Author: Saul Alinsky
Description: Rules for Radicals is Saul Alinsky’s impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.”
Tags: Organizing, activism
Did Obama’s Ground Game Matter?: The Influence of Local Field Offices During the 2008 Presidential Election
Author: Seth Masket
Description: The findings show that those counties in which the Obama campaign had established field offices during the general election saw a disproportionate increase in the Democratic vote share. Furthermore, this field office-induced vote increase was large enough to flip three battleground states from Republican to Democratic.
Tags: voters, voter turnout, field office, battleground state
Description: Previous studies demonstrated that paid phone bankers are not as effective at increasing turn out as volunteers. Nickerson wanted to test why.
Paid phone bankers typically get paid on output. This increases efficiency but decreases the value of the message. Volunteers were trained to put quantity over quality.
Nickerson found that it doesn’t matter if the caller is a volunteer or a paid staffer. What matters is focusing on qthe uality of calls. If a paid phone banker is trained on how to have a quality conversation, they will have a greater effect on turn out.
Tags: organizing, phone bank, canvas, voter turnout, inclusion, volunteer staff, paid staff
Description: Gillespie wanted to see if you can make a paid program as effective as volunteer canvasses by making the paid canvassers resemble community members. Gillespie hired African American Yale students to canvass in a targeted area with predominately African American voters. The African American voters did not take the students as community members and questioned the canvassers’ motives. Voters who were visited by one of Gillispie’s canvassers voted at lower rates than those who received no contact at all.
Tags: Inclusion, canvas, voter turnout, minority voters
Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy
Author: Chris Crass
Description: Organized into four sections, this collection of essays is geared toward activists engaging with the dynamic questions of how to create and support effective movements for visionary systemic change. These essays and interviews present powerful lessons for transformative organizing. It offers a firsthand look at the challenges and the opportunities of antiracist work in white communities, feminist work with men, and bringing women of color feminism into the heart of social movements. Drawing on two decades of personal activist experience and case studies within these areas, Crass’s essays insightfully explore ways of transforming divisions of race, class, and gender into catalysts for powerful vision, strategy, and building movements in the United States today. This collection will inspire and empower anyone who is interested in implementing change through organizing.
Tags: feminism, anti-racism, race, activism, movement-building, class, gender, systematic social change, social justice, identity politics, campaigning
Author: Daniel Hunter
Description: Expanding on the call to action in Michelle Alexander’s acclaimed best-seller, The New Jim Crow, this accessible organizing guide puts tools in your hands to help you and your group understand how to make meaningful, effective change. Learn about your role in movement-building and how to pick and build campaigns that contribute towards a bigger mass movement against the largest penal system in the world. This important new resource offers examples from this and other movements, time-tested organizing techniques, and vision to inspire, challenge, and motivate.
Tags: social justice, new jim crow, penal system, carcareal system, organizing guide, mass movement, systematic change, organizing technique
Author: Carmen Sirianni
Description: This book explores innovation in various forms of civic engagement, while documenting the renewal of the civic movement and analyzing the power of citizens in their communities. From civic environmentalism to public journalism, Sirianni and Friedland offer unique insights into the future methods and directions of American self-rule while providing a resource-rich guide for future research in the field. Carmen Sirianni is professor of sociology and public policy at Brandeis University. Lewis A. Friedland is professor of journalism and mass communication and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Tags: civic engagement, self-rule, citizen power
Author: Willie Baptist and Jan Rehmann
Description: The authors present a new kind of interdisciplinary pedagogy that brings together antipoverty grassroots activism and relevant social theories about poverty. This unique book combines the oral history of a renowned antipoverty organizer with accessible introductions to relevant social theories, case studies, in-class student debates, and pedagogical reflections. This multilayered approach makes it useful to both social activists committed to eradicating poverty and educators looking for ways to teach about the struggles for economic and social justice.
Tags: poverty, pedagogy, antipoverty organizing, grassroots activism
Author: Sharon J. Smith
Description: If you want to make a significant and sustainable impact on the health of our planet, this powerful and practical guide can help. Author and activist Sharon J. Smith shares proven strategies and lessons learned from the winners of Earth Island Institute’s Brower Youth Awards—America’s top honor for young green leaders. Here are all the tools you need—from planning a campaign and recruiting supporters to raising money and attracting media attention—to turn your ideas into actions and make changes that matter.
Tags: green activism, environment, campaign, lobby
Author: David Reed and Anne Braden
Description: Provides a model for people to help themselves overcome their oppression, understand society, and gain control over their lives. A tool for organizers and teachers.
Tags: organizing, community improvement, teachers, societal change
Author: Beth Walter Honadle
Description: A scholarly article on the definition of “capacity-building.” What is capacity-building in regards to political activism and why is it necessary?
Source: Scholarly Article
Tags: economics, capacity-building characteristics, agricultural management, local government, government budgets, technical support, jurisdiction, grants, management policies, budgetary resources
“Capacity Building and the Reconception of Political Participation: A Role for Social Care Workers?”
Author: Karen Postle, Peter Beresford
Description: This paper explores a citizen-based approach to social work which may counter modern negative managerialist pressures on practice. It links the discourse concerning the growth of user involvement in public policy with the discourse about participation in political activity and suggests a role for social workers in supporting service users in initiatives such as self-help, campaigning and community action which offer a new interpretation of community-based social work. The paper draws on a national research study which offers fresh insights on these issues as a basis for exploring participative approaches to social work practice.
Source: scholarly article
Tags: citizenship, service user involvement, direct democracy
Author: Deborah Eade
Description: The prime purpose of Oxfam and similar development agencies is to assist poor men and women in changing their situation and exercising their right to participate in the development of their societies. However, aid agencies that ignore peoples existing strengths may create dependency, and so make people more vulnerable than before. This book examines the concept of capacity-building and why it is such an integral part of development. It considers specific and practical ways in which NGOs can contribute to enabling people to build on the capacities they already possess, while avoiding undermining such capacities.
“Capacity-Building” reviews the types of social organization with which NGOs might consider working, and the provision of training in a variety of skills and activities, for the people involved and for their organization. The particular importance of using a capacity-building approach in emergency situations, and the dynamic and long-term nature of the process, are emphasized.
Tags: NGOs, low income individuals, aid agencies
Author: National Council of Nonprofits
Description: An article that introduces the idea of “capacity building.” What does “capacity building” mean? How are you benefitting from it right now? How can you help others “capacity build” with your newfound skills?
Tags: capacity-building, leadership, education,
Author: Know How Nonprofit
Description: The fundamentals and foundations of capacity building and how it relates to building your own organization
Tags: Fundamentals, strategy, leadership, management, HR,
Author: Michael Cuthill, John Fien
Description: “The guiding question for this research asked, How can local governments enhance the capacity of citizens to take informed action for a sustainable local community?” This study aims first “to identify and analyze what is required by communities to enable them to take informed action for a sustainable local community, second, to explore the role that citizen participation in local governance plays in working towards a sustainable local community; and third, to identify, analyze and implement institutional requirements within local governments that will support and facilitate citizen participation in local governance.”
Source: Scholarly article
Tags: local government, citizen participation, informed action, citizen engagement, sustainable community,
Author: Sue Kenny, Matthew Clarke
Description: Interrogates the idea of capacity building theoretically and explores the variety of meanings, constructions and practices of capacity building. This book examines capacity building in both developing and developed countries and takes the position that fragile communities are present in all societies.
Tags: construction of capacity building, start capacity building, fragile communities,
Author: OpenSecrets.org Center for Responsive Politics
Description: A compilation of data reported by outside spending groups to the Federal Election Commission with a separate section dedicated to “dark money groups,” politically active nonprofits that are not required to disclose donor information, unlike virtually every other organization spending money to affect electoral outcome.
Tags: campaign finance, dark money, Super PAC, PAC, 501(c), donations, campaign spending
Author: The Citizen’s Handbook
Description: A compilation of useful tools to engage effectively from building connections with people to researching to making the news. The Handbook is composed of three sections: Horizontal learning — instructions for engaging — Vertical Learning — concepts of engaging — and Resources — books, articles, and links for further assistance.
Tags: engagement, handbook, resource, media, people, connections, fundraising, communication, facilitating, research, evaluation, study circles, block parties, public office nomination, strategy, Gandhi, large scale tactics