Based on a survey of the population of local environmental organizations in North Carolina, this article addresses fundamental questions about how local organizations are structured, their orientation toward strategy and social change, their activities, and their perceived impacts. By comparing subsets of local organizations in terms of their geographic scope, degree of professionalization, and tactical repertoires, we identify important patterns. First, locally oriented organizations that focus on a neighborhood, city, or county are more likely to be affiliated with a national organization than regional or state organizations, but they are less likely to participate in coalitions than groups working at the regional or state level. Second, organizations relying on a mixture of volunteers and professionals are more formalized and report higher levels of success at mobilizing people than those that rely exclusively on volunteers or professionals. However, groups that are volunteer-based are more likely to engage in partisan activity and have diverse environmental philosophies, but less likely to use conventional advocacy tactics like lobbying and less likely to have a nonprofit tax status. Finally, organizations engaging in disruptive and routinized protest strategies tend to be more similar to one another than they are to organizations that rely exclusively on moderate tactical repertoires such as lobbying or environmental education.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.