Organizing Tools

A variety of organizing resources from a variety of sources.

Featured Resources

Navigating the New Normal – Minnesota local government innovation and redesign guide, Hubert H. Humphrey Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, April 2011.

Organizer Roundtable: Bridging Culture to Organize Community – At the Alliance’s last Organizer Roundtable on Bridging Culture to Organize Community, the Native American Somali Friendship Committee and Unify University Parade discussed the strategies that they have employed to organize with one another, and the obstacles that they have had to overcome in order to make their cross-cultural relationships a success, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, September 28, 2011.
Toolkits & Guides

Action Guide for Education Organizing – Center for Community Change.

Advocate for Change – University of Kansas Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development.

The Activation Point – “What’s the best way to motivate people to get involved?” – Spitfire Strategies and Communications Leadership Institute.

Child Advocacy Primer– Tips and Tools for Improving Your Child Advocacy Skills, Voices for America’s Children.

Civic Index for Quality Public Education – Assess and improve your local community’s support for your public schools, Public Education Network and Give Kids Good Schools.

Community Organizing Resources – A directory of resources from GrantCraft, a project of the Ford Foundation.

Como Mejorar la Educación de sus Hijos: Guía Para Padres Latinos, Education Trust.

Early Childhood Advocacy Toolkit – Ready4K.

Handbook on Community Visioning – Want to make a difference in your hometown? A good starting point is by mapping the resources and issues unique to your area. This guide from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania helps communities – and not just those in PA! – begin to undertake community planning and development. It includes a reading list for understanding how to develop a community vision.

INFO CENTRAL: Civic Engagement and Public Policy – Toolkit from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Main Street Project – Working to document the challenges facing people in increasingly diverse rural communities, give voice to their hopes and aspirations, and provide creative and practical tools to turn possibilities into realities, League of Rural Voters.

National PTA

Nonprofit Good Practice Guide – Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership.

Parent Lobbying Resources – Association of Metropolitan School Districts.

Parents as Civic Leaders – Serve as a “parent voice” to help shape the direction of your families, programs and communities – training provided by Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota.

Parents as Collaborative Leaders: Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities – A core curriculum on collaborative leadership, University of Vermont.

Public Education Network – Working to advance public school reform in low-income communities across our country.

Results for America Education Toolkit – Raise local awareness of education issues and make your voice heard.

Stand Up for Children NOW! – Children’s Defense Fund Action Council.

Tools for Organizing – A great resource for people new to organizing and experienced organizers, Citizen Works.

Wellstone Action

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July 2010 – Organizer Roundtable: The Ecology of Organizing – If we look at the field of organizing as an interdependent web of relationships, how can we more intentionally strengthen our relationships to sustain our work?, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability.


August 26, 2009 – Organizer Roundtable: Community Organizing in the Suburbs – On August 26, 2009, Twin Cities organizers came together to discuss specific strategies for community organizing in the Twin Cities suburbs. Presenting at this event were Amina Saleh of Family & Children’s Service, Patrick Ness of Catholic Charities Office of Social Justice, JoAnn Tesar of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties and other organizers about what they have learned about community organizing in the Twin Cities suburbs, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability.

August 2009 – 10 Ways to Improve Arts Education for All Students in Your Community – 10 things you can do to help the children and youth in your community gain and retain access to a great arts education, Americans for the Arts.

March 2008 – Organized Communities, Stronger Schools A Preview of Research Findings – Data suggest that organizing is contributing to school-level improvements, increased student attendance, improved standardized-test-score performance, and higher graduation rates and college-going aspirations in several sites. Organizing efforts influence policy and resource distribution to increase equity and build capacity, particularly in historically low-performing schools. Organizing groups achieve these schooling and community impacts through a combination of system-level advocacy, school- or community-based activity, and strategic use of research and data, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

February 2005 – Building Public Will – A communication approach to creating a long term or permanent shift manifested in peoples’ commitment to taking action to create change, Metropolitan Group (Tips & Tools).

January 2005 – An Action Guide for Education Organizing – Tools and stories of education organizing, Center for Community Change.



Minnesota Community Action Association – A statewide network of community-based anti-poverty service agencies in Minnesota offers many advocacy training events and resources.

Partners in Policymaking – A leadership training program designed for adults with disabilities and for parents of young children with disabilities. The program teaches leadership skills, and the process of developing positive partnerships with elected officials and other individuals who make the policy decisions about services that you and your family use. Created by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

  • Making Your Case – An online course on how to communicate with public officials by effectively telling your personal story, writing a letter, providing testimony, and communicating in positive ways. Open to everyone; no registration fee.

Public Policy Project – Helping low-wealth individuals and people of color understand and influence policy and engage the policy making process.