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The NEA Center for Organizing partners with state and local affiliates to build an Association-wide culture of organizing. Our goal is to build on our legacy of advocacy to fulfill our mission of great public schools for all students, and grow strong, sustainable NEA affiliates for the future.

A culture of organizing is one that promotes deep member engagement, leadership development and collective action. At its core, organizing means facilitating collective action among a group and empowering others to take on leadership roles.

We know effective organizing results in increased membership growth and more member engagement, expanding leadership, and real wins on the policies and practices that impact our members, our schools, our students and our communities - grounded in our values of equity, opportunity, and racial justice.

See below for guides, toolkits and resources to help you build a culture of organizing in your Association.


Parachute Lending Library -  Access many of the great parachute designs that educators across the country have been using in the Red for Ed movement. 

Secrets of a Successful Organizer: Educators Training Guide – produced in partnership with Labor Notes, this Trainers Guide has been customized to use school-based examples; and focuses on three key modules in the Secrets of a Successful Organizer book: “Beating Apathy”,  “Assembling Your Dream Team”, and “Turning an Issue into a Campaign”.

C4O Fundamentals of Organizing Toolkit a basic primer on What is Organizing, One-on-One Conversations, Issue Identification, Mapping the Workplace, Bargaining Issue Campaigns, Campaign Planning, the Campaign Debrief, and Organizing for Community Support

C4O Fundamentals of Organizing Resources a compendium of tools, sample forms, checklists and training materials to support organizing

C4O ESP Organizing Toolkit the C4O toolkit and resources adapted for education support professionals.

C4O Retired Member Organizing Toolkit - the C4O toolkit and resources adapted for retired members.

Organizing and Engaging Substitute Educators a report documenting describing the issues and concerns of substitute educators and the best practices being used by NEA affiliates to organize and engage these essential educator partners.

Advocating for Early Childhood and Adult Educators - a report documenting describing the issues and concerns of early childhood and adult educators and the best practices being used by NEA affiliates to organize and engage these essential educator partners.

Curriculum on Unionism and the Common Good a four module curriculum commissioned by NEA to promote the attitudes, values and goals of unionism, solidarity, justice, fairness and the search for the common good.

Organizing: People, Power, Change This guide is based on the work of Marshall Ganz, the Leading Change Network and the New Organizing Institute. It is a useful introduction to the relational organizing model refined by Ganz.


The NEA Center for Organizing measures successful organizing through multiple lenses: robust member engagement, effective distributive leadership structures, and growth in membership. We seek to build these capacities through organizing campaigns built around the issues important to our members. Many different organizing strategies can lead to success; nonetheless, all authentic organizing is accountable for measurable goals and outcomes. Below is just a sampling of the many organizing efforts NEA undertakes to ensure we remain a strong union into the future.

New Educator Campaign This program is a commitment to having one on one organizing conversations with every incoming educator to collect personal contact information and learn more about new educators interests.

  • Career Fair Guide Career fairs are a vital avenue to future educators searching for a school district to call home. In some cases, they are are also an affiliate's first oppotunity to interface with future members. Here is a step-by-step guide to career fairs that can benefit young professionals and the Association.

Higher Education Organizing - NEA represents more than 200,000 higher-education faculty, staff, educational support professionals, and graduate assistants on public and private campuses.

Early Enrollment - Early Enrollment allows NEA organizers to reach educators, often with discounted membership pricing, before life gets too busy.

Education Summer - EdSummer is what happens when you gather educators committed to improving public education, help them brush up on their organizing skills and let them loose in an unfamiliar community

Winter Organizing - NEA's Winter Organizing supports local and state affiliates' year-round organizing work and is designed to lift educators voices to achieve our mission of great public schools for all.

My School, My Voice We developed a number of practice guides to help you understand the major elements of ESSA. They provide an overview and look at assessments and accountability.

My School My Voice Mini Campaigns My School My Voice Mini Campaign grants support local affiliates develop and implement a campaign in their school districts on an issue that has been authentically identified by its members. Importantly, the issue may just be deeply felt by a small group of members, but not widely held by broadly by a preponderance of the local’s membership.


NEA Center for Organizing - Affiliate Zone Map: Identify the NEA Center for Organizing Associate Director for Affiliate Relations and Growth responsible for affiliate support in your state.