Grassroots vs. Grasstops Advocacy

Grassroots Advocacy vs. Grasstops Advocacy: Know the Core Components of an Advocacy Campaign.  

Do you ever ask yourself, "What is the difference between grassroots advocacy vs. grasstops advocacy?" Well, you're not the only one scratching your head. 

Here at The Campaign Workshop, we know political definitions can be confusing. Even folks who have been around for a long time get campaign terms confused. So in our never ending quest to define what we do, we want to define what grassroots and grasstops advocacy are for our readers. Don't get stuck in the weeds with political jargon! Instead, harness the power of grasstops and grassroots advocacy to run an effective advocacy campaign.  

What is grassroots advocacy?

Grassroots advocacy is when you reach out to constituents in legislative districts or congressional districts and have them connect with their legislator or member of Congress on an issue they care about. No one is paid for their action, but resources are often spent reaching out to these constituents. Tactics for this include online petitions, patch through calls, digital ads etc... 

What is grass-tops advocacy?

Grasstops advocacy is when you focus narrowly on opinion leaders and folks who have connections to elected officials. For example, reaching out to the office-holder’s donors or leaders within their political party. Tactics for this include in person meetings, Patch through calls and  letter writing. 

Can you just do grassroots advocacy or only grass-tops?

For a long period of time, advocacy was almost exclusively focused on the grass-tops. As advocacy campaigns have turned larger they have become more focused on the grassroots but both are still important.

Can you do both grassroots and grass-tops advocacy?

Yes! And you should! Advocacy campaigns are always a question of resources, but often there is a way to target both grass-tops and constituents at the grassroots level. This approach can result in more bang for your buck in both effecting change and gaining more attention for your issue. Many successful advocacy campaigns use this two-pronged approach by making shrewd tactical decisions to keep the budget under control.


Want to learn more about grassroots and grass-tops advocacy campaigns? Drop us a line or download our e-book, The Complete Guide to Advocacy

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