Social Movement Capacities Framework

Resource Type

Theories and Frameworks

These resources inform the lens through which a grantmaker uses other systems grantmaking resources.

Systems Questions


What are the events, activities, actions, behaviors, and forces that affect the system, and how can we influence them?


How do we think and learn about the system?

Grantmaking Stages

Develop grantmaking strategy

Resources in this category can help you understand the system, identify outcomes and determine grantmaking interventions.

Identify and select grantees

Resources in this category can help you understand who is in the system, the strength and content of their relationships, who is missing and the power dynamics among them.


Highly participatory


A skilled facilitator


Less than 1 month

What is it?

A capacity-building framework that identifies 10 elements of successful movements. Three examples of elements are: 1) having a common vision and frame, 2) having an authentic base of key constituencies, and 3) having a strategy to scale up. This framework may be used to map movement actors who contribute to each element; identify areas for greater collaboration, coordination, or differentiation; and reveal gaps in the movement that need to be addressed. For more information, see “Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them,” by Manuel Pastor and Rhonda Ortiz, and Management Assistance Groups “A Tool for Mapping Successful Movements.”