Building Movement Project

Publication Information:

This resource provides a listing of capacity areas for nonprofit organizations that engage in social change and movement building work.

Detailed Description:
This resource begins by contrasting the foci of traditional organizational capacity building with the capacities necessary for a movement building organization. For instance, the tool frames “traditional” capacity building around diversity as providing training for “inclusion” without a mandate for or focus on corresponding system/organizational change. In contrast, movement capacity building is geared toward building multi-ethnic organizations and requires corresponding focus on organizational policies and practices. While these organizational capacity building areas are not framed directly in an evaluative context, they do provide potential evaluators with some content areas on which to focus organizational assessments for groups that do social change and community organizing work.

The authors also include nine building blocks that they consider essential for the development of strong movement building organizations. Again, these capacity areas provide a direction for those interested in evaluating the organizational strength of movement and community organizing groups. These building blocks are:

  • Vision;
  • Principles;
  • Learning and Reflecting;
  • Issues of Race and Power;
  • Working Across Boundaries;
  • Working Across Generations;
  • Constituent Involvement;
  • Structure; and
  • Funding.

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