Collaborations and Coalitions
Working with like-minded people
Many advocates find that combining voices is more effective -
not only because you are more likely to be heard, but more
efficient as well. Learning from others with more experience
will save a lot of time - they know what has and hasn't worked
in the past and which policymakers are sympathetic to the issue.
They likely have updates that are very informative. Some groups
provide advocacy training and support. Sharing resources - time,
money, the services of a lobbyist - is more efficient. And more
collaborators mean more opportunities to reach different
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look
what they can do when they stick together.
-- Verna M. Kelly
Finding a like-minded group is not usually hard. Search the internet.
Check on college campuses. Go to a few public hearings or conferences on
your issue and see who testifies or speaks.
Once you find a group, go to a few meetings and read their materials.
You will quickly decide if the group is a good fit for you. Consider:
- the mission and the goals - do they include your issue,
obviously you want to work toward your goal while supporting others'
- what you will be expected to contribute - some will ask for
nothing, but some may have a membership fee, some may ask for access
to your network (if you have one), or for a significant commitment
- the history of the group - see if they have a history of
- their reputation - check around, especially ask
policymakers which groups they respect
- who else belongs - be sure you are comfortable with the
partners, but do not rule out groups with unlikely members, this is
a significant strength
- is one group or person driving the agenda?
- politics -- some are aligned with one party or even one
wing of a party, that is not necessarily bad - it can be extremely
effective, but be sure you are comfortable with the bias
While coalitions can be extremely effective, and are often the only
way to move an issue, they are human institutions. Power struggles, turf
battles and strong personalities are not uncommon. There are often
differences in culture, ways of working, resources, and levels of
commitment to the cause. Recognize and respect the differences.
Advocacy for Organizations
Celebrating Your Victories - Finding Something to Celebrate
If you only have 5 minutes to
make a difference
How to work with a lobbyist
Research - Finding and Using Data
Letter Raising a Concern
Letter Opposing a Proposal
Letter Supporting a Proposal
Sample Fact Sheet 1
Sample Fact Sheet 2
The Proper Care and Feeding of a
Tips No Advocate should forget
How to work with campaigns
Changing Public Opinion
How to Create Fact Sheets and Action
Coalitions and Advocacy
to Organizing by Family Voices
Caring Families Coalition
- a truly consumer-driven health coalition in CT with over a thousand
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