Top 3 Things to Know about Advocacy

We know that advocacy can be a bit intimidating, but it’s important to talk to our elected officials and their advisors about the issues that matter most to our communities. Here are three important tips to keep in mind when engaging in direct advocacy.

1. It’s easy.

We have all the tools, templates, and talking points you could ever need. You don’t need to memorize facts or be a policy expert. We’re here to help with scripts, leave-behind flyers, and materials for every action. And if there’s anything you need that we don’t have, let us know and we can customize something just for you. We are happy to hear from you and always excited about feedback.

2. It’s well-received.

Politicians want to hear from their constituents. It is their job to represent you. You don’t need to be in DC to be an effective advocate. It is equally important to make connections with representatives in their district offices. And you won’t always meet directly with the Congressperson. Forming relationships with staffers in DC and district offices is an essential part of being an advocate. Staffers are the ones who get information directly to the people in power, and they want to hear from you, too. Just remember to personalize your story. Are you a businessperson, mom, nurse, or teacher? Let them know and, in doing so, give your message a human face.

3. It makes an impact.

Offices track and pay attention to what they hear from constituents. We’ve seen members of Congress move from neutral positions on global childhood immunization to fully supportive stances based on positive interactions with constituents. There have been moments when our advocates have called into offices just as our champions are meeting with their staffers. We tirelessly advocate from all sides, and it works!

  • Rebecca Maxie is the National Strategy Grassroots Manager for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Rebecca spent over a decade working on or managing political campaigns and causes through leadership roles in national political consulting firms. Rebecca moved to Washington, D.C. in December of 2014 from Las Vegas, Nevada, where...