We define community organising as “the process of supporting individuals to come together to improve their communities by putting pressure on institutions, businesses and governments to act. Community organisers work to identify local leaders, bring together local groups and develop campaigns and actions about local issues.”
For the past two years, as part of our Building Local Activism programme (supported by the Big Lottery Fund), The Young Foundation has been working with organisations working within the above spirit to grow community organising across England. We aimed to scale the work of Church Action on Poverty, Citizens UK and People Can into towns and cities they were not already operating in to enable more communities and people to get involved.
To do so, we provided £120,000 of grant funding for staff salaries, events, training, external affairs support and specialist evaluation support, alongside a bespoke package of venture support to clarify vision, identify routes to scale, diagnose issues and identify where capacity needed strengthening.
Our programme focused on growing sustainable models of community organising. This report brings together our learning and makes key points for strengthening community organising in the UK.