Guides What is a Community of Action?

What is a Community of Action?

Last updatedJune 12, 2024
AuthorKai Forsyth

Think about group of your neighbors coming together to clean up a local park, or a global network of activists coordinating a climate strike. These are communities of action – groups of people united by a shared commitment to creating change and making a difference.

A community of action is a group of individuals who come together to take collective action towards a common goal or purpose. Unlike communities of interest, which revolve around shared passions or hobbies, or communities of place, which are defined by geographic location, communities of action are all about the shared drive to create tangible impact in the world.

Purpose of a Community of Action

The primary purpose of a community of action is to effect change and make a difference in a specific area or issue. Members come together not just to discuss or learn about a topic, but to actually do something about it. They pool their skills, resources, and energy to work towards a shared vision of a better future.

Participating in a community of action allows individuals to have a greater impact than they could alone. By joining forces with others who share their goals and values, they can amplify their voices, coordinate their efforts, and achieve more substantial results. These communities provide a platform for collective problem-solving, resource-sharing, and mutual support in the face of challenges.

Examples of Communities of Action

Communities of action can form around any issue or cause where people see a need for change. Some focus on local concerns, others on national policies or global challenges. Here are a few examples:

  • A neighborhood watch group that organizes regular patrols, safety workshops, and community events to prevent crime and promote community well-being
  • A national advocacy organization that mobilizes its members to write letters, attend protests, and lobby lawmakers for policy changes on a specific issue like healthcare or education reform
  • A global grassroots movement that coordinates online campaigns, local chapters, and large-scale demonstrations to raise awareness and demand action on the climate crisis
  • A student-led initiative that organizes volunteer projects, fundraisers, and educational events to support a local homeless shelter
  • An online community of civic technologists who collaborate on open-source projects to improve government services and foster civic engagement

Characteristics of a Community of Action

While each community of action is unique, they often share some defining characteristics:

Shared purpose: Members are united by a common goal or vision for change. This shared purpose is the driving force behind the community’s actions and decisions.

Collective action: The key activity in communities of action is taking concrete, coordinated steps towards the shared goal. Members work together to plan, implement, and evaluate their actions.

Diverse roles: Communities of action often bring together people with diverse skills, perspectives, and resources. Members contribute in different ways based on their abilities and interests.

Impact-oriented: Success in a community of action is measured by the tangible impact or change created, not just by the level of participation or discussion.


A community of action is a group of people united by a shared commitment to creating change and making a difference around a particular issue or cause. By taking collective action, these communities allow members to have a greater impact than they could alone.

Communities of action harness the diverse skills, resources, and passion of individuals towards a common purpose. In a world facing complex challenges, from local inequities to global crises, communities of action offer a way for ordinary people to come together and create extraordinary change.

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