The web is chock-full of community organizing tools, resources, and guides. The biggest challenge is sorting through them all to find the sources that are truly valuable. Here are our picks for five websites with toolkit collections worth bookmarking.
The Orton Family Foundation hosts The Planning Tool Exchange, a free online database of community projects, activity guides, tools, and resources. With more than 200 listings the site could have easily become unwieldy and overwhelming, however it is actually pleasantly intuitive and easy to navigate due to the design which includes both a general search bar and the ability to filter by keyword, content type, tool type, project scale and more. A few of the resources that caught our eye included a comprehensive guide for community visionings, an asset mapping handbook, and the Why Here Why Now project, which used multimedia interviews to increase collaboration in a polarized town.
The Civic Activism Toolkit is an online directory of 29 innovative tools and approaches for civic activism from around the world. The toolkit was developed by Involve for the Building Change Trust, and includes tools like scenario workshops, participatory card games, and forum theatre.
This site hosted by The Change Agency contains a unique collection of more than 1,000 resources for activists and organizers including workshop resources, case studies, web links, blog posts, and articles. To peruse the vast array of resources, you can use the search box, view structured pages on key themes such as ‘strategy’ and ‘working in groups,’ or select from a list of tags for topics and resource types.
With over 7,000 pages, the Community Tool Box connects grassroots organizations, nonprofits, and individuals with practical information to assess, plan, evaluate, and sustain their efforts. Under the ‘Learn a Skill’ menu option, you can view step-by-step guidance for more than 300 different community-building skills or browse 16 toolkits, which offer shorter outlines for key tasks like developing a strategic plan or writing a grant. If you need additional guidance, the site also has a troubleshooting guide for common problems in community work, a simple model for taking action, a database of best practices, and free online courses.
Developed by Frog Design, the Collective Action Toolkit includes activities arranged into six categories, from building a group, to imagining new ideas, to planning change. The visually pleasing toolkit is intended to enable groups of people anywhere to organize, collaborate, create shared goals, and move beyond discussion to action.
Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter, where we’ll bring you a curated list of project inspiration websites.