on specific concerns limits responses. Thankfully, we have many examples of successful community organizing, some of which come from collaborative partnerships. Check out this article to see how you can manage your volunteers. Firstly, is the organizing model of creating deep personal relationships with individuals who will be a core part of the organization’s goals. This guide was inspired by variety of different movements, experiences, and organizers - and we want to extend a sincere "thank you" to all the movement leaders who fought and sacrificed to lay the groundwork for these learnings. Done well, community organizing is one of the most powerful strategies in the world for social change. Kahn's new book, "Creative Community Organizing: a Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists and Quiet Lovers of Justice," is a manifesto for the politically active. #MeToo. Are the leaders elected (and if so, how)? Which is why you need a plan in place to develop community leaders who can lead local initiatives. Your email address will not be published. Quite akin to the common saying, ‘United we stand, divided we fall.’. Identifying and understanding a vulnerable community, its root problem (s), and how the existing social system has... 2. Community organizing strategies and tactics can be used to organize from outside an organization, institution, community or issue area, from within, or both. Hopefully with these points in mind, community organizers can find it easier to go about helping communities act towards a common goal. 7 When people are passionate about an issue, they’d be more than happy to take up additional tasks. Availability will vary from person to person (and also city to city), but in most communities the best time to reach people is Tuesday or Wednesday evening. As community organizers, it is impossible to organize every minute aspect of a campaign. When it's done well, direct advocacy and action are incredibly powerful tactics. The Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG) con- Throughout history there are many examples of small communities who generated major media awareness, transformed culture, and overcome major, systemic oppression through smart, effective organizing (all with limited money, resources, and social support). Grassroots activists have been at the heart of every social movement in history, from anti-war movements to LGBTQ+, gender, and civil rights. Staff roles are limited to helping volunteers become effective, to guiding … March for Our Lives. Grow your mobile list by collecting opt-in’s through text. Start off with a transparent community selection process and share results. It's always easiest to start building community from your own relationships - neighbors, classmates, friends - people who trust and believe in you. Also, be sure to understand the power structures you're working to change or reform, how they work, and how power is distributed. Like we've said, dismantling power structures takes time and energy. One of the most effective supporting tactics is canvassing. Secure Strong Leadership 2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Tip #1: Never put a canvassing flyer or handout in someone's mailbox - it's against the law in the U.S. Tip #2: It's always good to double-check but normally you don't need a permit to canvass in public in your local community. Can we count on your support in next month's election on September 6th? For example, DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) have several active working groups that are further segmented by city (chapter), identity, affinity, and in some cases by age or student affiliation, like YDSA. Community organizing is “a process through which communities are helped to identify common problems or goals, mobilize resources, and in other ways develop and implement strategies for reaching their goals they have collectively set.” S.Rengasamy Madurai Institute of Social Sciences Community Organization 5 1. The more you know the laws and your rights (and teach them to others), the more successful you'll be as an organizer. "), work in teams of two, be respectful of people's time and private property, and have a clear call to action to deliver in person or leave as a handout. Community Organizing: Strategies for Recruitment and Retention. Community Engagement and Organizing Community development organizations of all kinds need to interact constructively and purposefully with their constituents, neighbors, clients, tenants, partners in business, leaders of other nonprofits, and people with whom they have a … Canvassing - knocking doors, handing out flyers, tabling, and going out in public places to talk to community-members - is another foundational tactic of grassroots organizing. Community Mobilization: Strategies Guided by Best Practice 1. Importantly, Walls engages social movements literature to bring insights to our understanding of community organizing networks, their methods, allies and opponents, and to show how community organizing offers concepts and tools that are indispensable to a democratic strategy of social change. Community organizing is a broad topic which encompasses several aspects. If there are many members, contact the community leaders who would then spread the word to their respective groups. Some movements meet weekly. For example, in NYRenews' push to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), a "Green New Deal" for New York state, the campaign combined grassroots lobbying, online advocacy, and public rallies at different times to build awareness and political pressure to pass the bill [Disclaimer: we're a coalition-member]. Community organizing is a key part of an overall strategy to make changes in a community that are widely felt, and that reflect the wishes of the people who are directly affected by alcohol-related community problems. These could include (but aren’t limited to) organizing rallies, emailing and calling legislators, holding press conferences and contacting local newspapers. The single best organizing tactics are direct advocacy and direct action. Some movements are completely decentralized (no leadership control at the top). Depending upon the number of people you can mobilize and the sort of impact you wish to create, choose a strategy which is both manageable and impactful. Organizing groups depend upon the “power of numbers” to balance the power of the status quo and moneyed interests in trying to accomplish change. Write letters. Engage strong leadership with community member support to drive the community-wide efforts. The following sections explore six strategies, or models, for directing and changing community systems and human services programs. Leadership Development Leadership Development is one of the most hallowed terms in community organizing. Strategies of Community Organization: A Book of Readings [Fred M. Cox, John L. Erlich, Jack Rothman, John E. Tropman] on Amazon.com. The Community Capacity Building (CCB) framework is a social approach to solve a given community's collective problems and improve or maintain the well being of that community (Chaskin, 2001).Community organizing is a strategy for the collective to facilitate social change, and in this way it ties in with the Community Capacity Building framework.
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