Alternative organizational repertoires of poor people's social movement organizations

John D. McCarthy, Edward T. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This article contrasts the organizational structure, goals, and tactics of congregation-based organizations (CBOs) with individual membership organizations (IMOs) that represent alternative organizational repertoires for groups aiming to empower poor communities in the United States. Organizational records of 86 CBOs and 125 IMOs are evaluated. It was found that CBOs mobilize substantially more community members and are more likely to devote their efforts toward leadership development and organization building. On the other hand, IMOs are far more likely to employ aggressive social change tactics, whereas CBOs focus more on consensus issues. Finally, IMOs employ a far more diverse array of grassroots funding strategies. The generalizability of these findings is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97S-119S
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Dec 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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