How To Be A Mediocre and Ineffective Advocate

Here are the sure-fire ways to be a mediocre and ineffective advocate.

These are the truths that, if ignored, will take us from the on-ramp directly to the road to perdition as we try to communicate with legislators.

1. Reliance on technology as communications panacea. The craze over the latest Internet techniques to communicate with legislators was legitimate in the early 90s. Savvy advocates know the tools are not the answer, but rather the strategy and message behind them.

2. Transfer of knowledge ...

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Innovate to Motivate® Success Survey: Grassroots Quality and Strategic Planning

How do grassroots professionals define “quality”? Where do they find quality advocates? How do they rate their network’s ‘quality quotient?’

For the answers to these burning questions, read on.

Grassroots Quality Quotient

Because Innovate to Motivate® conference community members are experienced, they know that there is more to grassroots than names in a database. Technology has leveled the playing field, and the differentiating factor in a winning grassroots program is one characterized by committed, strategically positioned volunteers. I know a quality volunteer ...

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Amy in the News

I made some predictions in a February 2009 Politico article
on the sustainability of the Organizing for America movement. That led to an interview with  In These Times magazine about my additional thoughts on the enthusiasm gap among Democratic voters in the 2010 election.
Bottom line? The new (first time voters) 2008 Obama voters want immediate gratification, and that’s not reality:
And now, the college students are admitting it:

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More I2M Survey Results

Here are more results from our Innovate to Motivate® Success Survey. These results focus on PAC fundraising techniques and metrics.

One of the hallmarks of I2M is that we go beyond what is being discussed and commonly known to “drill down” and reveal patterns and data that can help us pursue political involvement excellence. I think you’ll find these results indicative of that philosophy.

Effective PAC Fundraising Techniques vs. Frequently Used Techniques

We asked our community two PAC fundraising questions:

  1. Which fundraising techniques are ...
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Are You Over-Relying on Email Advocacy?

Are you over-relying on email advocacy? In this 5-minute long podcast, learn more about how email advocacy should only be one tool in communications with your lawmaker.


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How to Prevent Burnout of Your Most Valuable Advocates

If you have a non-stop stream of enthusiastic grassroots advocates who are willing to repeatedly contact lawmakers when you ask, read no further. If you have advocates who consistently leverage their personal legislator relationships for your cause, read no further.

If you don’t, there’s research that reveals what you need to do to keep them interested and motivated (and it has nothing to do with plaques and awards). The surprising results are based on The Showalter Group’s proprietary research with hundreds ...

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Common Obstacles to Trust and How to Overcome Them: Part Two

We’re going to explore more common obstacles to trust and how to overcome them.

Direction changes

The insidious impact of direction changes is why it is so important to foster a grassroots and PAC community within an organization. Campaigns definitely have their purpose, but they can reduce motivation in the long term unless community is created from them.

Our advocates will tolerate change, but not ambiguity. I’m thrilled to hear about organizations that are revitalizing their grassroots and PAC communities. However, the fact ...

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How to Get Your Advocates Off Their Computers and On the Streets: Part Two

This is a follow-up post (see part one here) giving you a basic checklist of what you’ll need to do to get more of your advocates off the computer and in front of their legislators and community groups.

  1. When you have determined the path, create the infrastructure. Without this, it’s like trying to build a plane while you are flying it. Resources should include training, team structure, defined team member roles, team resources, team communications, reporting structures, events, rewards and ...
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The Top 12 Things To Do Now for Grassroots Success

Here is the “Top 12” list on what you should be doing now to reduce your stress, improve efficiency, and have better results with your grassroots activations.

  1. Mind the patterns. Which legislative districts are most responsive? Do you know why? Review all e-mail open rates, click throughs, forwards, and page visits. You probably do this after each grassroots mobilization campaign, but look at the broader pattern and build on what’s working. Review all of your metrics.
  2. Talk to your TBs (true believers). ...
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Advocacy Has To Be Customized

Clearly, having an older, more experienced, and more successful person trying to persuade a young staffer can be a recipe for disaster. Many of the necessary ingredients – trust, similarity, just liking a person – are missing. To overcome these hurdles, the advocate should find out what the staffer and client have in common. Where is the staffer from? Is this his or her first job out of college? What college? We know of advocates who break through this way ...

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