PartnersGlobal Resiliency+ Roundup – January 2021

  January 26, 2021

As civil society organizations gear up for new challenges in 2021 while still dealing with ongoing challenges like COVID-19, continuing to build organizational resiliency will be critical. We can’t anticipate every threat and shift that lies ahead of us this year, but we can make changes now that make our organizations more prepared and adaptable.

Check out our latest picks for some of the top resiliency resources in this January Resiliency+ Roundup. The resources are organized by the seven factors of civil society resiliency in the PartnersGlobal Resiliency+ Framework.

We’ve also pulled 5 top resiliency tweets for a quick way to plug into the resiliency conversation. Check those out below!

5 Top Resiliency Tweets

Many of our organizations are working to end injustice, often in incredibly challenging environments. @TheKingCenter shares speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that can inspire and guide us in our own work in responding in ways that are “righteous and rigorous.”

Around the world, democracy it under attack and the space for civil society to operate is shrinking. @ApoliticalAcadG shares 10 ways we can be part of the solution.

COVID-19 has presented new challenges for so many of our organizations. @TomLiacas is asking all of us to share our tips for adapting to this new reality. Click to share your own adaptions and advice!


Engaging the Narrative is one of our seven critical factors for organizational resiliency. Check out this narratives reading list from @Theworldweare.

To prepare and adapt, organizations need to understand the complex systems they are part of and trying to change. @uxkim is taking a poll for the best tools to learn systems thinking. Check out the replies!

Resiliency Resources by Factor

Business Acumen

Despite funding challenges exacerbated by COVID-19, nonprofit organizations continue to serve their communities in innovative and adaptive ways. In Building Resiliency in Times of Crisis, Hal Beckham, Jessica Dreher, and Donna Scheck urge funders to shift their practices to better serve financially strained nonprofits and to recognize their responsibility to be sensitive to nonprofits’ changing needs.

In Cybersecurity Basics Your Nonprofit Needs to Know, Nadine Argueza shares four tips for nonprofit organizations to protect themselves against online threats both new and old. Argueza highlights actionable items to help ensure “end-to-end security for your servers, workstations, and devices.”

Situational Awareness

The Building Movement Project offers a framework to help individuals, networks, and organizations align themselves with social change values, individual roles, and the broader ecosystem. Access the Social Change Ecosystem map here.

Image from the Building Movement Project

A key aspect of honing our skills in systems change analysis is to be aware of “future narratives.” Anna Simpson shares insights on the role of narratives and how they can be updated once they’ve become obsolete in this piece titled Reading the waves: who’s making sense of narrative change? Simpson also discusses the role of futures as a tool to help us shift our thinking from polarization and zero-sum solutions to a different democratic narrative.

Engaging the Narrative

The Communications Network recently released a report in which they share insights, lessons, and solutions on the connections between communication and racial equity. This resource is particularly useful for organizations looking to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in their messaging.

In Partnering with People to Tell Their Own Stories, Kate Marple discusses the importance of ethical  storytelling in the social sector in a way that is empowering and community-centered. Check out Marple’s six strategies for ensuring organizations’ storytelling is shaped and driven by the people closest to the policy or issue in question.

Systems Change

“Facilitation is a creative process of bringing awareness to the world. It is about sensing and working with people, interactions, relationships and other dimensions,” writes Anna Birney in Systemic patterns – supporting process design and facilitation. Read more here.

Image from Systemic patterns — supporting process design and facilitation by Anna Birney

An e-Learning platform called Systems Innovation offers resources, new ideas, and methods around systems innovation and transformational change. Check out their systems innovation guide, which includes a historical overview on key concepts, advice on adapting to the current economic and social context, insights on innovation, and practical examples.

And to start using systems thinking, check out Loopy’s interesting and interactive tool for applying systems thinking to understand complex problems and systems around us.


In Campaigning in the middle ground – how to win support for immigration, Emma Harrison argues that there can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to campaigning. Harrison highlights visions, values, and public support, engaging with different campaigning angles, and the importance of human stories as viable strategies for connecting with new constituencies on your issues.

The team at New Public, recently released research on the critical qualities of flourishing digital public spaces. We recommend you dig into this valuable research on how to create a welcoming and safe public space for diverse publics that helps us understand and make sense of the world, connects people across divides and hierarchies, and enables us to act together.


Hazel Fell-Rayner writes on campaigning adaptations that are taking place during COVID-19 in Compassionate campaigning – learning how to connect in a time of distance. Fell-Rayner highlights the new ways that COVID restrictions have forced us to connect with our constituencies across geographies.

The way we incorporate gender dynamics into our work as civil society is a key consideration for our legitimacy. Check out this report from Align on the shifting norms of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights, including four key areas: education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, paid and unpaid work and care, and political voice and representation.

Resiliency Ethos

Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz wrote a very useful overview of the new book by social scientist Damon Centola, Change: How to Make Big Things Happen, outlining the predictable ways that social change occurs. Based on research of several recent social movements, the book gives practical advice and implications for grassroots strategies to bring about change.

Image from How to Make Social Change by Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz

Lastly, in the current context, staff well-being is an especially critical component of an organization’s resiliency ethos. In this article, Gwen Moran shares six habits to drop in 2021 and what to pick up in their place – reminding us to not work so much, to spend more time with family, and to pick up a creative hobby.