Tools to Engage: Resources for Nonprofits

Welcome to Tools to Engage!

We’re so glad you’re here! Tools to Engage is an ever-changing compilation of the best resources from across the social sector, chosen for their particular focus on supporting constituent engagement and addressing systemic challenges, such as race, gender, and power inequities in the sector. These resources are aimed at organizational development experts, management support organizations, and internal and external consultants, but may be used by anyone who finds them useful.

The resources on this site are organized around categories aligned with the Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement (NICE) Guide, which offers information, tools, case studies and other resources to help nonprofit groups develop core competencies on constituent and community engagement. Use the “Type,” “Category,” and “Keyword” search functions below, or feel free to just browse this collection of over 100 resources designed to help you advance your social change goals.

Please consider commenting on individual tools or in the Forum to let us know your experience with these resources. Access to commenting and to the Forum is restricted to members, but it’s free and easy to sign up!

 

Movement Leadership Stool

The stool of movement leadership is a starting point to support the people driving the movements we need in today’s world. Sustainability is one leg that holds up effective movement leadership as a whole. Movement leaders thrive when they are part of collective spaces where they can build trust, deepen political analysis, ideate, and take risks. And because movement leaders function well beyond their organizations in a broader ecosystem, they need squads – people within and outside their organization playing diverse roles – to support them. Finally, movement leaders can be more effective when they can hone skills such as base building, conflict resolution, and narrative development.

Which leg does your organization and movement need to strengthen? If you are a funder, how do you already support movement leaders and what more could you do, particularly around centering sustainability? If you are working at a social change non-profit organization, how can you generate practices to create a culture of well-being? And, are there more legs that the stool needs?


Role in an Ecosystem Map

In our lives and as part of movements and organizations, many of us play different roles in pursuit of equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice. This map (to be used with the Reflection Guide for Mapping Roles in A Social Change Ecosystem) is a starting point to reflect on the roles we play in our social change ecosystem – whether that is a project team, an organization, a network, a neighborhood, an online community, a campus group or a movement. Together, the map and reflection guide can be used at an individual level to reflect, assess, and plan, as well as at staff and board retreats, team-building meetings, orientations, and strategy sessions. Often, this exercise works well if it is used at the start of a gathering or workshop. It can especially be helpful to re-align ourselves when we feel lost, confused, and uncertain in order to bring our fullest selves to the causes and movements that matter to us.


Reflection Guide for Mapping Roles in A Social Change Ecosystem

In our lives and as part of movements and organizations, many of us play different roles in pursuit of equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice. This reflection guide (to be used with the Role in an Ecosystem Map) is a starting point to reflect on the roles we play in our social change ecosystem – whether that is a project team, an organization, a network, a neighborhood, an online community, a campus group or a movement. Together, the map and reflection guide can be used at an individual level to reflect, assess, and plan, as well as at staff and board retreats, team-building meetings, orientations, and strategy sessions. Often, this exercise works well if it is used at the start of a gathering or workshop. It can especially be helpful to re-align ourselves when we feel lost, confused, and uncertain in order to bring our fullest selves to the causes and movements that matter to us.


Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 8: #OurNeighborhoods Anti-Displacement Toolkit

This is the eighth webinar in the Tools 2 Engage series and features Quinn Rhi of National CAPACD and Manisha Lance and Karimah Dillard of Raksha, Inc. Quinn presented the new #OurNeighborhoods Anti-Displacement toolkit, developed by National CAPACD to address gentrification and displacement, and walked us through the toolkit website. Then, Karimah and Manisha introduced us to Raksha, Inc., a Georgia-based nonprofit organization servicing the South Asian community. They discussed the intersections of housing, safety, affordability, and accessibility, and how these issues often result in gentrification and displacement. Raksha, Inc., though not defined by a framework of tenant or neighborhood organizing, is still an organization that makes use of the #OurNeighbhorhoods toolkit as a way to educate communities. At the end of the webinar, the guest speakers discussed the challenges they anticipate on the road ahead, particularly in regard to building leadership in their client populations and finding ways to engage folks who have limited time and capacity.

In case you missed the webinar, we’ve made it easy to watch a recording and download the slides.

Additional resources, organizations, and tools related to the webinar include:


#OurNeighborhoods Organizing Toolkit

#OurNeighborhoods is a network of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) grassroots organizations committed to addressing the issue of gentrification through neighborhood organizing. A project of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), #OurNeighborhoods builds power with low-income AAPI residents and youth who have been directly impacted by displacement. They created two toolkits, one for tenants and one for neighborhoods, as a resource for communities as they organize and build community power.


Constituent Voice: A Technical Note

Constituent Voice is a methodology developed by Keystone Accountability to enable organizations to improve results by optimizing their relationships with their constituents. Steps are 1) Designing; 2) Collecting; 3) Analyzing; 4) Closing the loop; 5) Course correcting


Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 7: Census, the Citizenship Question, and the Community and Organizational Response

This 60-minute webinar moderated by BMP’s Networking and Learning Manager TC Duong and featuring XP Lee Program Manager for Policy & Special Projects with the Minnesota Council on Foundations, Joseph Shoji Lachman ACRS Civic Engagement Program Manager with Asian Counseling and Referral Service, and Raima Roy from Asian Americans Advancing Justice. These speakers helped explain why being counted in the Census is so important, especially for historically undercounted communities, and how the Trump administration’s efforts to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census has erected further barriers to a full and inclusive count. During the webinar, participants also learned about how Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations and networks are organizing and mobilizing around Census 2020 and what shifts they have made to fight back against the citizenship question.

In case you missed the webinar, we’ve made it easy to watch a recording and download the slides.

The links and resources mentioned during the webinar include:


Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 6: Engaging Constituents, Addressing Root Causes: Food Banks and Beyond

This 60-minute Tools to Engage webinar features Randi Quackenbush and Lyndsey Lyman of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (FBST) and Alicia Swords, Associate Professor at Ithaca College. In it, Alicia shares some history and insights from her experience working with the University of the Poor and the Poor Peoples’ Campaign to root our conversation in a larger movement to end poverty. Then, Randi and Lyndsey talk about the Speakers Bureau model they’ve developed at FBST, as well as how they are thinking about and using popular/political education to build a shared analysis of the root causes of poverty and hunger. During the Q+A, participants engage around the question of how it is possible for non-profits in general (and food banks in particular) to address root causes and speak honestly about them given the many restraints we face, like funding and capacity.

The resources, organizations, and tools mentioned during the webinar include:


Tools to Engage Part 5: How Social Change Happens, The View From Detroit

How can service providers and organizing groups work together to shift power? Find out in this 60-minute webinar featuring Reverend Roslyn Bouier from the Brightmoor Connection Client Choice Food Pantry and Kea Mathis, Family Engagement Organizer from the Detroit People’s Platform. Rev Roslyn and Kea share insights from the work they are doing in Detroit, and the components that make their approach and partnership unique and justice-oriented. In particular, they explain how their partnership helps connect the dots between food insecurity and public policies that undermine families and put them further at risk, while building community leadership to shift power. Viewers will leave with concrete examples, tools, and next steps for integrating service and social change to address the root causes leading clients to seek services in the first place.


Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Tool (CROS)

A wide variety of cultural strengths exist within social service organizations. As our field strives to continuously enhance its cultural responsiveness while serving survivors, families, and communities, it is essential for organizations to recognize their own assets and challenges. The Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Tool (CROS) was created for this very purpose. Specially designed and validated for the social services field, this self-administered tool allows participants to:

  • Receive a customized snapshot depicting where their organization is on a developmental continuum of cultural responsiveness
  • Increase their understanding of their organizational strengths, as well as areas that may benefit from attention and improvement
  • Deepen their insight as to the way in which culturally-responsive practice is weaved throughout their organizations​​

Check out this video about the tool, too!