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What specific skills do I need to be a community organizer?

Right now I am a social work major with a minor in political science at a university in Texas. I want to go into community organizing in the local area, and in the future in other areas. I have a broad idea of what a community organizer does, but I would love to get firsthand information about the things you learned or know are necessary to do the job. #social-work #political-science #community-organizing #community

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Audrey’s Answer

There are many things to think about...

1)    Response - when you put yourself out in the community, you may run into others who may or may not like your cause.  How are you going to respond?  Are you ready to take on whatever comes your way?

2)  Project Management skills are critical.  Here is a link that offers a free glimpse on taking on a project.  I have never been through the link, but I thought it would be valuable.

3)  Funds - do you need to reach out to others to raise money for your event?  Are you comfortable in asking?  If you go into this area, you need to understand the laws regarding this subject.

4)  Support - do you have a group of people who will be able to help you with your cause?

5)  Why are you doing this?  It is good to reflect on why you are doing what you are doing.  What we do early in our career may carry us into what we do as an adult. 

6)  Get involved in the community - Non-profit organizations are always looking for volunteers to help manage projects. This may be a good stepping stone to determine if this is something you really want to do.

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Tekia’s Answer

When I think of a organizer, I think about someone who has strong communication and project management skills.  These skills are key when it comes to organizing any event, especially one for the community.  I was able to take some project management courses when pursuing my degree and it was very helpful and provided a lot of insight when it comes to organizing or managing a project. 

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James’s Answer

I agree with the responses above - I think for me the skills that come to mind are:

Project management - dealing with community projects.

Interpersonal savvy - dealing with building relationships and working through issues you have with people.

Conflict management - how to deal with issues in the moment and find common ground with people and find the best outcome?

Motivating others - Training new team members around the organisations goals?

I believe keeping these aspects in mind you will be very successful in making a impact with your work! Good luck! :))

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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Deanna,

I agree with the responses above. Communication (written and verbal) and project management skills. You will be organizing lots of people. You will need to know how to influence people.

Know how to handle stress and being empathetic. Take look at non profits in your area and see if you can join some and start to get a feel for what it's like being an active member.