10 Advocacy Myths That Hurt Your Organization

advocacy myths

10 Advocacy Myths - Tips To Break Bad Advocacy Habits.

With Advocacy Season in full swing, it's time to clear the air on some common advocacy myths about what will, and what won't, hurt your advocacy group.

1. Only the rich can meet their elected official 

Go ask your legislator to meet you for a cup of coffee at Starbucks and talk about your issue. Most legislators will say yes. You don't have to be a big shot to do that just a little bit of moxie and a basic pitch.

2. Advocacy campaigns don't matter

Bullshit. They matter now more that ever. Folks are building campaigns for legislation and are using those campaigns to shore up support to achieve other organizational goals.

3. All you need is a good lobbyist

A good lobbyist can make a big difference for you. They can open doors and define targets, but don't set them up to fail by believing they can do everything. Having a good campaign to back up legislation can help your lobbying efforts a great deal.

4. If you call too often your legislator will vote against you

Not likely. If you don't call or advocate, you are in a lot more jeopardy than if you do.

5. Legislation takes care of itself

 Legislation is like a plant- no matter how good the seed (idea) is, if you don't nurture and water it, the plant will die.

6. Nobody cares about what voters think

Knowing how their voters think is a big deal to elected officials. Showing them that their voters care about your issue is very important and can mean the difference between support or opposition.

7. Grasstops advocates are hard to find

Look at the elected official. What is there background? What boards are they on? Where did they go to school? Who are they married to? Who are their donors? Looking at these basic factors can help you build grasstops power.

8. People know how to do advocacy

Your members don't know your priorities unless you tell them. It is not fair to your advocates and members to assume they are advocacy experts when they are not. Tell them what actions matter most to you and what they can do to help achieve overall goals.

9. Advocates are different than donors

They are very often the same folks or a potential group of donors you have not tapped yet. 

10. You can't build an organization through advocacy 

Many folks are afraid of advocacy. They think that their current donors will run away when they start doing advocacy. We have seen the reverse happen- by doing advocacy you give your donors and members a chance to speak about the issue they love and get other folks to buy in.

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Advocacy Strategy, Advocacy Myths