Social movements have been reshaping the world for as long as civilization has existed. And in recent times, with the rise of social media making connections between people more accessible than ever, anyone can build a movement around something they believe in to change their community or the entire nation for the better.
But when you’re starting out with just an idea, figuring out how to start a movement can seem like an overwhelming task. There are so many things you need to figure out, not to mention getting your message in front of like-minded people who will want to get involved.
At The Solutions Project, we focus on empowering innovators, climate changemakers, and solutionaries, helping amplify their messages and providing all-around support that allows the movement to grow and move forward.
And we do that by providing comprehensive solutions aimed at maximizing the reach and impact of important movements in the digital age of 2021.
To help you better understand what it takes, let’s look at the movement building definition, how to start a social movement, and what makes a social movement successful.
What is Movement Building?
Movement building is organizing and motivating people to work towards a collective vision or cause that is important for a community. In other words, it’s the process of bringing forward a powerful idea and getting other people to join the cause, resulting in a compounding effect that gets the message in front of policymakers and the general public.
When creating a movement, people are usually driven by personal experiences or injustices that they have witnessed, making them the perfect person to shed light on the issue and increase awareness. Other times, building a movement can start with an innovator or a solutionary identifying a way to do things better and persuading more people to embrace the new perspective they are bringing forward.
But no matter how valid the goals and aspirations of a movement might be, knowing how to start a movement and grow it successfully can be just as important in whether it will have the impact you want it to. Because of that, it’s crucial to learn from good examples of social movements and know the steps you need to take when learning how to build a movement on your own.
Social Movements That Empower and Build Momentum
When figuring out how to start a movement, it’s vital to understand how movements can empower social change and build momentum that creates real-world results. And the primary reason why they are so crucial is obviously the impact that the movement can have. Whether it’s climate change, equality, or other progressive ideas, creating a movement can act as a driving force behind the change that might have been impossible before. When a group of people come together and share ideas, that can make the core message reach the entire community and the key decision-makers that actually have the power to make the changes happen.
But that’s not even the most powerful way that social movements can bring forth change. When communities and like-minded people come together for a worthy cause, the collaboration and discussion that starts can actually help the entire cause evolve for the better. New people who join the movement bring their perspectives and ideas, helping further crystalize the core message and ensure that the change being pursued is actually in the community’s best interest.
How to Start a Movement
Building a grassroots movement from scratch can seem like a daunting task. But if you break down the process of how to start a political movement into actionable steps, seeing a clear path forward becomes much more manageable. After all, even the most significant movements of all time started with one person having a powerful idea and an urge to see change happen, which is why you can always start building on the goals you set out, even if the first steps seem small.
To start, you need to carefully evaluate the core idea of the movement you want to create. And when doing that, you also need to look at whether the social or political movement you want to start isn’t already in motion. In some cases, it might make more sense to join a cause that’s already in motion if you want to make the maximum impact possible in the shortest amount of time.
To be successful in building a movement, you also need to be knowledgeable about the issues that matter to you. It’s crucial to go through every aspect of the issue, understanding why the status quo is the way that it is, what forces are influencing the situation, and how the changes you want to achieve might have an impact on society. If you start an ambitious movement, you will most likely face resistance, so you need to have a rock-solid understanding of what you stand for if you are going to get people to join you.
Finally, you need a way to get your message out there and in front of as many people as possible. A movement is only as powerful as the people who back it, so you need to have a strong message and a way to communicate it to those who care. At The Solutions Project, we specialize in helping movements amplify their stories, increase the impact of the movement, and influence discourse and policy in the process.
What Makes a Social Movement Successful?
When starting a movement, it’s essential to clearly establish what you want to achieve. That’s the only way to set out steps you need to go through and accurately evaluate whether you’re moving in the right direction. But what should a social movement aim to accomplish? And what makes it successful?
The main result a movement aims to achieve is the changes that it is fighting for. That primary goal to improve people’s lives for the better or stop injustice is the driving force that gets people together and builds momentum.
But at the same time, the relationships and connections that the movement helps establish can lay the foundation for even bigger things in the future. As more people get involved in the movement and start to realize the impact they can make, this can have a ripple effect that stretches way beyond what the initial campaign aimed to achieve.
At the Solutions Project, our main goal is to empower movement leaders to achieve change by implementing best practices, sharing vital resources, and financing worthy causes that can make lasting change.
The Solutions Project Impact
At Solutions Project, we have worked with countless organizations and movements, helping them find their voice and maximize the impact of their cause.
We helped VoC leaders get more involved in environmental movements and be heard, showcasing the link between social justice and climate change by enabling frontline leaders to enter a previously very white and male-led space.
In another project, we helped launch a celebrity event and movie premiere that aimed to share the stories of women in the front lines that are fighting for the transition towards 100% clean energy. The campaign managed to raise 750 thousand dollars and gain 28 million impressions through celebrity influencers.
Figuring out how to create a movement can seem complicated. Still, if you have aspirations to change the world for the better, there’s always a way to make it happen, especially if you seek help from professionals who know how to start a social movement that really takes off.
We offer complete support to changemakers, innovators, and solutionaries through grants, media exposure, and connections at The Solutions Project. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help your movement grow!