Constituency Building – Our Approach
Building Powerful Constituencies
Successful change movements require powerful constituencies. Authentic relationships bring them to life.
Most social, economic, and ecological change leaders we meet with really want to build partnerships—but many often feel it’s not going as well as they’d like. Either they can’t interest people or the interest doesn’t build fast enough.
If you take a closer look at why your agendas or ideas are not moving forward, you’ll find that it often leads back to not having the powerful constituency base you need.
Unfortunately, our market-based culture isolates us from one another, impeding the very relationships needed to build powerful constituencies:
• Economic pressures have led to the erosion of community.
• Technology has taken the place of authentic conversation (the building block to constituency building and community itself).
Today, there tends to be an over-emphasis on non-relationship based approaches to help grow social change movements.
While expedient, these approaches often fail to allow both the emergence of lasting power and the development of more effective relationships, organizations, and constituencies. They also ignore the need for leaders to work in a generative and nurturing way, and to build individual and collective power through relationships both within and outside the organization.
In a time of such concentrated economic and political power, if you’re interested in change, you must be serious about relationship-based constituency building.
In the work we’ve done with organizations, the common aims are often to:
- Establish strong partnerships and collaborations
- Create more diverse coalitions
- Include a broader group of stakeholders
- Increase participation in meetings