I’m a “passionate geek” about advocacy. A citizen’s right to tell her elected officials what she wants is, to me, an essential part of democracy. Google any political or social issue and you will find someone who advocates for or against it. The environment. The second amendment. Education. Foreign Affairs. Public Safety. Infrastructure. Animal Rights.
Advocacy is voting intensified. It’s freedom of speech. If you're in a group, it is freedom of assembly and association. It’s how we tell the government to spend money and shape policy in order to better reflect our values.
And I love it.
The fact that Chicago’s history tells the story of important social movements only fuels my passion. From Jane Adams’ fight for women’s suffrage to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s work for peace and justice and many others in between, there is a rich history of advocacy in my city. Oh, and if you get into strategizing about the “how to” of an advocacy campaign – my geek takes over again. What will be the most effective message? Who will be the best spokesperson? How should a nonprofit get the attention of government officials to advocate for a policy change?
Advocacy options are never ending:
The list of tactics could go on and on – almost as long as I could wax poetic about advocacy. And all of this “geeky passion” made it very difficult to figure out where to start writing a blog about advocacy – then it hit me. It’s passion. Strategic planning is important but its passion that attracts volunteers. Passion helps create effective messages. Passion gives your team the drive to keep going after you stumble.
Passion is the key to effective advocacy.