Advocacy – What Does It Really Mean?
(from the Alliance for Justice web-site) Advocacy is defined as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others. What kind of activities comprise advocacy work?The following list of advocacy activities is not exhaustive:• Organizing: Build power at the base. Mobilize constituencies and build power in their communities.• Educate Legislators: Provide information on issues. • Educating the Public about the Legislative Process: Introduce communities and constituencies to the legislators whose represent them. When communities have the opportunity to meet legislators face to face and discuss the issues that affect their everyday lives, not only do legislators receive the tools they need to represent their communities, but those communities are empowered to invest more heavily in the outcomes of policy debates, giving them a stronger hand in their own future.• Research: Produce relevant resources that reflect the real story of your "community". • Organizing a rally: Mobilize for your cause. • Regulatory efforts: Take action at the agencies. • Public education: Educate the community on the issues. • Nonpartisan voter education: Inform the electorate on the issues. • Nonpartisan voter mobilization: Encourage citizens to vote. • Educational conferences: Gather, network, share information, and plan for the future. Groups convene to discuss issues and strategies.• Training: Grass-roots training sessions that teach successful strategies and skills for direct action organizing on issues.• Litigation: Win in court for your cause or your community.• Lobbying: Advocate for or against specific legislation. All nonprofits are permitted to lobby. 501(c)(3) public charities can engage in a generous but limited amount of lobbying.