Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Key Readings

A few pieces that have been particularly helpful in our own study of movement building

Building Organizations in a Movement Moment (Beth Zemsky and David Mann)

Zemsky and Mann use the case of faith-based organization ISAIAH to illustrate how groups can intentionally link their work to a larger movement for social change.

Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building (Barbara Masters and Torie Osborn)

Masters and Osborn lay out five key elements of movement building discuss how foundations can best organizations doing this type of work.  They also propose a framework for how this work can be evaluated, to help foundations assess outcomes and track movement progress.

Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them (Manuel Pastor and Rhonda Ortiz)

This report seeks to provide a guidepost to both funders and the field by detailing what makes for a successful social movement, what capacities need to be developed, and what funding opportunities might exist.

Unstill Waters: The Fluid Role of Networks in Social Movements (Robin Katcher)

This is a printable version of a presentation developed by Katcher, which seeks to provide insight to the theory of what constitutes a movement network and what role they can play in creating change, as well as strategies networks can apply in moving their work forward.

Strategic Practice for Social Transformation (Phillip Cryan)

Phillip Cryan, from the Grassroots Policy Project, presents some of the emerging strategies that innovative social justice organizations are using to build collective power that is potentially transformative. It focuses on the evolving organizing practice of ISAIAH, a faith-based organization in Minnesota and one of the groups with which GPP has worked most closely over the last few years.

Social Movements and Policy Implementation: The Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty, 1965 to 1971 (Kenneth T. Andrews)

This study of the Civil Rights movement and the War on Poverty in Mississippi examines the relationship between social movements and policy implementation.  The authors develop a “movement infrastructure” model that emphasizes the importance of organizational structure, resources, and leadership for social movements to achieve policy gains.