Group Development

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”

-Margaret Mead

This section will include resources on how to start a Local Post Carbon Group, how to hold meetings and deal with group dynamics, how to talk about Relocalization within the group, how to fundraise and engage the local community.


If we want to effect massive change in our communities, cities and locales, communication and collaboration are vital. The epistemological root of these terms: the “commun” in communication and community is “to share”. Through sharing information, concern and activity with others we are able to instigate interest and spread ideas and activities around this subject.

An element of the Relocalization Network is, as you might have guessed: networking. This initially involves communicating, contacting and locating those people in your community that share an interest and possibly ‘expertise’ on the issues of Peak Oil and Relocalization. The initial purpose of these meetings will be to allay any feelings of isolation. Holding meetings is a way of bringing together people from a variety of different backgrounds and fostering an ongoing dialogue about the implications of Peak Oil and climate change and potential local community responses.

In order to achieve our various goals we need to learn to work effectively as a group. Forming a group of well intentioned citizens is the first step. The success and longevity of your group will depend on how individuals work together. Successful groups work well because they develop strong skills in communication, decision making, deep democracy (so that every voice is heard) and group dynamics. There may be times when it is necessary to facilitate and participate in meetings that bring together a large number of people, to deal with conflicting ideas or plan strategies and campaigns. It will also be necessary to sustain these groups with practicalities such as funds and resources (see Fundraising section) We hope that these resources will provide insight and tools into how to come together, share ideas and plan for action.


Check out:


Books

-Participatory Action-

Games for Actors and Non-Actors by Augusto Boal
Boal, Augusto. 1992. Games for Actors and Non-Actors. London: Routledge.

Participation Works by the New Economics Foundation
Various authors. 1998. Participation Works: 21 techniques of community participation for the 21st century. London: New Economics Foundation.

The Deep Democracy of Open Forums: How to Transform Organizations in Communities by Arnold Mindell
Mindell, Arnold. 2002. The Deep Democracy of Open Forums: How to Transform Organizations in Communities. Hampton Roads Publishing Company Inc.

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-Group Facilitation & Decision-making-

Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making by Sam Kaner with Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, Sarah Fisk, Duane Berger
Kaner, Sam, Lind, Lenny, Toldi, Catherine, Fisk, Sarah and Duane Berger. 1996. Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers.

The Skilled Facilitator by Roger Schwarz
Schwarz, Roger. 2002. The Skilled Facilitator. Jossey-Bass.

The Art of Facilitation: How to Create Group Synergy by Dale Hunter, Ann Bailey and Bill Taylor
Hunter, Dale, Bailey, Ann and Bill Taylor. 1995. The Art of Facilitation: How to Create Group Synergy. Fisher Books.

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-Networking & Building Connections-

How to Make Collaboration Work: Powerful Ways to Build Consensus, Solve Problems, and Make Decisions by David Straus, Thomas C. Layton
Straus, David and Thomas C. Layton. 2002. How to Make Collaboration Work: Powerful Ways to Build Consensus, Solve Problems, and Make Decisions. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

The Collaboration Challenge: How Nonprofits and Businesses Succeed Through Strategic Alliances by James E. Austin
Austin, James E. 2000. The Collaboration Challenge: How Nonprofits and Businesses Succeed Through Strategic Alliances. Jossey-Bass.

Pragmatics of Community Organization (3rd Edition) by Bill Lee
Lee, Bill. 1999. Pragmatics of Community Organization (3rd Edition). Mississauga: Common Act Press. (www.commonact.com)

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-Fundraising & Accounting-

Fundraising for Non-Profit Groups: How to Get Money from Corporations, Foundations, and Government by Joyce Young, Ken Wyman, Charles Jaffe
Young, Joyce, Wyman, Ken and Charles Jaffe. 1995. Fundraising for Non-Profit Groups: How to Get Money from Corporations, Foundations, and Government. Brampton, ON: Self-Counsel Press.

Fundraising for Nonprofits: How to Build a Community Partnership by P. Burke Keegan
Keegan, P. Burke. 1994. Fundraising for Nonprofits: How to Build a Community Partnership. Collins.

How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters by Mal Warwick
Warwick, Mal. 2001. How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters. Jossey-Bass.

Successful Fundraising: A Complete Handbook for Volunteers and Professionals by Joan Flanagan
Flanagan, Joan Successful. 1999. Fundraising: A Complete Handbook for Volunteers and Professionals. McGraw-Hill.

Effective Fundraising For Nonprofits: Real World Strategies That Work by Ilona M. Bray
Bray, Ilona M. 2005. Effective Fundraising For Nonprofits: Real World Strategies That Work. Berkeley, CA: NOLO.

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Websites

-Community Building-

TimeBanks USA - Weaving community one hour at a time
www.timebanks.org

For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one Time Dollar. Then you have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you. It's that simple. Yet it also has profound effects. Time Banks change neighborhoods and whole communities. Time Banking is a social change movement in 22 countries and six continents.

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Toolkits

-Fundraising Toolkit-

Please take a look at our new Fundraising Toolkit that is attached to the bottom of this page. Please note: We are currently in the process of developing this toolkit and will have a more complete version finished by September 2006. In the meantime, please let us know what you think by emailing your feedback to members@postcarbon.org.

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Have resources that you'd like to share? Please send us an email.


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Fundraising toolkit July 2006.pdf271.57 KB
Fundraising toolkit templates June 2006.doc42 KB