If movements and organisations invest in and cultivate supporters who are doing substantial and meaningful work, then does their reach, impact and odds of success increase?

That’s the question we set out to explore. “Beyond the First Click” examines innovative volunteer engagement work by 35 organisations that are empowering people to scale change and win by learning and doing more.

We wanted to look under the hood of organisations that are doing a great job of engaging their top-tier supporters and volunteer leaders. That is, those supporters and volunteers who are given the room to make decisions and act on behalf of the organisation.

We sought to uncover insights, patterns and best practices that we could share with our colleagues in the nonprofit sector.

We interviewed experts and campaigners at 35 organisations in eight countries. Here’s what we learned.

The report, initially released in December 2016, is comprised of six chapters–each exploring an insight we uncovered in our research:

  1. Level up volunteer leaders with one-on-one coaching.
  2. Volunteers at their best: Personal achievement matters.
  3. Blend mobilising and organising for scale.
  4. Match big asks with remarkable experiences.
  5. Technology investments can bias mobilising over organising.
  6. Collective identity leads to collective action.

Authored by Capulet’s Julie Szabo and Darren Barefoot, this report is based on in-depth interviews with leading practitioners and a literature review that took place in late 2016. We believe the findings, examples, and insights remain as relevant today as when this was first published.

“Beyond the First Click” was a project of Capulet, Change.org and the Mobilisation Lab. (Editor’s note: The Mobilisation Lab was based within Greenpeace at the time of publication. See Our Roots for more.)


We spoke with dozens of activists, organisers, volunteers and NGO leaders around the world. Several of these interviews are captured in “Beyond the First Click.” You may also listen to and view these interviews below.