What is the basis of successful advocacy?
Knowledge and communication are the keys to successful advocacy. Become familiar with the cold, hard facts of the issue in question; then write and talk about it in clear objective terms. When you do this, people will be automatically drawn to the issue and become organized around it. We can teach you to think and write with clarity. In the meanwhile, you may want to take a look at our resource library for factual information on a range of issues.
Stay tuned for our webinars and recorded trainings on issue analysis and communication.
What are some advocacy tools that I can use?
There is a profusion of advocacy tools you can use. The important thing is to know your audience and use the most appropriate tools. Also, you must be comfortable with the tool that you have chosen to use. Online tools include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. You can also choose to blog using one of many available blogging platforms.
Stay tuned for our webinars and recorded trainings on the subject of social media advocacy
Also remember that emailing and letter –writing campaigns are still relevant and effective. So do include them in your toolset.
From time to time, we also post issue specific toolkits. You can use these as they appear or you can adapt the templates to suit your issues and needs. Typically toolkits include context for the issue;
- frequently asked questions;
- how to take action;
- online actions such as emails, social media;
- tips on how to call your elected official;
- sample letters to Congress;
- sample blog posts;
- sample letter to the editor;
- sample editorial opinion.
- Find your legislators
- Violence Against Women – i-VAWA Toolkit (PDF)
- Ratification of CEDAW
- 21st Century Leadership Resolution
- Human Trafficking
Is there an “advocacy lexicon”?
Yes, there is a certain vocabulary that is used by Non – Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and multi-lateral organizations such as the United Nations and you should become familiar with it. The language is an amalgamation of diverse country cultures as well as feminist and nonprofit perspectives. There are also many, many abbreviations and acronyms that you will want to become familiar with. However, when you speak or write about issues, your focus should be on clarity rather than on jargon. You will be most effective when you are completely yourself.
How can I find like-minded individuals and organizations?
You can find like-minded, socially conscious individuals within the WG-USA membership. You can also participate in one or more of our program committees that are working on our priority issues. Or you can join our Advocacy Committee which is responsible for identifying organizations that work on issues related to our priorities and collaborating with them on letters and emails to elected and appointed officials and multi-lateral organizations; writing about issues, developing membership involvement in advocacy. You can also suggest issue-related resolutions for adoption by the organization
We also post links to other organizations that you may be interested in.
- Program & Committees
- WG-USA Member Center
- Links to other organizations
How can I begin organizing people to advocate for an issue?
Become very familiar with the issue. Jot down some salient points that you know are important. Start with a small circle of friends and family. Make sure that you tell them in advance that you will be raising this issue with them – no one likes to be blind-sided.
Start by asking them what they already know about the issue so that you aren’t being repetitious. Start a conversation:
- talk about the issue and how it may impact your audience.
- Tell them how it is impacting you.
- Address misconceptions.
- Suggest ways in which they can become involved.
Once you are comfortable with your approach, try a bigger audience.
Stay tuned for our webinars and recorded trainings on the subject of organizing for advocacy
How do I know that my advocacy is succeeding?
It is important to understand that advocacy by its very nature is a long-term commitment, particularly when it comes to issues that have multiple aspects to them and impact many parties. Advocacy is political but it is not necessarily adversarial. It is really about finding common ground between advocates of people affected by the issue and their detractors. So, it is fraught with compromise, postponement and new beginnings. Contrary to popular belief this is a good thing because revisiting the issue and revisions in language and behaviors frequently make for a stronger and precise strategy.
Remember that you are already successful when you take the first few steps in becoming engaged with an issue.
Stay tuned for our recorded trainings on the subject.
How can I stay updated on the most current global issues and US legislation?
We routinely post news from the UN on current issues that impact our priority issues. We provide timely updates from the UN and the IFUW, some context and analysis to frame the issues and recommendations for actions
But you can also go to the UN News Center http://www.un.org/news/
To keep up with the progress of US legislation, go to the Sunlight Foundation http://sunlightfoundation.com/. Get on its “alerts” list but to avoid a barrage of emails from this website, make sure that you narrowly define the legislation or populations that interest you.