“As organizing has continued to evolve, more attention is being paid to larger impacts and ‘scaling up,’ putting a focus on networks of organizations changing the political landscape and the way people think about issues. Evaluating the work is an important part of building capacity for this kind of growth in the community organizing field.”

-David Haiman,
community organizing capacity builder
and Catholic University instructor

Community organizing brings communities together to advance shared goals. Properly evaluating those efforts can lead to success over time. We have found that the range of organizing styles, approaches, and philosophies used by nonprofits can make it challenging to formulate a consistent mechanism for evaluating the organizing process and its outcomes. To help raise the profile of and encourage investment in community organizing, we developed Resources for Evaluating Community Organizing (RECO). RECO brings together a multitude of resources from various organizations and leaders in the field.

Several of the new RECO resources focus on network and movement building reflecting a current trend in community organizing.

For a list of these resources alphabetically as a PDF document, click here.


RECO Resources


51 resources found

Measuring Social Capital

This resource describes a community-based research project designed to measure social capital in community building efforts to create and manage neighborhood change.

Needmor Fund Program Assessment

This resource documents a funder’s evaluation of its grantees as well as an evaluation of the funder’s role in raising the profile of organizing work.

Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities: Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing, and Civic Engagement in the Gulf/Midsouth Region, Los Angeles County, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, the Northwest Region, and Pennsylvania

This resource consists of a series of reports evaluating the impact of community organizing in Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and the Northwestern region of the United States. The methodology behind the reports are described in more depth in another RECO resource, Measuring the Impacts of Advocacy and Community Organizing.

Strong Neighborhoods, Strong Schools: Case Studies

These resources consist of case studies documenting the application of the evaluation framework described in the companion RECO resource, Strong Neighborhoods, Strong Schools: Successful Community Organizing for School Reform, to three different education organizing projects: (a) Alliance Organizing Project, (b) Oakland Community Organizations, (c) Logan Square Neighborhood Association

Research Methods for Community Change: A Project-Based Approach

This resource differentiates between process and outcome evaluations, discusses the role of internal participatory evaluations versus externally driven evaluations, and provides detailed steps of how organizations can set up a participatory evaluation process.