Community Action Works
Community Action Works

Trainings

Note: Community Action Works was formerly known as Toxics Action Center, the name used in many of these trainings.

Webinars

Making Digital Organizing Accessible (2021)
If you’re working in rural areas where reliable internet connection may be inaccessible, or poor communities where technology may be unaffordable, or communities with low technology literacy, it’s critical to make sure everyone has what they need to participate in organizing online. In this training we answer questions like: How have community groups made technology and internet accessible in rural and poor communities? What’s worked (and what hasn’t) in getting community members involved in online programs and government processes? How can you meaningfully bring in folks with less computer experience?
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Understanding Technical Documents (2021)
Technical documents like test results, health studies, permits, maps, or legal briefings can be hard to understand. But understanding these documents can make our work to protect our health and environment stronger, and it’s up to us to learn how to interpret and use them. In this training we’ll answer questions like: How can I understand technical documents? How can I make the data meaningful? How can I use this information in my campaign? We’ll talk about how campaigns have interpreted technical documents in their organizing. We’ll also share some stories about how you can find or create the information yourself when there aren’t technical documents available. Hear from Madeleine Scammell, DSc, Associate Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health with expertise in community-driven and community-based participatory research and Shaina Kasper, Vermont & New Hampshire State Director at Community Action Works.
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Grants Fundraising for Community Groups (2020)
Is your community group considering fundraising to support your work? If so, you might be thinking about grants. Check out our Grants Fundraising for Community Groups training to go over the process for getting grants, cover basic skills of grant writing and creating budgets, and share resources for where to find funders for your work. This training is for beginner grant-seekers and will be relevant for groups without (and with) 501c3 status.
Webinar
Slides from webinar
Budget template
List of grants for the grassroots

Writing Strong Petitions and Action Pages (2020) 
In this training we answer questions like: How do I create a message that inspires people to take action? How do I use that message to write powerful petitions, emails, testimony, social media posts and more? We focus on messaging for online organizing, but all the same skills apply for your work on the ground. Hear from Wendy Graça, president of South Coast Neighbors United, the group that won a massive fight against liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks in her community. You’ll also hear best practices and stories from the ground from Shaina Kasper, Vermont & New Hampshire State Director and Ruthy Rickenbacker, Communications & Digital Coordinator at Community Action Works.
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Holding Online Actions and Events (2020)
In this training we’ll answer questions like: How can you organize your group to go to an online event like a selectboard meeting or a public hearing? How can you organize your own online event like a film screening, an informational meeting, or phone bank? Speakers share stories from online actions and events during the first six months of social distancing and tips and tools for organizing powerful online events, from organizing people to attend public hearings to holding your own events and meetings online. Hear from Elizabeth Deutsch, a community leader with a long history of organizing in-person events, and Shaina Kasper and Hayley Jones of Community Action Works.
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Recruiting Online using Action Network (2020)
Recruiting online looks just like recruiting on-the-ground: follow up, follow up, follow up. But, the tools and tactics look different, with online petitions, emails, letter writing campaigns and more. In this webinar, you’ll learn more about how to recruit people online and use Action Network, an online recruiting tool we love. This webinar answers questions like: How do I use petitions and email so people can take action online? How do I manage my list? How do I bring new people into our group? Hear from Cheryl Robertson of Don’t Waste ME, the coalition of people across Maine advocating for responsible policies that protect the health of communities most at risk from negative impacts of the way we manage our trash, and Shaina Kasper, Vermont and New Hampshire State Director at Community Action Works.
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Social Media 101 (2020)
In this training you’ll answer questions like: What social media sites should we use? How should we use social media in our online organizing? Should we make a Facebook page or a Twitter account? Is a website right for our group? Hear from Diane Cotter of Your Turnout Gear and PFOA, who is working to end toxic PFAS contamination in firefighters’ gear and beyond, Andrea Honore, a resident of Weymouth, MA and a vocal activist against the fracked gas compressor station proposed for her community, and Shaina Kasper, Vermont and New Hampshire State Director at Community Action Works.
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Holding Group Meetings Online (2020)
In this training you’ll learn tips and tools for holding online group meetings, Zoom-specific facilitation techniques, and explore how to make online meetings more accessible for all. Learn from Cathy Kristofferson, a retired coder, Zoom expert, founding member of StopNED, and now board member of Pipeline Awareness Network for the Northeast. You’ll also hear from Shaina Kasper, Vermont and New Hampshire State Director at Community Action Works who has extensive experience facilitating online meetings.
Webinar
Slides from webinar

Dartmouth Biomass Project (2019)
Informational webinar about Dartmouth College proposal to build a wood and biodiesel burning facility in the Hanover NH area.  Speakers include scientists, community organizers and an attorney experienced in bioenergy, climate, public health and forests and have the chance to ask questions. Recorded August 2019.
Webinar

Zero Waste Webinar Series (2019)
Informational series on zero waste and composting with experts in the field. Recorded November 2019.
Part 1: Zero Waste 101 Webinar
Part 2: Commercial Composting Webinar
Part 3: Composting in Schools Webinar

Is a Health Study Right for Your Community? (2016)
Learn more about the Health Studies Guide and decide if a health study will help your community meet you goals for a healthy environment.
Webinar

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Drinking Water (2016)
Learn more about PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) drinking water contamination with scientists and community organizers.
Webinar

Working with Volunteers and Developing Leaders
Learn tried and true methods to work with volunteers and develop leaders in a webinar in partnership with the Clean Water Network.
Materials from webinar

Workbooks

  1. Campaign Planning – A guide for neighborhood groups organizing to clean up and prevent pollution in their communities.
  2. Group Building – Create a recruitment plan to strengthen your group and win.
  3. Fundraising – Develop a plan to raise the money your group needs.
  4. Interpreting Test Results – Understand the data from environmental tests and make a plan to use the data
  5. Public Hearings – Develop a plan to present at and recruit people to a specific public hearing.
  6. Message and Materials – Develop a message for your campaign and a plan to create needed materials.
  7. Media Events – Plan a successful, newsworthy media event & learn basic principles of using the media, and develop an effective message.
  8. Community Votes – Create a plan that will win your community vote.