Thursday, July 19, 2012

Organizing for Social Change Training comes to Chi-town and NOLA!

Our 5-day Organizing for Social Change training is headed to two great cities this fall! Cali 2009 Join us in Chicago in August or New Orleans in September and spend a week honing your skills to think strategically and build power to win on your organization's issues. 

Through a combination of lecture and practical application, participants develop tools to: 
  • Analyze power in order to win issue campaigns
  • Turn problems into issues that organizations can win
  • Think strategically about an issue campaign and develop winning strategies
  • Structure campaigns to build your organization  
  • Build and join effective coalitions at the local, state, and national level 
  • Recruit people to build a powerful base  
  • Use social media strategically to build and show power 
  • Plan and execute strategic and powerful tactics  
Check out our sample agenda.

Our next session is coming up in Chicago from August 13th - 17th. This is our final Chicago 5-day training for 2012, so be sure to register today! We'll also in New Orleans from September 10th - 14th.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Midwest Academy to host Supervising Organizers Workshop in Berkeley

The Midwest Academy's next Supervising Organizers Workshop is coming up July 11 - 13th in Berkeley. Spend three days with Midwest Academy Trainers developing your supervisory skills to build strong organizations, win concrete issues, and cultivate the next generation of our movements. You'll leave with a concrete plan that meets the needs of your organization and the organizers that you supervise.

Through a combination of presentations, discussions, and practical exercises the workshop covers the following areas: 

  • Understanding organizational models and the need to be clear with your staff about what they are building 
  • Using the Midwest Academy strategy chart as an ongoing method of setting organizers' priorities and monitoring progress  
  • Motivating, mentoring, and nurturing organizers who are at different stages in their careers 
  • Developing techniques for long distance supervision    
  • Learning the nitty-gritty supervisory skills such as hiring, orienting and training, troubleshooting and discipline, and evaluations  
Our next session is coming up in Berkeley from July 11 - 13th. Check out all the details and register today!  

What are Supervising Organizers Workshop Alums are saying?

supervisor3Curious about how Workshop alums are putting the materials and tools to use at home? Find out!

"The Midwest Academy's Supervisor Training gave me the tools to develop an effective plan to supervise and develop organizers that fits my organization's overall goal to win victories. The training demonstrates how to use the strategy chart as a method to plan and track an organizers work. I highly recommend this training to any supervisor that wants to build a strong organization and organizers!"

- Emily Stuart, Director
Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans 
To register and get all the details for our 3-day Supervising Organizers Workshop, click here. Take advantage of a special $25 registration discount when you register by Friday, June 22nd.

Have questions? Get answers. Call Tony Fuller, Training Coordinator, at 312.427.2304, x303 or send an email to

Judy, Kristin, Keron, and Kate
the Midwest Academy training staff

Monday, April 9, 2012

18th Annual Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference

2012 Conference

18th Annual Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference:

Interpreting the World, Changing the World

This year's PTO conference theme is inspired by the 11th Thesis on Feuerbach:

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”
Long before “change” became a branded campaign slogan, Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) and Pedagogy of the Oppressed (PO) have been about fundamentally changing the world.  Continuously changing and changed through dialogue, action and reflection, TO and PO are theory and practice of change.  How has “change” been co-opted?  What are the ways in which acquiescence, denial, mystification or “change” (in scare quotes) has superseded real, substantive change? What would real change look like?  What is the change we want? 

Fundraising Academy for People of Color

Fundraising Academy for 
People of Color


We’re delighted to announce that we are accepting applications for the 2012 Los Angeles Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color through April 11th, 2012.
To learn more about the application process, click here.
This skills building program for people of color led nonprofits focuses upon donor development within a multicultural learning setting. Offered by CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT), the academy includes dynamic training, one on one coaching and peer learning so that executive directors, development staff and board members can create new fundraising practices within their organization and better results in drawing community support. The academy has helped over 90 people of color led nonprofits in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to raise the funds they need in a more sustainable way, through diversifying sources and building strong relationships with community donors. Through the generous support of the Community Leadership Project, the California Community Foundation, the California Endowment and the James Irvine Foundation, a majority of the costs are subsidized in order to make the academy financially accessible to community nonprofits.

Hear what past participants in the Fundraising Academy have to say about their experience.

Using the framework of grassroots fundraising developed by GIFT and the Grassroots Fundraising Journal, and the solid experience of CompassPoint and GIFT trainers and coaches, the academy not only strengthens donor development skills, but addresses the organizational systems and leadership culture needed to sustain good fund development and mission based work. The academy is designed for nonprofits based within communities of color, offering relevant materials and examples in a multicultural setting for learning. Participants cite the academy as a unique resource that changes their attitudes and beliefs of fundraising, and transforms their group’s approach to developing new donors. Through four learning cohorts, over 75 organizations have graduated from this highly intensive training and coaching program.
A 2007 survey of graduates of the academy reported consistent increases in the number of individual donors and gifts acquired after the first and second fiscal year of attending the academy.
  • 80% of participants surveyed reported higher levels of money raised from individuals and increases in the number of individual donors than in previous years.
  • 85% of participants reported that their fund development efforts have improved as a result of their participation in the FACC.
  • 50% reported that the FACC had a high impact on their overall fundraising, and 50% reported a moderate impact upon their overall fundraising.
I see the importance of creating our own financial base of support within our community. Through the trainings and the little bit of time that I have given to developing this base, it is clear to me that the community wants to support our organization financially. Overall, the fundraising culture & attitude within our organization has changed. I think staff is more open & willing to fundraise.
- Participant evaluation
What are the benefits of participating in the Fundraising Academy for Communities of Color?
Through eight months of training and coaching (1 day each month) academy participants learn practical skills of developing individual donors, build their organizational strategies to raise contributed income, and develop their own leadership approach to fundraising within their organization. In a peer learning environment that supports multicultural learning in this area, participants share their ongoing work and benefit from hearing how other groups are developing donors in different cultural settings. Participants are invited to stay connected to a larger alumnus of former participants and academy staff, to support ongoing learning. Participating organizations also receive a comprehensive binder, textbooks from CompassPoint and a 12 month subscription to the Grassroots Fundraising Journal.
The Academy faculty and fundraising coaches are seasoned fundraising professionals from diverse backgrounds, who have successfully raised money in communities of color. Through expert sessions, donor panels, case studies and problem solving, we continue to build knowledge on the practices of philanthropy and fund development within distinct cultures, and how these practices evolve.
Past Participant Reviews:
You guys did it right with the Academy. It proved to be informative and inspiring to me, and other staff and board members that I brought from Mayfair. It was hard and it certainly complicated my already over complicated life but it was worth it. You really did something substantial to build new skills within our agency and our community.
- Jaime Alvarado, Executive Director
Somos Mayfair

My coach helped me with the preparation and confidence I needed to secure a large state grant to complete the purchase of our property. Five months after the academy, I am still digesting the information and practicing new skills, especially in introducing prospective donors to the organization.
- Shyaam Shabaka, Executive Director
Eco-Village Learning Farm
Through the Fundraising Academy, we learned new techniques that have increased our response rate to CPEHN direct mail campaigns, ideas on how to broaden our donor base, and skills to effectively implement a comprehensive fundraising plan. The individual coaching helped me act on my own fundraising work to lead the board and staff. The most exciting aspect was seeing how building a donor base is helping CPEHN to build a broader base of support for our mission and policy work.
- Ellen Wu, Executive Director
California Pan Ethnic Health Network
Thanks to the Fundraising Academy, we have received $120,000 already from our annual fund letter. We are also setting up house gatherings hosted by respected leaders in the community. Thank you for your excellent training and encouragement and excellent resources.
- Wes Mukoyama, Executive Director
Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services
In September 2008, the academy conducted a study of nonprofits based in communities of color in Los Angeles to learn about their approaches to income generation, their staffing strategies, successes and challenges. This report underscored the value of ongoing training for staff and board members that is multicultural and models multicultural fundraising leadership. For more information on the academy, contact Steve Lew or Byron Johnson at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services.

We need to know that your organization is supporting your participation, since the academy will be at least eight full days of trainings, plus additional time for coaching and trying out new ways to raise money and develop donors in your work.  Please make sure that the people you report to (board members, executive director, your supervisor) not only support your application and participation, but that they are also receptive to learning and increasing their own fundraising efforts.
Participants are required to attend 8 training sessions from May 2012 - October 2012 for approximately 7 hours per session. While your application is being reviewed, please hold the following session dates on your calendar. Each session will run for the full day.

Sessions 1 & 2: May 22-23, 2012
Sessions 3: June 12, 2012
Sessions 4 & 5: July 10-11, 2012
Sessions 6: August 14, 2012
Sessions 7:  TBD September 2012
Session 8: TBD October 2012

If selected, your organization will need to pay a participant fee of $500 - $2,000 based on the size of your annual budget.  This represents close to 10% of the total cost to hold the academy, so the other 90% is subsidized by academy funders. Please know that there are no additional discounts or scholarships, and that many groups have successfully raised money for this fee as a first step in conducting grassroots fundraising with their board and supporters!

Your organization must meet all or most of the following criteria in order to participate in the Fundraising Academy:
·         Organization mission is specific to a community of color.
·         More than half of board and leadership staff are people of color communities of color.
·         Majority of clients/members are people of color.
·         Seek to develop donors from communities of color.
Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11th.

Applicants will be notified of selection decisions by mid April.

The online application will take approximately 30 – 45 minutes to complete.  Please complete each section in full. You will need some basic organizational records to complete the application, such as your annual budget, and your most recent financial statement.

Once you complete the online application, you will be directed to a page where you can download the Organizational Acknowledgement Form that must be signed by your Executive Director, or by your Board Chair if you are the Executive Director.This form is due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11th. Submission instructions are included on the form.



If you have any questions about the program, please contact Steve Lew, Senior Project Director, at or 415-541-9000 x330.
If you have any questions about the online application or if you'd prefer to fill out a paper application, please contact Erin Lingren, Associate Project Director, at or 415-541-9000 x329.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Training for Social Action Trainers this Summer

Reposted from Trainers for Change Emailing:

Join Us for a Unique Opportunity this Summer

Back to Back TSAT/ADTOT in Philadelphia!

Due to the overwhelming interest in this year’s 17-day Super T training we are excited to announce a unique training intensive this summer in Philadelphia. This July we will offer our core Training for Social Action Trainers (TSAT) followed one day later by an Advanced Training of Trainers (ADTOT), two out of the four of the workshops included in the Super-T series.
The TSAT will run July 6-8th and the ADTOT will be July 10-15th.
Register for each workshop separately (link’s here for the TSAT and the ADTOT).
There are a maximum number of spaces available so register early!
The Training for Social Action Trainers is a great opportunity for experienced and less experienced facilitators, consultants, trainers, activists and organizers wanting to use training tools more effectively. You will be introduced to TFC's training style and offered lots of opportunities to practice and apply what you learn to your own work environment. The Advanced Training of Trainers is an extended intensive that delves more thoroughly into group dynamics, conflicts in groups and working cross-culturally. 

You can take the TSAT alone or, if you’ve already taken the TSAT, sign up for just the ADTOT. If you’re new to these workshops then consider taking both. The intense learning environment will increase your capacity to learn new skills, expand your tool kit, practice all you can and apply it directly to your own work. Do you work with an organization? Consider taking your organizational capacity to the next level by signing up with multiple co-workers.
If you have questions please contact Celia at


Celia Kutz
Training for Change

Upcoming Training for Change Trainings

Upcoming Training for Change Trainings


April 20-22, 2012
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Effective Approaches to Working with Groups
March 2-4, 2012
Wallingford, Pennsylvania

Taller Para Talleristas en Acción Social
(Spanish language Training of Trainers)
March 30-April 1, 2012
Minneapolis, Minnesota

How to Do Transformational Work
April 10-15, 2012
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Whites Confronting Racism
Mary 4-6, 2012

June 8-24, 2012
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For more information or to register for these workshops, visit our website,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Community Action Trainings (CAT)

Community Action Trainings (CAT)

CAT: Community Action Trainings  
Community Action Training in Los Angeles
About CAT

Learn from experienced organizers, share skills and knowledge with activists, and have fun meeting others dedicated to building a movement!

Community Action Trainings (CAT) provides entry-level organizer training to individuals, staff, and members of community-based organizations through field work, role plays, and discussions. During this high-intensity three day training, CAT participants learn how to door-knock as a tool for recruiting and mobilizing constituents, participate in campaign development and actions, and learn to appreciate the legacy of organizing in communities of color and its relevance in today's fight for social justice. CTWO conducts CAT sessions in the spring and fall in different regions across the country, including the SF Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. Each year CTWO trains close to 300 participants, and partners with some of the most amazing community organizations in the country to host these sessions.


Community Action Training

Interested in the 2012 CAT Spring series? Keep checking this website for updates.

More info: