When citizens band together in a civil society organization to effect change for the better, they can be a tremendous force for good. This book is about how to channel people’s enthusiasm most effectively, so that pitfalls are avoided, and goals are attained. The book reviews the variety and different kinds of civil society organizations (CSOs) in operation, and what is within their powers to achieve. It follows the progress of enthusiasts through to professional development practitioners, setting out the processes of planning, resource mobilization, and developing links to governments, businesses and citizens, while still conserving the spark and fire that brings citizens to development work in the first place. It highlights the alternative vision that CSOs bring to their countries’ problems and how this can inspire effective service provision and advocacy, as well as holding government accountable for what has been promised but not delivered. It helps with the periodic maintenance problems of CSOs and how they can keep up their standards. Finally it addresses three dangers of CSOs – foreign donor dependence, possible irrelevance in larger strategic thinking, and the loss of organizational strength. This book is essential reading for staff of national and international development organizations; fieldworkers; and all those wishing to create a people’s organization to effect change.