Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Researching Organizations in Social Movements
Organizations play an important role in social movements. Various sources provide information on organizations, including news sources, tax and financial records, reference works, as well as books and articles.
CQ Researcher (2006-present) This link opens in a new window
An excellent starting point for articles on controversial topics, 1923 to present. Includes contacts for organizations plus chronologies of events.
Organization Information - Current
From Organization Websites
Most organizations will have websites with the following items to look for:
- Annual reports
May contain important events, financial information, and a letter from the leadership.
- Mission statements
How the organization conceives of its mission.
- Staff and directors
Who is in charge.
How the organization sees its history.
Nexis Uni This link opens in a new window
Search news articles for organizations; it is helpful to put organization names in quotation marks for precise searching.
Articles from NY Times arranged by issue or by organization.
Tax and Financial Information
This information will allow you to compare organizations according to the resources they have available.
Search for recent tax forms for non-profits. These include financial statistics and top-paid employees. Because many organizations have local chapters, to find the national organization it may be easier to search by Employer Identification Number.
Open Secrets Organization Profiles
Search for organizations to find what they spend on political contributions and lobbying. The search is very precise, so try using as few words as possible.
Organization Information - Historical
Encyclopedias and historical dictionaries can give overviews of the scope of a movement. Some are available online; some are in print in the Bates Reference section.
Public Interest Group Profiles 2006-2007 by
Location: JK1118 .P78
Although dated in that it ceased publication in 2006-2007, this series is still quite useful in identifying older organizations according to issue, including information on membership, influence, and methods. Previously published in 2004, and as Public Interest Profiles biennially between 1988 and 2001.
The Native American Rights Movement
Location: Bates Reference KF8203.36 .G76 1996
This comprehensive reference source follows the history of efforts to preserve and recover the civil rights of American Indians in the United States.
America: History and Life This link opens in a new window
Article index for American history. Search for organizations in quotation marks for precise searching.
Books in the catalog
CBBCat Advanced Keyword Search
Search for books at Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby. Useful subjects include:
- Pressure groups
- Animal rights movement
- Civil rights movements
- Gay liberation movement
- Indians of North America -- Civil rights
- Labor movement
- Pro-life movement
- Pro-choice movement
- Human rights movement
The following are book series on controversial social issues:
General Sources on Social Movements