This list compiles suggestions originally crowd-sourced via a Dec 2019 FB request for fundamental and foundational reading on organising and campaigning. List collated by Katie Sheehan


Building a Movement to End: The New Jim Crow, by Daniel Hunter
This accessible organising guide puts tools in your hands to help you and your group understand how to make meaningful, effective change.

Organizing Cools the Planet: Tools and reflections to navigate the Climate Crisis, By Hilary Moore & Joshua Kahn Russell
Organizing Cools the Planet offers a challenge to all concerned about the ecological crisis: find your frontline. This booklet weaves together stories, analysis, organizing tools, and provocative questions, to offer a snapshot of the North American Climate Justice movement and provide pathways for readers to participate in it. This booklet is for anyone who wants to build a movement with the resiliency to navigate one of the most rapid transitions in human history.

Beautiful trouble: A toolbox for revolution
Beautiful trouble exists to make nonviolent revolution irresistible by providing an ever-growing suite of strategic tools and trainings that inspire movements for a more just, healthy, and equitable world.

Organizers Handbook – Organizing: People, power, change, by Dr. Marshall Ganz
This guide aims to support you in developing your capacity for effective community organizing. The goal is to provide you with an introduction to organizing and encourage you to explore answers to the following questions: Why am I called to leadership in my community? How will I move others to join me? How will we develop strategy and structure our work together? And how will we achieve our goals? It also breaks down this definition further by describing the five key practices of organizing: telling stories, building relationships, structuring teams, strategizing, and acting. Taken together, these five practices form the basis of the organizing framework laid out in this guide.

ChangeMakers Podcast: A podcast telling stories about people changing the world, hosted by Amanda Tattersall
There are 140 million people engaged in social change work across the globe. These are the ChangeMakers. The ChangeMakers podcast is a short series podcast that tells stories about people who are striving for social change across the world. Story by story, lessons about what works and what doesn’t work in the world of social change are teased out. ChangeMakers is also designed to help people who are involved in social change – by allowing them to learn from others. The goal is that the ChangeMakers podcast helps us all become better at making change, in a world that needs progressive change more than ever.

ChangeMaker Chat with Hahrie Han, by Amanda Tattersall
Hahrie Han is one of the world’s top researchers studying ways of strengthening civic engagement. We explore the different strategies you can use to build people power and the journey she took to become one of the world’s top researchers in this space.

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Organizing Can Change Everything, by Becky Bond & Zack Exley 
Rules for Revolutionaries is a bold challenge to the political establishment and the “rules” that govern campaign strategy. It tells the story of a breakthrough experiment conducted on the fringes of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign: a technology-driven team empowered volunteers to build and manage the infrastructure to make 75 million calls, launch 8 million text messages, and hold more than 100,000 public meetings—in an effort to put Bernie’s insurgent campaign over the top.

Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals, by Saul Alinsky
Rules for Radicals is Saul Alinsky’s impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.” Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.

How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century, by Hahrie Han
Why are some civic associations better than others at getting–and keeping–people involved in activism? From MoveOn.org to the National Rifle Association, Health Care for America Now to the Sierra Club, membership-based civic associations constantly seek to engage people in civic and political action. Using in-person observations, surveys, and field experiments, this book compares organizations with strong records of engaging people in health and environmental politics to those with weaker records. To build power, civic associations need quality and quantity (or depth and breadth) of activism. They need lots of people to take action and also a cadre of leaders to develop and execute that activity. Yet, models for how to develop activists and leaders are not necessarily transparent. This book provides these models to help associations build the power they want and support a healthy democracy. In particular, the book examines organizing, mobilizing, and lone wolf models of engagement and shows how highly active associations blend mobilizing and organizing to transform their members’ motivations and capacities for involvement. It is a story about how associations can blend both online and offline strategies to build their activist base.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini PhD
In this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion—explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations. You’ll learn the six universal principles of influence and how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and, just as importantly, how to defend yourself against dishonest influence attempts: Reciprocation; Commitment and Consistency; Social Proof; Liking; Authority; and, Scarcity. Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles effectively to amplify your ability to change the behaviour of others.

Why are Social Causes Easy to Launch but Hard to Win?, by Zeynep Tufekci
These days, all it takes to start a protest is a cell phone, says professor Zeynep Tufekci. But does the ease of social media impede social movements from making big gains?

How to start a Movement, by Derek Sivers
With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two).

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip and Dan Heath
Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the Heath brothers reveal the anatomy of ideas that “stick” and explain sure-fire methods for making ideas stickier, such as violating schemas, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating “curiosity gaps.” Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath
Switch asks the following question: Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle, say the Heaths, is a conflict that’s built into our brains. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people—employees and managers, parents and nurses—have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results. In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.

Decolonising Solidarity, by Clare Land
A site full of resources and ideas put together by Clare Land, a long-time supporter of Indigenous struggles. The site aims to inspire, support, trouble and give direction to the work of people who support Aboriginal struggles. If you are relatively experienced, or have a specific skill to offer, then you can sign up to the database and it may be possible to direct you to an Aboriginal-led project you can support. You can also sign up to find out about new resources, ideas and actions.

Nonprofit AF, by Vu Le

Purpose Driven Campaigning: 40 key principles for growing social movements
Australian Progress has prepared a 40-point summary of Pastor Rick Warren’s bestselling book The Purpose Driven Church to assist our partners, fellows and friends working towards environmental and social change. The resource is based on Rick Warren’s experience of growing his church, Saddleback, from scratch to 20,000 members attending every week. Saddleback is now the eighth biggest church in the United States. Ultimately, we recommend you read the book itself – but here is a summary of the key lessons that the Australian Progress team have identified as transferrable from building churches to building sustainable non-profit organisations and mass support for progressive campaigns.

When does Activism Become Powerful?, by Hahrie Han

Strategy and Soul: a campaigner’s tale of fighting billionaires, corrupt officials, and Philadelphia casinos, by Daniel Hunter
When Daniel Hunter and Jethro Heiko began planning at a kitchen table, they knew that their movement would be outspent by hundreds of millions of dollars. They were up against powerful elected officials, private investigators, hired thugs, and the state supreme court. Even before they started, newspapers concluded the movement had no chance. This riveting David versus Goliath story is a rare first-person narrative, giving unparalled access to the behind-the-scenes of campaigns: the fervent worrying in late-night meetings, yelling matches behind church benches, and last-minute action planning outside judges’ chambers.

Climate Resistance Handbook Or, I was part of a climate action. Now what?, by Daniel Hunter
If you’re wondering how to build a powerful, strategic movement that can make big wins for climate action, this is your guide. The Climate Resistance Handbook brings together a wealth of learnings from the climate justice movement. It starts with breaking social myths about how social movements win. Then dives into campaign tools and frameworks you can use. It closes with how to grow your group and use creative, impactful actions and tactics.
This book is full of stories of climate warriors from around the globe and historical movements. It’s filled with practical wisdom and inspiration to make you more effective, more active, and ready for what’s next.

Why campaigns, not protests, get the goods, by George Lakey
It’s time to retire one-off protests in favour of direct action campaigns to maximize the chance of winning victories. This article was originally published on Waging Nonviolence.

Elements of Campaign Strategy, by James Whelan
The Change Agency provide a range of tools and training materials in the area of campaign strategy, including the very comprehensive Campaign Strategy Guide available to purchase in hard copy or download. This overview of the elements of campaign strategy is offered in the interest of clarifying language shared by campaigners. It is available as a printer friendly PDF to download via the page link.

Moving the rock Shifting power for sustained change, by Holly Hammond
This article explores the ‘moving the rock’ concept put forward by Daniel Hunter in his book Strategy and Soul. The concept has been valuable for campaigners and organisations reassessing their theory of change and particularly how they engage politicians and the supporters.