Challenges and Benefits of Community Mobilization



  • Expands the base of community support for the organization
  • Brings new volunteers who otherwise might not get involved in your organization
  • Deepens the analysis of transformation and provides an opportunity for the organization and individuals to evolve
  • Creates public presence/pressure to change laws, policies and practices that a single individual could not accomplish or may be at risk to accomplish
  • Infuses new energy into the organization
  • Promotes community ownership for a problem and expands the base of support for work
  • Offers an opportunity to work in partnership with progressive men in the community
  • Creates strategies that are effective in reaching underserved populations and communities of color
  • Helps organizations develop new leadership skills in the area of community development
  • Helps promote sustainability for work (beyond funding cycles for projects) and long-term commitment to a social change movement
  • Helps all of us celebrate positive change in our communities


  • May create tension for the organization - including deciding how much authority will be given to activist groups to decide agenda
  • May create backlash/tension as a result of a more direct action agenda
  • Requires leadership skills that may not readily exist within the organization
  • Requires expanded personal commitment from people doing the work, i.e. walking the talk
  • Can open the door to new constituencies/communities - Is the organization committed to what it takes (e.g. dealing with institutional racism)?
  • To develop requires commitment of resources and leadership - community mobilization may be perceived as less important than direct services
  • May bring up internal tension because agenda can challenge the status-quo mindset of the organization
  • Challenges the organization to decide what kind of partnership it wants in working with men at the community level - may require new training program for women and men working as allies