Now that you’re ready to “Put a Face on Your Community” and initiate an advocacy team, how do you ensure its success? To start, the people you choose to participate will need to have a relationship with those you are trying to influence. The following tips will help guide you towards choosing those individuals that can help you accomplish your mission and achieve the goals you’ve established.
Select the Right Participants
Time Commitment – Choose individuals that are willing and able to make the time commitment necessary to actively participate. To develop strong relationships, we recommend the Committee meet formally, at a minimum, four times throughout the year with lawmakers. And depending upon the Committee’s goals, it’s likely there will be other opportunities for informal interactions. They will also be asked to communicate regularly with legislators.
Community Representation – It’s important that diversity is present amongst committee members so all facets of your city or organization are represented. First and foremost, select people that reside within your municipal boundaries, or the lawmaker’s district AND have been well served by your organization. Other considerations include members such as:
○ Families with school-age children
○ Diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds
○ HOA board members
○ Neighborhood watch captains
○ Local Business Owners
○ Professionals with subject matter expertise related to your committee goals
○ Current board members
Political Considerations – Like you, legislators want to interact with people they know and people that have supported them during their tenure in public service. And while it is unlikely your issues or the committee’s goals will be “politically motivated”, taking this into consideration provides further motivation for them to actively engage with committee members. Considerations are:
○ Registered voters
○ Individuals that are politically active within their respective party
○ Campaign volunteers
○ Individuals that have a relationship with legislators you are trying to influence
Other Considerations – One objective of an advocacy committee is to engage individuals that will champion your goals and then share that message with lawmakers. Selecting participants that regularly attend council meetings or organization events means they already understand your mission and can begin interacting effectively with lawmakers quickly and easily.
Lastly, if you have individuals that have benefitted from your services, consider selecting them for the committee. They may be your greatest “champions” and are will be eager to share their positive experiences with lawmakers.
Want to discuss in further detail? Email me your comments or questions or leave a comment below.
Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy