Toolbox for Successful Movement


December 8, 2022

Non-violent movements have certain aspects and elements that are crucial to their success. From making sure that you can fund the activities of the movement and negotiate effectively, to ensuring you protect your network and remain inclusive, we cover some of the most relevant tools needed for founders and participants to accomplish the goals set out. Effective strategies need to be implemented from the beginning in order to make the movement successful – and adapted to various stages of a movements cycle. The basic building blocks of organizing- and importantly preserving – a successful movement are explained in the videos below. Let’s get started!

Fundraising 101

The number one question we receive from activists is how to fundraise – especially when no one knows who you are, and you are just starting out! This video explains five steps to get your fundraising underway and is particularly helpful for a movement in its early stages. It covers starting from involving your network, to making sure all those donors can visualize where their support is going, to celebrating your success.
Afterall, everyone loves a good reason for a party!

Negotiation – The Inevitable Ending to Non-Violent Movements

Whether it is for a non-violent movement or pretty much any aspect of your life – having good negotiation skills is a great asset and comes in handy when you are making considerable progress in your movement and are getting close to implementing change. Our workshop blends the analysis of historically successful and unsuccessful negotation outcomes with an academic perspective from experts in the field and case studies we have worked on in the past to make sure you are ready to handle all the tough compromises that come your way.

Grassroots Movements and Climate Change

Most people are familiar with the effort governments and big corporation put into sustainability – from promoting clean energy to the much-loathed paper straws that are now a familiar sight at every café franchise. However, the key to boosting global environmental movements may not be big corporations or governments, but rather developing movement building skills to help an already mobilizing band of young people refusing to pay for the actions of previous generations- and save the earth while they’re at it.

Activism in Pandemic

Many authoritarian governments used the emergency powers granted through a pandemic as a way to track opponents and limit democratic freedoms. However, while this posed some challenges, many movements adapted their advocacy to the public health measures in place and were able to still reach people from all corners of the globe. Many of us remember viral protests that were unique and memorable while brining attention to important issues that we may not have heard of otherwise! This video highlights how pandemic-era movements successfully modified their tactics and what we can learn from them.

Three Elements for Non-violent Movements

The first element is the vision you have for the movement, which needs to be something that people can relate to and want to see. This is followed by having a plan to implement the vision into reality across the different stages the movement goes through. As the saying goes – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Last, but not least – we have non-violent discipline. It is vital that this is a clear and distinguishing factor of the movement.

The Journey

Starting the journey to building a successful movement is no small feat! Here, we outline three steps to successfully completing this journey. Step one is having a clear end goal and mission statement to guide your movement in the right direction from the beginning. This is followed by mapping your journey – you want to clearly understand how the target community will look after you achieve your goals. Finally, gather your team! This is not a one-person journey and recruitment is an important part of it.

Visual Communication

Despite doing everything right and having great strategies, some movements are still unsuccessful because they fail to communicate their vision effectively. To avoid this, you need to successfully inspire your audience to get involved and make them have the desired emotional reaction to your message. A strong brand identity is needed, one which aligns with the movement’s purpose and fits well with the message and goals that you want to achieve. This workshop explores how to do this effectively using different aspects of the movement and highlights successful examples that have done this admirably.

Cyber Security for Activists as individuals

Many of us have our entire lives on our phones and computers. While this has made many things easier, it also comes with its own set of problems such as cyber security breaches. Having all of our data in one place is dangerous, and you don’t want information about you or your movement falling into the wrong hands! Digital security training and knowing what to look out for in a cyber breach are important aspects of building and protecting a movement.

Cyber Security for Movements and Organizations

Just like individuals, organizations are also susceptible to dangerous cyber-attacks that can be extremely damaging. Organizations protect critical data and infrastructure by having cyber security frameworks in place to minimize the risk of cyber-attacks and data theft. This can be done by outsourcing cyber security experts that meet the specific needs of that organization, educating employees on how they can minimize the risk of cyber-attacks or going big and having a full-on department that monitors all of the digital activity.

Women in Activism

Women are an essential part of activism – and their incredible impact on movements has been felt around the globe. Despite this, there have been many incidents where their roles have been not been given the recognition they deserve – with men put in the spotlight instead. Movements need to be inclusive and bring people from different backgrounds and perspectives –the participation of women is a step in the right direction to achieve this and will play an important role in getting more people involved.

Transition process – Now What?

Having your movement succeed is wonderful – but it doesn’t stop there, and the transition period is important to making sure the movement remains successful in the long term. Once change has come, it is important for non-violent movements to hold the people in power accountable. Furthermore, advocacy that makes sure the whole society is benefiting from the change is important – and activists must continue to ensure that inclusivity is prioritized during the transition. Finally, activists must not be afraid to get involved in the political institutions and continue to advocate from within – fighting to make them strong and independent tools of democracy.