Equipping nonprofits to advance social change

Movement Building Resources

At Building Movement Project, we work to strengthen the role of US nonprofits as they build a movement toward progressive social change.  While our focus is working with other organizations to help them integrate social change activities into their work, we have compiled a group of resources that may be useful for those coming to us who are looking for information about movement building in general.  Most of what you’ll find here is historical in nature, and is meant to provide you with a background in social movement history, as well as connect you to other people and organizations whose primary focus is on movement building.

Nonprofits and Social Change
If you are associated with a nonprofit or service provider that is interested in increasing its social change work, you’ve come to the right place.  BMP works to help nonprofits extend their work beyond programs and direct service delivery to social change and advocacy on behalf of clients.  On this page you’ll find some of our resources and tools for how organizations can work toward building a movement for change.

Theory and Definition of Terms
On this page we outline what we think are the 5 basic stages of movement building, and provide you with additional resources on movement building theory and definitions of terms that are frequently used in the study of social change.

History of Social Movements in the United States
The history of the United States provides rich examples for social movements and movement building.  On this page we provide resources on some of the most important social movements in the US from the past 100 years, as well as some current movements that are working to change the social, political, and/or economic landscape.

Current Movement Building Organizations
There are some groups we’d like to highlight that are currently building movements in their communities.  Head to their websites for more information about what they’re doing and how they’re achieving change. 

Other Resources
While the purpose of this page is mainly to give you a brief outline of social movements in the United States and point you to groups currently dedicated to movement building, here you’ll find some important texts on social movements and movement building theory that we think will be useful for more in-depth study.


This page is a work in progress. If you have any questions, comments, or additional resources that you think might be helpful, please contact resources@buildingmovement.org

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