Advocacy Techniques

How to Succeed as an Advocate

Poor and vulnerable children around the world don’t have a DC lobby firm, and unless Congress hears from you, poverty-focused assistance could be slashed. We need champions like you to defend child nutrition and health programs so that life-changing and life-saving funding can continue to reach struggling families who need it most.

Thank you for volunteering your voice in the fight against malnutrition. Here are some of the tools and resources to help you be successful when you urge congress to make child nutrition a priority:

For those who would like our comprehensive, in-depth report on child malnutrition, you may download our 95 page nutrition report.

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the act of supporting a cause to produce a desired change. We advocate because we feel strongly about a particular issue. One target of advocacy is government policy. You can influence government policy through effective communication with your elected officials, the media and other influential leaders.

General Techniques for Effective Advocacy

  1. Identify yourself: State your name and identify yourself as a constituent. Share other information about who you are if it is relevant to the issue (for example, if you are a parent, member of a civic organization, business owner, scientist, etc).
  2. Be Specific: Include the name and number of the relevant bill. Clearly describe the issue and state your goals.
  3. Make it Personal: The best thing you can do as a citizen advocate is give the issue your individual voice. Use personal examples and speak in your own words.
  4. Be Confident: Your official’s job is to represent you. You may also know more about the issue than your elected official. That is why it is a good idea to offer yourself as a source of information.
  5. Be Polite: Always work on the basis that the government and your opponents are open to reason and discussion. If you are rude, your message will not be received.
  6. Be Brief: Communication that focuses strongly on one argument is the most effective. Keep it to one issue. Limit written documents to one page.
  7. Be Timely: Your message is more likely to be considered if it is immediately relevant.
  8. Be Factual: Use facts and statistics. Make sure the information you provide is accurate.
  9. E-mail your elected officials NOW!

How to Write Elected Officials

How to Write Editors

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