People Power Manual: Community Organising Guide

By: James Whelan & Jason Macleod

  • Publisher: The Change Agency and Pasifika
  • ISBN Number: 978-0-9943838-2-0
  • Publish Date: 2016
  • Number of Pages: 292

The Community Organising Guide is a unique resource for campaigners, community leaders and activist educators. It’s a collection of 39 process guides, 50 handouts 4 original case studies and 3 sample workshop schedules: everything you need to design and lead participatory workshops with activists, organisers and citizens. The 300 pages of training resources deepen our understanding of relational meetings and self-interest, the power of story in organising, building alliances, coalitions and networks, holding decision-makers accountable and leadership development. The guide also sharpens core organising skills such as recruitment, doorknocking and phonebanking.

The Community Organising Guide draws on wisdom gained in social movements over several decades. It doesn’t advocate ‘one right way’, but integrates broad-based, social movement and grassroots organising approaches. The Guide is the second of six instalments in the People Power Manual series and follows the August 2015 launch of our Campaign Strategy Guide.

Our Community Organising Guide was launched during the 2016 Organise conference. It can be purchased in hard copy or downloaded in electronic format from the Change Agency.

Download or purchase a hard copy >


In a world where wicked problems like climate change seem insurmountable, community organising has the potential to build the kind of mass people’s movement that we need. This manual is an invaluable source for the journey ahead of us. It holds in one place Australia’s growing intellectual muscle on how to organise. The trainings, handouts and discussions inside will be valuable for all kinds of social change leaders – indeed it is a vital tool for anyone who believes that a mass based citizen movement is a necessary part of changing the world.

— Amanda Tattersall, Founder Sydney Alliance,
Co-founder, Author of Power in Coalition

Community organising is a craft, one that is learnt by doing and adapting. We are still only at the very beginning of introducing and adapting this craft to Australia, and there is much important work to be done. This workbook is an important practical contribution to this collective project. It is both a practical training resource, and a hands-on contribution to the debate over how best we build people power in Australia.   

— Dave Copeman, Community Organiser, Queensland Community Alliance

This manual is a fantastic resource for people who take the craft of organising seriously and want to work effectively with a community of people to bring about positive change for our communities and planet.  I will make use of this resources in my organising work.  Thank you for the love, care, experience and thought that went into this document.
— Bob Bingaman, National Organising Director, The Sierra Club

Know someone one who longs for a more just world? Put this in their hands. The People Power Manual confirms we are the ones we have been waiting for while showing us ‘how to’. 

— Jarrod McKenna, Co-founder of First Home Project,
Co-initiator of #LoveMakesAWay, Pastor at Westcity Church




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