How to Run a Mutual Aid Group

What do we do now? And who put you in charge?

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Comprehensive Guides

Guides that cover most aspects of how to organize and run a mutual aid group.

🔗How to Replicate and How to build a neighborhood pod from MAMAS
MAMAS (of Medford and Somerville, MA) is one of the earliest and largest examples of a COVID-19 mutual aid group / network. It is inspired by Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, Common Ground Collective, and Occupy Sandy and has been used as the basis for many other organizing guides.

🔗Mutual Aid 101 with AOC and Mariame Kaba
A visual mutual aid tutorial sponsored by US congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and activist Mariame Kaba.

🔗COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK
A short and simple guide from the people running one of the main mutual aid registries in the UK.

🔗Community Organizing Unofficial Guide and Community Organizing for the Corona Crisis
A short, colorful visual printout along with a well-organized Google doc.

🔗Establishing a local ‘C-19 Mutual Aid’ group from the Ella Baker School of Organizing
A PDF from the Ella Baker School of Organizing, a UK group that specializes in developing training materials for organizers.

🔗Anarchist Federation Guide via Google Drive
what's special about this guide?

🔗Everyday People Supporting Their Community Through COVID-19 from members of the Kulin Nation
what's special about this guide?

🔗Mutual Aid Workshop (Not COVID specific)
what's special about this guide?

🔗Communities Essential Guide to Digital Tools — for Mutual Aid Groups
Basic and practical guide to the minimum viable tech tools for virtual collaboration. Good for first-time online collaborators.

🔗Peel Neighbourhood Care Groups
Regional how-to from Peel

🔗Parkdale Pods - Mutual Aid Network from the Parkdale People's Economy
Regional how-to adapted Mutual Aid Medford and Summerville (MAMAS) and the #WeGotOurBlock toolkit

🔗How to start a mutual aid group (Canada)
Regional how-to for Canada

🔗Useful Mutual-Aid Projects in Response to COVID-19, experiences from Chinese Volunteers
a list of different mutual aid projects based on lessons learned in the Chinese response

Less comprehensive guides

Guides that cover some aspects of how to organize and run a mutual aid group, or which mostly consist of links to other resources.

Tools to manage emails / CRM

How to make group decisions (+ tools)

Guides for making group decisions

🔗Tools and Models for Starting and Projects or Adding Helpful Structure to Existing Projects
🔗Techniques for Consensus Decision Making in Large Groups
🔗Crisis Informatics Research - Learn from research into past crises and disasters and the coordination tools and processes they used
🔗Running large virtual meetings   
🔗Roberts rules of order - Manual about parliamentary procedure
🔗Running a Zoom Meeting Protocol

Tools for making group decisions

  1. All Our Ideas - a tool to help groups to rank a set of ideas or suggestions.
  2. Loomio - a platform that enables groups to hold threaded discussions, and make decisions by various means, e.g. voting.
  3. Contributor Covenant - a widely used code of conduct for open source communities.

Tool to get people to shop for you


How to stay safe while helping people

🔗Mutual Aid & Self/Community Care Resources
🔗How to do a coronavirus prep door knock to care for your neighbors. Via sarah_at_play
🔗Survival Tips
🔗Safety Practices for Mutual Aid Projects


🔗A Neighborly Invitation Regarding Coronavirus (How to Contact Your Neighbors)
🔗Community/Family Invitation for Mutual AidForming Your own Mutual Aid Group
🔗Flyer Templates for Neighborhood Mutual Aid

Project Ideas (add your own!)

Add your contact info with your project

💡Customise and/or password-protect WhatsApp Group Chat links

I have developed, a completely free-to-use website which allows people to shorten and customise and password-protect their WhatsApp group chat links. It is already being used by several mutual aid groups in the UK and they have posted the links on their website and printed it on flyers and posters that they are distributing to connect people quickly.
Contact me if you have any suggestions or questions: [email protected]

💡Self-report tool on your symptoms and postal code

Make a simple website with your symptoms, whether you self-isolate and your approximate location (for privacy reasons), so we have more data than just the officially tested cases. Contact @codeforNL on Twitter for current status
See also: – in development

💡Way to see how busy your supermarket is

A way to see how busy your supermarket is and if they have stock so you can go at a quiet time when not many people are around? It’d probably defeat the purpose
=> Google Maps does this in some territories, click on the business and scroll down to see live graph of how busy it is

💡NHS A&E emergency waiting time app

Was rolled out in a few places has that been expanded? 

💡Apps to hack and repurpose during corona

E.g. like Tinder has been used by charities for some comms campaigns are there ways we can repurpose current apps and tools? E.g. food sharing apps, carers UK jointly app for care circles (see Self isolation handbook)

💡A way to donate transit/commuter benefits to essential workers

Businesses/sites that manage commuter benefits that are often supplied by businesses for tech workers ought to make it easy to donate to individuals in need while tech workers are not using them due to wfh. Thinking of signing a petition to some of businesses--Wageworks, Paychex. Alternatively, a grassroots way to request funds and a way to donate them to individuals might look like a spreadsheet where folks can enter their transit card info (if it’s safe to do so) and folks can donate to them and cross them off the list. 

Mutual aid suggestions from national food service 

💡#EmpowerAndHelp Activities for children/families 

  1. Make “Cards of Hope” to be distributed around. If you want us to distribute Mail to them - PO Box 354 , Morrisville , NC – 27560, USA .
  2. Clean out your toys and books for further donation within your area.
  3. Read books, play board games, print out coloring activities, play card games.
  4. Remember to do your homework .
  5. Make Mealkits for families in need in your area. 
  6. Make a call to your local Elderly care centers to donate your words and have a conversation . Example of a charity in UK (
  7. Join EmpowerandHelp Free zoom call to discuss various Global issues (For USA students interested in Global Challenge participation ) -
  8. Link to Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings (Updated) : Amazing Educational Resources -