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Trainings for activists

Training, workshops, consulting for activist movements
11 min read
Last update: Nov 19, 2023
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In this article, you will find a list of more than 70 organisations around the globe. They can provide IRL and online trainings, workshops and facilitation to your activist group.

Article quality: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)

On the Activist Handbook website, you can find hundreds of guides for activists. Sometimes though, it is nice to be able to get together in real life with fellow activists and get training from an experienced organiser. In this article we list training collectives that can provide various types of support to help make your campaign a success.

List of training organisations

International 🌍

The following organisations have trainers in several countries:

  • Mobilisation Lab: "We guide change-makers to design nimble, people-powered advocacy campaigns using participatory approaches that deliver bigger wins and transform organisations.

  • Training for Change: “All of our workshops are rooted in our Direct Education approach. Our trainers center the group, building upon dynamics in the room and participants’ own experience to introduce new content and help the group access their own wisdom. Many of our public workshops are “training of trainers”.”

  • Beautiful Trouble: "Our global network includes a deep bench of seasoned trainers and facilitators, primed to deliver trainings and curricula in strategic planning, core organizing principles, nonviolent discipline and creative action design, all in a highly experiential framework built on Beautiful Rising’s core values of popular education. Trainings range from a two-hour introductory webinar to a week-long intensive, and are always tailored to the needs of the participating groups."

  • Social Movement Technologies: "A non-profit/NGO providing organizing strategy, training and campaign support to build people power and win in the digital age."

  • The Good Lobby: They provide free training and resources by matching your organisation by change-making experts, specifically tailored to your needs.

  • School of Transnational Activism

  • European Activism Incubator

  • Institute for Change Leaders: Canada based organisation that “teaches the skills that organizers, activists and campaigners need to win social change. Our core curriculum comes from Marshall Ganz, a Harvard professor who codified the relationship-building organizational framework we teach after years of organizing with the Civil Rights and United Farm Workers movements.”

  • The Yes Men: They work together with schools to train students to make a difference through creative tactics.

  • Climate 2025

  • Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW): They have various training programmes, such as the Activist Training Institute.

  • Social Practice: “The Social Practice is an ideologically-driven consultancy based in the US and Europe. We help those working for big change tostrategize, communicate, and organize at scale.”

  • Resist Renew (Twitter): We are a collective of friends; activists; artists; and radical educators developing and running participatory workshops, courses and spaces for discussion.

  • CommonEcologies (Twitter): A school for lively movements in times of socio-ecological crisis, with online courses and live encounters.

  • Nonprofit Professional Employees Union

  • Organising for Power (Twitter): A training program for organizers worldwide, led by Jane McAlevey, co-hosted by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

  • Ulex Project (Twitter): Supporting social movement impact and resilience across Europe (Spain/Catalunya, UK, Turkey, Belgium, France)

  • Regenerative Activism

  • Advaya: A global platform for transformative education that sits at the intersection of ecology, wellbeing, and community.

  • Reframe (Twitter): Bringing together strategists, creatives, leaders, dreamers and technology to move narratives for liberation.

  • International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, ICNC (Twitter): We support research, develop educational resources, & share knowledge about how nonviolent civil resistance movements win rights, freedom, & justice

  • Canvas (Twitter): Center for Applied NonViolent Actions and Strategies - founded by Srdja Popovic

  • The Social Change Agency: "From grassroots campaigns to established organisations, we’ll work with you to develop the tools, techniques and networks you need to create lasting social impact."

  • The Hum: provides practical guidance for decentralised organisations.

  • AORTA: The Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance is a worker-owned co-op supporting grassroots and social justice groups to grow their capacity.

  • Organisational Misbehaviourists: corporate trainers focussed on psychological safety and collective wisdom

  • RAD.cat: Research Action Design (RAD) uses community-led research, collaborative design of technology and media, and secure digital strategies to build the power of grassroots social movements.

  • NetChange: distributed organising campaign trainers

  • Round Sky Solutions: a worker owned cooperative offering online or in-person training and support for collaborative meetings, decision-making, clarifying roles, strategic planning, and innovative solutions to the challenges of self-organization.

  • Evolutesix: Programmes for startups and established companies on deploying an integrated legal + roles and tasks + developmental practices, based on the book Rebuild above. Focus on regenerative startups.

  • Effective Collective: Kavana Tree Bressen is an experienced trainer and facilitator for a wide range of groups oriented toward horizontal power; website includes an extensive library of articles and handouts.

  • European Community Organizing Network (ECON): We help community organizers and organizations develop their strategic practice.

  • Common Ecologies (Twitter): "We organize courses, discussions, encounters, co-learning processes and programmes, and make podcasts. We work for people, groups and organizations that struggle (or want to struggle) for socio-ecological transformation and justice. Our work is based out of different locations in Europe (mostly Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy at the moment), linking to a network of allies."

  • Leading Change Network (Twitter): We're a global community working for local and systemic change. We exist to develop civic leadership, organizations and campaigns to change the world.

  • Civil Society Academy: Based in Germany, Ethiopia and India, a network driven by a passion for social justice.

Europe 🇪🇺

International training organisations with a focus on Europe:

  • IGLYO Activist Academy: "We offer a skills-based training programme for young people between 18 and 30 at the beginning of their activist careers who are passionate about activism, advocacy and learning, and have a strong interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) rights."

Australia 🇦🇺

Canada 🇨🇦

  • Tools for Change (Twitter): "A project of OPIRG Toronto, Earthroots and Greenpeace CA, we help you develop skills to advocate for social change"

Germany 🇩🇪

👉 Trainings organisations in Germany can be found on the German translation of this page.

Netherlands 🇳🇱

👉 Trainings organisations in the Netherlands can be found on the Dutch translation of this page.

Schotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  • SCALP: Legal training

  • Tripod (Twitter): Co-op offering training, facilitation, conflict mediation and support for movements for social, economic and environmental justice.

United Kingdom 🇬🇧

  • Seeds for Change (Twitter): "We provide training and workshops for co-ops, campaigns and community projects that are working for social and ecological justice."

  • Navigate (Twitter): “Navigate is a team of experienced facilitators and trainers. We facilitate meetings, run workshops and mediate conflicts for groups and organisations working towards social and environmental justice across the UK. Our team can help you to work better together, explore power dynamics, and find a way through challenges and disagreements. We can support you to cultivate sustainable working practices, make stronger collaborative decisions, design your strategy and develop your group's processes. Navigate used to be known as Seeds for Change Oxford.”

  • Turning the Tide: “We connect with Quakers and civil society networks and organisations to create positive change through imaginative, active nonviolence and civil resistance.”

  • Tipping Point UK (Twitter): We help UK grassroots groups build people power and take action to tip the scales towards climate justice.

  • Ella Baker School of Organising (Twitter): We are training an army of union, community and social movement organisers for social change

  • Act Build Change (Twitter)

  • Social Change Initiative (Twitter) They collaborate with activists, policy makers and funders to deliver lasting social change in Northern Ireland, Martin O'Brien is director.

  • M2 Consultants (Twitter)

  • NEON: "We offer hands-on support and training for campaigners, organisers, communications and operations teams working across social movements. Our programmes reach into the foundations, strategies, and outward functions of what makes organisations sustainable."

  • Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK): "At SMK, we believe anyone can be a force for change. Our training courses are designed to give people the knowledge, skills and confidence to effect change as well as build stronger teams and organisations."

United States 🇺🇸

  • The Resilient Activist: Kansas-based non-profit fostering resilience in the face of eco-anxiety. Offers evidence-backed activist training. In-person and online live workshops + asynchronous learning.

  • Building Movement Project: New York based, offers training, consulting and webinars

  • Movement School (Twitter): Cultivating the next generation of leaders and organizers to mobilize grassroots engagement in the democratic process

  • ACM Strategies (Twitter): We help organizations and leaders win by educating, empowering, and turning workers into activists. Proud to be a women-led team.

  • People's Action (Twitter): National grassroots organizing network. We build power for the multiracial working class. Also check out their member organisations.

  • Center of Political Education, CPE (Twitter): A resource for political organizations on the left, progressive social movements, the working class, and people of color in California.

  • Momentum (Twitter): We train organizers in the craft of building+sustaining movements at scale.

  • Becker Digital Strategies: "Digital training firm that offers one on one coaching and conducts digital trainings across the globe on how to use digital tools like social media to engage with communities of committed activists to build and leverage political power. Our trainees include people from all over the Progressive Movement from legislative staff to labor organizers and non profits and activists."

  • The Campaign Workshop (Twitter): "Our advocacy training is a complete guide to the ins and outs of effective advocacy. We use real-world examples and experienced trainers. This intensive, two-day course covers a range of topics such as defining your goals, fundraising, building a digital presence, and much more!"

  • Bully Pulpit Interactive (Twitter): A questionable agency in this list. Large nonprofits and political parties have worked together with them, but so did Goldman Sachs and McDonalds. If you can, work together with an organisation that has a better moral compass.

  • M+R (Twitter): "We're communicators, marketers & fundraisers who unleash the power of people to do good. We only work with nonprofits fighting for a just and sustainable world."

  • Center for Artistic Activists (Twitter): "We offer a range of programs designed specifically for artists, activists, and organizations looking to deploy creativity with precision, skill, and expertise."

  • Change Lab (Twitter): ChangeLab is a grassroots political lab that explores structural solutions to achieve racial justice.

  • Ruckus: "The Ruckus Society is a multi-racial network of trainers dedicated to providing the necessary tools, preparation, and support to build direct action capacity for ecological justice and social change movements. We work with Indigenous communities and other communities of color working to preserve their homes and environments and for climate justice."

  • Power Labs: "PowerLabs helps organizers design and run people-powered campaigns. We provide training, coaching and strategic planning support to build the capacity of organizations, leaders and networks."

  • Ayni School: "We are living in a time of transformative change. We believe that the only way to change a system is through building a new one that can meet people’s needs at a higher level. There are many people working to create change; whether they are strong communities, alternative institutions, popular movements, training programs, and others. The Ayni Institute is looking to engage and support those which are creating something special that can bring our world towards reciprocity.  We are deeply guided by the wisdom of these areas: Memory, Alternative, and Movements."

Smaller initiatives

These initiatives do not have a website, but are still interesting to check out:

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Freelancers

This section is a work in progress.

Archive 🪦

The following organisations are not active any more, but we have kept them here for archiving purposes:

  • 🪦 Organising for Change (Twitter): "We offer a core three day ‘Organising for Change’ training for campaigners from grassroots groups and NGOs which focuses on: seeding the open, inclusive and liberatory culture we want to see in the world, the basics of organising, and putting organising at the heart of campaigns for change"

  • 🪦 The Campaign Accelerator: This organisation provides tailored consulting, a 3-day masterclass, a 3-month accelerator programme and a 3-hour workshop. They have experience with impact strategies, engagement paths, social network communication, participatory financing and volunteer communities.

  • 🪦 Occupy Oakland, Nonviolent Caucus (Twitter): "A network of the Occupy movement focused on nonviolent education, training, support and direct action to build a broad-based movement representative of the 99%"

  • 🪦 activism2organizing (Twitter): Build organizing capacity to win bigger victories

  • 🪦 Build Your Movement (Facebook): "All around the world social movements are growing. Let's build."

  • 🪦 Campaign Bootcamp: Between 2013 and 2022, Campaign Bootcamp ran trainings in the UK on how to build effective, powerful campaigns.

Evaluation criteria

To make it easier to find the training organisation you are looking for, we evaluate all of them through the following criteria. There are many types of training organisations. The one is not better than the other, just make sure to find the one that fits your specific needs:

  • Geography & language: Progressive activist trainers are often internationally oriented, so they like to work together with change-makers across borders. However, this does not mean that these training organisations are always knowledgeable about local contexts. We especially see organisations from the Global South claiming they offer their services globally, while not investing in recruiting local trainers cross borders.

  • Topics of expertise: While many training organisations are quite flexible and can offer any training on demand, they each have things they are especially knowledgeable about.

  • Format of training: Some organisations offer one-off trainings for the duration of one evening, others offer month long courses. Another thing we evaluate is the degree to which support is personalised: some provide one-on-one personalised consultancy services, while others take a more scalable approach.

  • Price: Often, training organisations for activists offer some sort of flexible payment model. Large nonprofits pay more than small grassroots groups. Sometimes they even offer their time for free.

  • Size: Some training organisations are just two or three activists who come together in the weekends to share their knowledge with other change-makers. Other training organisations have more capacity.

In addition, we have collected the following information about these training organisations:

  • Contact information: Website, social media, email address, phone number, contact form (only use publicly accessible information).

  • Resources: Some organisations also offer online training resources.

Freelancers

Respect the privacy of individual activists: Only add freelance activist trainers to this page if they have a publicly accessible website. Only share publicly available information on Activist Handbook.

About this page

In a world where it's becoming increasingly difficult to trust the government to look out for our best interests, more and more people are turning to activism to make a difference. But being an effective activist takes more than just passion—it takes training and practice.

Luckily, there are plenty of organisations out there that can help would-be activists learn the ropes. From environmental groups to human rights organisations, there's a training ground for every type of activist. So if you're feeling called to make a difference in the world, don't be discouraged—there are plenty of organisations out there that can help you get started, which we have listed above.

Q&A

Why should activists train?

There are many reasons why activists might choose to train themselves. For example, they may want to learn new skills to be more effective in their work, or they may want to gain a better understanding of the issues they are fighting for. Training can also help activists to build confidence.

Some ways that workshops can help movements and nonprofit organisations are by providing a space to exchange knowledge and experiences, to meet other activists working on similar issues, and to plan and strategise together. Workshops can also help activist movements to learn new tools and techniques to further their work.

What can I get training for?

Activists could get training in a variety of topics, including but not limited to: community organizing, fundraising, event planning, media relations, public speaking, and writing.

Experienced campaigners organise workshops for your organisation or help facilitate. They can help you to answer questions like these: how to run a successful campaign, how to use social media for campaigning, how to door-knock or canvass for a campaign, how to plan and execute a campaign event, and how to deal with media attention during a campaign. Check out the list above with all organisations that provide these trainings.

Where do I find courses about activism?

At most universities, courses about activism are quite theoretical. Activist Handbook takes a different approach: we provide practical guides to teach you how to make a social impact. On this page, we have listed organisations around the globe that offer training and courses about change-making. Sometimes, the best way to learn more about effective advocacy is to get personalised support from experienced campaigners. We highly recommend you to reach out to

How to improve

Do you know an organisation that provides trainings for activists? Add it to the list! This article overrepresents organisations in the Global North. We encourage you to look for training collectives in the Global South and add them to this page.

Please only add organisations to the ‘international’ list, if they truly operate internationally. If they do not have trainers in multiple countries, do not add them to the international section.

Search keywords

We want as many activists as possible to find this article on Google. We did some research into search keywords related to activist training:

Keywords

Global monthly searches

Relevancy

activism workshop

70

high

activism training

30

high

activist training

160

high

training for activists

0

high

political campaign training

400

high

nonviolent protest training

160

high

community activist training

10

high

activism courses

how to become an activist

Data based on Semrush

Also make sure to check out our resources chapter for a lists of useful websites, books and more.

External resources

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