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Community Organizing

Knowing the Difference between Community Mobilizing and Community Organizing (from CADCA Coalition Institute)

Often we hear about community organizing and community mobilizing. I never knew there was a difference between the two. Although the two terms seem synonymous, I recently found out that there are some significant differences. Learning the distinction between the two caused me to open my eyes to the intricacies of the many important processes and steps that successful coalitions find innate. I realized that in order to implement strategies to achieve population-level reductions in substance abuse, it is entirely likely that a coalition will need to get large numbers of folks to take action.

So what is the difference anyway?

Community mobilizing is when experts drive the action of an issue and they are the ones who know the solutions. Community mobilizing is categorized as issue oriented, its process is driven by action, and it can be a confrontational process. On the other hand community organizing is when issues arise out of a community consensus. This process is goal oriented and not confrontational because everyone agrees that this issue exists and is important. A hybrid of both community mobilizing and community organizing efforts are both crucial if a coalition wants to achieve real outcomes.