Protecting Against Opposition Attacks

Preparing for and Beating Back Opposition Attacks

Opposition attacks on social change organizations are not new. What is new is that attacks are on the increase – 52% of the groups RoadMap is supporting have experienced an opposition attack – and sometimes these attacks have been successful in side-tracking, damaging, and weakening the targeted groups. In a few instances, attacks have resulted in the demise of social change organizations.

Download a pdf of the report here

View the Table of Contents for the Weathering the Storms Toolkit here

RoadMap’s special project “Weathering the Storms” (WTS) helps social justice organizations prepare for and protect themselves against potential threats, as well as directly respond to attacks when necessary. These include right-wing media attacks, fraudulent video exposés, and legal challenges that are increasingly common in the current political environment where big-money interests, often in conjunction (or collusion) with local, state or federal governmental officials and organizations are targeting groups working for economic justice, gay rights, reproductive justice, immigrant rights and other social change goals.

To get a program overview, download Weathering the Storms At A Glance 

Download and read our most recent progress report on our WTS work, from March 2018.

Specific examples of attacks on social justice organizations are detailed here.

Key to the WTS approach are two principles: that preparation for attacks is a key part of organizational capacity building as well as campaign strategy, visioning and planning; and that preparation and response must include an integrated approach including simple communications, organizational development and compliance systems to increase resilience and turn attacks into opportunities to advance organizational values and goals.

The WTS project began in the Fall 2012 and is ongoing.  The project includes a two-part webinar, Toolkits, and follow-up Technical Assistance to implement best practices and develop Crisis Communications plans. RoadMap is developing more webinars and additional tools on specific topics. The following resources can help your organization learn more and assess your areas of risk.

Contact RoadMap for more information and for tailored Technical Assistance to assist your organization or alliance.

To learn more about tailored WTS packages, download the menu of services:

Resource Guide

We have compiled several Must Read Resources for convenient downloading below. Many thanks to the authors of these indispensable resources: Harmon, Curran, Spielberg + Eisenberg, Guidestar, National Council on Nonprofits, Nonprofit Coordinating Committee, Alliance for Justice, and Political Research Associates.

Record Keeping and Confidentiality



General Security Measures

990s and Financial Management

Affiliated 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) Organizations


See RoadMap’s Resource Library for more tools and templates.

And our blog posts related to armoring your organization against opposition attacks:

How Organizations Can Weather a Storm