social action skills

To win positive change in our communities, we need to hone a wide range of social action skills, developing our capacity to recruit and coordinate, communicate effectively, influence decision makers and implement the right tactics at the right time. The resources organised on this page provide practical advice and workshop resources to acquire and sharpen those skills. You can access these and many more by visiting the ‘build your own toolbox’ page, where you can specify exactly which skills are the highest priority for you and your group.



Media toolkit > the essentials for keeping our issues hip, hot and happening

Generating media on our issues is one of the most effective tools activists have for informing members of Congress and members of our community about important issues around hunger and poverty. Tags: communication,

PDF resources:

Activist engagement maps

An activity to develop a shared understanding of different levels of participation and the ways people might develop themselves and embark on an “activist journey”. Tags: community organising, workshop resources,

Community Organising: Workshop slides

Learn how to distinguish between community organising and advocacy, service delivery and community development approaches; recognise the strengths and weaknesses of community organising; and learn when community organising is a suitable way to work for so Tags: community organising, workshop resources,

Conference organising tips

Detailed checklist by Christine Laurence covering everything you need to consider when organising a conference. Tags: project management,

Lobbying workshop outline and resources

We’ve created a process guide to help facilitators design and lead a 1-2 hour participatory workshop on lobbying. The workshop draws on¬†resources developed by Lois Levy.¬† Tags: lobbying, strategy, workshop resources,

Lobbying your Member of Parliament

A brainstorm, role play and debriefing activity (developed by Peter from World Vision) to prepare to meet your member of Parliament. Tags: lobbying, workshop resources,

Media liaison

Workshop notes developed by Graham Jury, an organiser with the Save Happy Valley Coalition in their nonviolent campaign to prevent coal mining on the west coast of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s south island. Tags: coal and gas, communication, workshop resources,

Media training notes

A comprehensive media manual designed to help develop media management skills with examples of how to prepare for interviews and write press releases. Tags: communication, workshop resources,

Mind map: Preparing for recruiting

A brainstorming exercise to develop a recruitment plan. Tags: community organising,

Networking ideas

Introduction to the basics of networking. Why network, with whom and how. Also covers list building, virtual networking and maintaining effective networks. Tags:

Online activism: insights to guide social movement electronic communication

Twitter and social networking platforms such as Facebook definitely have a place in our community organising toolbox. But they can also be a fatal distraction, consuming people’s time and energy without creating the kind of power and momentum we need… Tags: digital campaigning,

Overview of police powers for protesting in Queensland

A comprehensive fact sheet providing the basic information you need to be aware of to protest peacefully, covering your legal rights and what you should do if you are arrested in Queensland. Tags: legals, nonviolence,

People bring numbers, time and skills

Handout with information from the CANVAS Core Curriculum to be utilised within the Mind map: Preparing for recruiting activity. Tags: community organising,

People sized strategy board game

Introduces participants to lobbying in an experiential way by drawing on existing experience, incorporating role play, and identifying lobbying as one of many tools and techniques for change. Tags: strategy, workshop resources,

Planning coalitions

A 7-part framework for organisers working in coalitions [more available online from] Tags: coalitions and alliances, community organising,

Recruitment workshop

A workshop for developing a shared framework of recruitment and recruiting skills, and an understanding of the importance of these in building a social movement. Tags: community organising, workshop resources,

Safeguarding your group

A guide to help activist groups plan to resist aggression and repression. Schwelk Action Wollongong (September 2006). Tags: backlash,

Sample workshop schedule: Recruiting

A sample agenda for a workshop aimed at building skills and confidence to recruit others into a social movement. Tags: community organising, workshop resources,

Stepping stones

An activity to elicit knowledge about strategy, and provide a group challenge and strengthening of team work. Tags:

Union community coalition comparison chart

Amanda Tattersall’s matrix contrasting ad hoc, support, mutual-support and deep coalitions according to six criteria. Tags: coalitions and alliances, community organising, unions,

Volunteer management

Workshop notes covering ways to effectively communicate with and work with volunteers. Tags: organisational development, teams,

Why do people join a movement?

An informative resource from CANVAS outlining various motivations for joining a movement. Tags: movement building,

Why do people join movements?

A brainstorming activity to develop participants’ understanding that individuals join movements and groups to fulfil particular needs. Tags: community organising, movement building,

Wild mountains campaign roleplay

A comprehensive role play outlining various scenarios in a fictitious development project and various stakeholder roles with the aim of developing participants’ environmental advocacy skills. Tags: strategy, workshop resources,