It is puzzling that the term "community organizer" has come into such disrepute. I suppose Mrs. Palin engineered its fall from grace with a funny line from her 2008 GOP acceptance speech, but there is an irony to that since she herself was an effective community organizer before entering public life.
I can think of two other highly effective community organizers. The apostle Paul traveled though out the Roman Empire to start, guide, and nurture communities of early Christians with a message recommending a quite specific set of transformative beliefs, values, behaviors and actions. His letters to those communities are often viewed as invaluable by latter day organizers, both for administrative and operational guidance.
Another community organizer on my mind is Ben Franklin. Among his accomplishments was organizing friends and neighbors to fight fires by designing and planning America's first volunteer Fire Department. "People who are wrapped up in themselves make small packages," he said. And, "We should all hang together or, assuredly, we shall hang separately."
Where would we be without community organizers? Imagine if the Echo Clinic, the Good Shepherd Humane Society, the Opera of the Ozarks, and Loaves and Fishes were merely fictions rather than the evolving and realized accomplishments of their initial dreamers and organizers. Imagine how less durable and interesting life would be without the talent and energy of these community heroes.
The mission of the little church I belong to is "Building a Community of Hope." Among the organizational strategies--each with an assigned "community organizer"--is outreach to at risk youth, promotion of community gardens and sustainable agriculture, and collaboration with our county Literacy Council to improve reading among adults. I'm sure you would be glad to have any member of this group help you organize an event, or a community.
Community organizers come in all stripes, of course. Some start volunteer fire departments or brick the foundation on which great ideas are realized. Others go on to become bagmen for managerial elites or special interest groups; it is always important to consider people on the basis of what they do rather than on what they are.