The Friends of the Earth Local Groups Handbook is an excellent introduction to organsing effective groups. They also have a guide to engaging different audiences. In fact their How To series of briefing sheets gives top tips in all aspects group organising and campaigning. have a browse!
The People & Planet Groups Guide is aimed more at student groups but has useful resources for any group.
Seeds for Change has numerous briefing sheets on many aspects of group organising including making changes in your group, and encouraging people to join and stay involved, as well as a booklet on dealing with conflict in groups.
Do It Yourself: A handbook for changing the world is full of inspiration and all available to read online
Seeds for Change has numerous briefing sheets on many aspects of having effective group meetings, facilitation, making your meetings accessible, taking minutes, and a whole book on consensus based decision making.
Rhizome also has extensive guides on facilitation and using Open Space: a method of facilitating events that bring people together around a common theme, where the agenda and direction of the discussion is lead by the participants.
You can also find more resources on using Open Space techniques on the Open Space World site.
Campaignstrategy.org is former Greenpeace campaigner Chris Rose’s site. Chris is author of ‘How to Win Campaigns” this site has lots of top tips including his 12 basic guidelines for running successful campaigns.
If your organisation is a charity (or even if it isn’t) then the NCVO’s Good Guide to Campaigning and Influencing is good.
Seeds for Change’s Campaign Planning Guide is another excellent primer
For lobbying resources:
TheyWorkForYou lets you find out what your MP, MSP or MLA is doing in your name, read debates, written answers, see what’s coming up in Parliament, and sign up for email alerts when there’s past or future activity on someone or something you’re interested in.
Online campaigning and social media
We got pretty excited when we found Green Memes‘s awesome guide The Most Amazing Online Organising Guide Ever! and really recommend you check it out. DigiActive’s Introduction to Facebook Activism is also really useful. And Fairsay has lots of blog articles and tips on online campaigning for NGOs.
Check out Project Dirt – a new community-focused social network which aims to connect, promote and resour
VisionOnTv has created easy templates for rapid-turnaround citizen video news reports which can be made by absolute beginners.
With the advent of social media the way that journalists gather their information has changed somewhat and campaigning guides are still catching up with that. But the age old skills of pitching your story through press releases, following up with phone calls and learning the skills for giving good interviews are still essential and there are lots of good guides out there.
A good place to start is George Monbiot’s Activist’s Guide to Exploiting the Mainstream Media which, although it does still refer to sending your press release in by fax, is an excellent guide, opening with a great rant about the inherent bias of the media and giving you totally invaluable insider tips.
There’s an absolute wealth of public speaking tips from beginners to experts on the Six Minutes site. It’s a very ‘top ten tips’ type site with a lot modelled on TED talks but has a lot of guidance on everything from using visuals to overcoming fear and getting over habits like going over time.
Friends of the Earth’s How to win series, again has guidance on pretty much everything including public speaking. We’ve also been sent this very handy collection of online resources to help your public speaking skills.
Direct Action Resources
The Direct Action Handbook was produced in 2010 for the Climate Camp and has lots of useful tips on action planning, affinity groups and tactics.
Seeds for Change has plenty of resources on all aspects of taking direct action.
Road Raging is the 90’s road protest movement is pretty old now – but lots of the info in it is not. It certainly won’t tell you how to use social media to mobilise the masses but it has tons of still relevant information on protest tactics, action camps, and sustaining campaigns.
AT Coop have lots of resources on planning action camps and events as well as stuff available to hire.
Bike Based Campaigning
Local activist Bill Phelps, a founding member of the Rickshaw Freedom Riders, has produced a couple guides to campaigning on yer bike;
Here Bill talks through the practicalities of cycling long distances in the name of social justice. From pre-ride planning to best practice on the road, it’s more tricky than you might think…
Making Bike Banners
If you want your group to make a visual impact you’re going to need custom banners. Here Bill gives a step-by-step guide to mass producing bike banners so your group can look the part.
Green and Black Cross provide legal support and legal observers on actions and have an active group in Leeds. Their website has a ‘bust card’ giving rights in case of arrest or stop and search and their resources page has lots of invaluable guides.
Online Security Resources
Tech Tools for Activism is a gateway to a set of tools to help campaign and organise more securely online. These include email, email lists, websites / blogs, instant messaging and VPN (virtual private networks). They also provide online help workshops on how to use these tools as well as a 32 page printed booklet.
Sustaining Yourself Resources
Activist Trauma Support have some useful resources on avoiding burnout. If this is something you are struggling with then Counselling for Social Change may be able to help and the Sustaining Resistance: Empowering Renewal courses offer a chance to explore these issues in depth.
There are some local funding opportunities listed on the Doing Good Leeds site run by Voluntary Action Leeds, who also offer affordable training in areas such as funding and finance and have some training bursaries.
Funding Central is a good starting point for finding out about what grants are available to your organisation
Small grassroots action groups may also want to look at the Edge Fund and Lush Charity Pot. And Seeds for Change has a funding guide for these types of groups which covers not just grant funding but also covers ideas for donations, benefit gigs etc.