Tips - Organizing

Young people’s involvement and leadership is central to creating sustainable community change. But many community groups run into problems when they try to engage young people in their work. Here, we lay out solutions to some of the most common issues.
Images help bring your story to life and you can use them on almost all your promotional materials. If your program is just getting started, you can use stock photos. If you have your own, you can edit them using free tools available online.
Animated media offers a break from text and stills. You can create a video from photos you took at an event, or you can use a video camera to take some action shots and interviews of participants. If you’re interested in putting together a video, these tools can help you.
A website or blog can help you spread the word about your dialogues, post pictures and stories from your events, and share your success with your community and potential funders. The task of setting up and maintaining a website can seem daunting, but these tools will have you reaching out to your community in no time.  
While you know volunteers can benefit your program, the task of recruiting them can seem challenging. No doubt, people view their time as a well-guarded, precious resource and it can be hard to give that up. Check out these ten strategies to help you get organized and let people know they're making a difference so you can recruit more volunteers.
The most successful community-planning efforts involve residents as partners, from the early planning stage through to implementation.
Staying connected with participants and community members can help maintain the momentum of your program and should be part of your communications plan. Explore six ways to share information, along with examples of how other dialogue to change programs are using these communication tools.
During the 2012 election season, a New York Times article, “Academic ‘Dream Team’ Helped Obama’s Effort,” outlined several tactics that a team of social scientists used to help President Obama during his campaign. Whether or not your preferred candidate won the election, there are many techniques that we can use in organizing dialogue-to-change programs.
Engaging young people in community efforts can be easier said than done. Check out our list of ten common challenges, along with possible solutions you can implement right away.
As diverse we are racially, ethnically and culturally, we are also very diverse in how we learn. Check out these tips to help you develop discussion materials that will make your dialogues more inclusive of varying learning styles and literacy levels.
Many programs develop “fact sheets” to use along with their discussion guides. Find out what you should include in your fact sheet and where you can find information about your community.
Discussion guides are a key component of the dialogues. They help facilitators guide the conversations so that multiple perspectives are brought to the table, everyone feels heard, and the group develops meaningful action ideas. Whether you choose to write your own guide or modify existing materials, you’ll need a team dedicated to this project.
A guide to help create a communication plan to help your organization advance its goals.
Organizing dialogues across multiple neighborhoods can feel daunting, given the geographic expanse being covered, along with the number of residents you are trying to involve. Here are some tips to help make the process easier.
Tips to help facilitate small group dialogues to help your community in its effort to champion change.
Advance planning can help any program run smoothy. This is a review of some things to keep in mind when organizing your dialogues.
A guide on how to host a kickoff event to call attention to the program and build enthusiasm.
To have effective community conversations, it’s important to get as many different kinds of people involved as possible. Use these tips to recruit dialogue participants from every part of your community.
Raising funds will help expand your outreach, involve more people in the program and tell the story of the impact on your community. Use this guide to help you think about budgeting and fundraising.
How to bring new members into a coalition and keep them up to speed without spending a lot of time backtracking.
It takes lots of time and energy to pull together a dialogue to change effort so you need to be sure that you’ve identified the right topic at the beginning of your program. It has to be something that all kinds of people in your community care so much about that they will give up some of their time to address the issue and work together to find solutions.
This list covers the things that you need to plan for as a coalition. Some tasks can be handled by one or two individuals; others require a team effort.
Once you establish a coalition, you want to make sure that members work well together and they stay involved in the group. There are some key elements that make coalitions work well together.
In dialogue-to-change programs, it’s essential to bring people together who represent the diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences in your community. To successfully recruit diverse participants and move to action, the program needs the leadership of a strong, diverse coalition.

Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.