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The Worker Center HandbookA Practical Guide for Starting and Building the New Labor Movement$
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Kim Bobo and Marien Casillas Pabellon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704475

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704475.001.0001

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Combining Services and Organizing

Combining Services and Organizing

Functional Organizing

(p.241) 26 Combining Services and Organizing
The Worker Center Handbook

Kim Bobo

Marién Casillas Pabellón

Cornell University Press

This chapter explains how worker centers can combine social services and organizing using a model called “functional organizing.” As most worker centers grow and develop, their members want a variety of services and programs. Worker-leaders will often plan programs to meet their needs, while directors looking for funding for growing and building the centers have an easier time finding social service program funds than general support or organizing funds. As a result, many centers have a complex mix of social services and organizing. This chapter looks at Peter Murray’s article, “The Secret of Scale,” in which he discusses the core components of growing large-scale civic organizations and offers suggestions for organizations that want to launch a functional organizing model. It also considers the challenges faced by worker center members and how the organization might create programs to address them and monetize some of the solutions.

Keywords:   worker center, social services, Peter Murray, civic organizations, functional organizing, members

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