Theory of Change is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context.
It works backwards from your long-term highest goals, back to practical first steps.
Here are 10 steps with proven methodologies on how to craft a successful social movement strategy:
1 Start peaceful
Here’s the evidence that it’s more successful!
2 Understand your environment
4 Find your pillar of focus
(here is a 350.org training around the PillarsOfSupport)
5 Create an Influence Map
and re-frame the conversation based on the values
of your audiences and be mindful of polarization.
6 Do a Social Landscape Analysis
7 Create SMART goals & plan ahead …but stay agile
(see Campaign Planning for detailed processes and tips for each action)
A very good Step-by-Step Guide to Direct Action. What It Is, What It’s Good for, How It Works.
Wrap your campaign in an good story!
8 Be in it for the long game
Find out more here.
9 Move your activists up the Engagement Pyramid
Here’s another video taking you through an example Exercise (topic: HIV) and here the template:
The Commons Social Change Library is an online collection of educational resources on campaign strategy, community organising, digital campaigning, communications and media, working effectively in groups, fundraising, diversity and inclusion and much more.
Bonus: good Sunrise Movememts post to a 4 step plan to build up local activism/power
Sunrise Movement 4-year plan via Frontloading
Example Theory of Change- Climate Outreach
Our theory of change sets out why the work we do matters, and how we’re going to get from where we are to where we need to be. Why is building a social mandate for climate action so important? We’re convinced we cannot tackle climate change without broad-based public engagement.
Responding to climate change requires accelerated action across society and around the world, by placing people at the heart of tackling this critical issue.
Technological advances as well as regulations, policies and laws are necessary for tackling climate change but these won’t work in the long term without the active engagement and buy-in of citizens. This informed consent for action is what’s known as a social mandate – and we believe it’s how real change happens. Download
First they ignore you,Mahatma Gandhi
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win.