When social change campaigns experience setbacks it’s understandable this can lead to difficulties in activist groups. Here are some tips and further resources for holding groups together in hard times.
Australian Progress has prepared this 40-point summary of Pastor Rick Warren’s bestselling book The Purpose Driven Church. The resource is based on Rick Warren’s experience of growing his church, Saddleback, from scratch to 20,000 members attending every week. Saddleback is now the eighth biggest church in the United States.
This handbook, based on the work of Marshall Ganz, aims to support you in developing your capacity for effective community organizing. It covers five key practices of organizing.
This tip sheet has been written to help you and your group work well together and achieve your objectives and highlights some group habits and actions that resilient community groups have relied on: effective meetings with an agreed agenda; clearly-defined roles; mindful decision-making; accountability; and inclusiveness.
This handbook is a handy and unique resource for activists and community workers engaged in work for peace at a community level throughout Australia. It includes practical ways to intervene in violence, to transform conflict and to build peace.
Nothing precedes purpose. The starting point for every organisation or movement should be the question ‘Why do we exist’? A number of tips for focusing an organisation on vision and purpose. An excerpt from Purpose Driven Campaigning, based on Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church.
Rick Warren focuses on five ‘circles of commitment’ – community, crowd, congregation, committed and core, and argue that it’s important to recognise where your supporters fall in these categories, and develop processes to move them from the outside in. An excerpt from Purpose Driven Campaigning.
Affinity groups are a feature of many large scale non-violent actions. An affinity group is a small group of people (eg: 5-15) who have something in common who take action together. Groups could focus on a specific theme eg street medics or legal observers or more commonly it is a group of people that take action as a team.
Giving and receiving feedback is a core skill for people engaged in social change projects. These slides and related text outline what can maximise or minimise the effectiveness of feedback and useful phrases.
Joel Dignam reviews Jo Freeman’s “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” which explores some of the key structural problems facing groups. Recognising that power dynamics are present in all groups Freeman proposes formal structures, transparency and accountability.
Civic associations depend upon volunteers to get their work done. Joel Dignam distils insights from Ruth Wageman and Richard Hackman’s “Designing work for individuals and for groups” from Perspectives on Behavior in Organizations.
Joel Dignam reviews Marshall Ganz’ treatment of structure as a craft of organising. As Ganz notes “Developing leadership requires structuring the work of the organization so it affords as many people as possible the opportunity to learn to lead.”