By High Trees Community Development Trust
The High Trees Community Organising Self Assessment Toolkits will help you improve and track your progress in utilising a Community Organising approach.
What is Community Organising?
Community organising is the work of bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcome social injustice. Community organisers reach out and listen, connect and motivate people to build their collective power.
When people are organised, communities get heard and power begins to shift creating real change for good.
Our Beginner and Advanced Community Organising self-assessment toolkits are designed to provide suggestions to help you to adopt, improve and track your progress in utilising a Community Organising approach. We typically suggest that you start with the beginner toolkit before you move to the more advanced one, but it is for you to decide which toolkit to start with based on where you are on your community organising journey.
Community Organising Framework
This framework is the basis for the Community Organising toolkit. It shows the various sections that are assessed by the self-assessment toolkits. It was created by Community Organisers Ltd.
Download the Community Organising Framework
Principles of Practice
The principles of practice are the values by which Community Organising is practiced and are covered in more detail in the self-assessment toolkits. It was created by Community Organisers Ltd.
Download the Principles of Practice
Who is the Beginner Toolkit for?
This toolkit is for people or organisations new to community action overall that have little to no experience of community organising. The Toolkit is intended to help individuals, small groups or organisations to take their first steps in community organising. The recommended actions provided should be seen as a broad range of recommended actions for you to pick from depending on what level you feel is most applicable or attainable given your groups size and capacity.
Who is it not for?
It is not for people or organisations who have established experience of Community Organising, campaigning or activism. It will not give you every step required to do Community Organising but enough to get you started. If this does not sound like you, please refer to our Advanced Toolkit.
Community Organising is not something that you complete once, it is an approach that requires continual action and reflection. Once you have completed the toolkit, your next step is to act on the action plan that you develop and to schedule in another self-assessment session to periodically evaluate your progress. We typically suggest that you score a minimum of 50 points in the Beginner’s toolkit before moving on to the Advanced.
The High Trees Advanced Community Organising Self-Assessment is in three stages:
Stage 1: Setting Values
This will help you compare your organisation’s values with those of community organising, give recommendations for setting and embedding values and outline a brief session plan for a group discussion. We strongly recommend you complete this before moving on to Stage 2.
Stage 2: Framework Analysis
The second part of this toolkit is based upon the nine sections of the community organising framework. Stage 2 will make some recommendations to try out to level up your Community Organising practice.
Stage 3: Reflection & Action Planning
This allows you to review your overall Levels for each section and answer some reflective questions to consider your next steps. It’s followed by an Action Plan to decide priorities for your organisation. A Review Tracker helps you decide when you will next complete the Toolkit and a Score Tracker to keep track of how your organisation’s scores over time. A recommended reading list and some helpful websites for you to explore are included at the end.
Download the Advanced Toolkit.
Further Support & Feedback
For individuals, groups and organisations based in Lambeth, London, High Trees Community Action Team offers coaching and mentoring around the implementation of the recommendations given in this toolkit and improving your Community Organising practice in general. If you have given consent when you registered, we will be in touch for feedback and, potentially, subject to funding requirements, to provide further support. In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to enquire as to our availability for additional support, get in touch with High Trees.
- Organising: Start Here
- A Guide to Power Analysis in Community Organising
- Guide to Organizing from the Leading Change Network
- The Craft of Campaigns: A Podcast for Organisers