When policymakers hear your voice on issues in front of them, they are better able to do their jobs. They hear the impact of decisions on your work, the stories of people impacted by policies, and opportunities to do better by your community. Nonprofits are directly impacted by decisions being made at the local, state, and federal level. This episode is all about advocacy and how you can move forward your mission by creating or joining a movement.
Questions to reflect on before you listen:
What words come to mind when you think about advocacy, policy, or lobbying? Why?
- What resonated with you about this conversation? What would you like to take back to your organization?
- What connections do people within your organization currently have with policymakers? We name a few ways to get policymakers engaged in your work: visiting or calling them, including them on your mailing list, and building relationships with staff. Which of these can you move forward for your organization?
- Small nonprofits have even more power when they come together into networks or coalitions. What groups do you belong to? What are these groups doing when it comes to public policy advocacy? How can you support their efforts?
- Often advocacy feels abstract until there is a specific issue impacting your organization. Find a policy issue that directly impacts your organization. You can think about federal PPP loan/relief programs, state funding for agencies like yours, or maybe local policies that impact fundraising or how people can come together as examples. Talk about that issue at your next board meeting. Engage your board and staff in deepening understanding about the issue and how your organization can participate in a solution.
Word of the Week: Catalyst
What does “catalyst” mean to you and your organization right now?