Posts Tagged 'grassroots advocacy groups'

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 ...

Continue Reading →

The Top 7 Things Your Grassroots Advocates Don’t Want to Hear

In the interest of equal time, here are my thoughts relative to my grassroots compatriots. These are my favorites, not in any particular order. I provide these because words matter.

How we talk about grassroots sends clear signals to our volunteers as to what’s possible, and most important, our attitude toward them. These tips may help you to avoid the “trial and terror” approach to grassroots recruiting.

Drum roll, please. . .

1. “When we contact you to communicate with your legislator, it ...

Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Motivator: Part 4

Negative Communications

If we are truly grassroots professionals, we should embrace “bottom up” communications. Many times our messages only asking them to do something for us, or tell them what they should not be doing, saying, thinking, etc. It is important to be a carrier of good news. It affects how we are seen in the organization and how much time our advocates will give us in the future.

People attribute negative personal characteristics to those who bring us bad news, regardless ...

Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Motivator: Part 3

Without trust in the leader and the organization’s purpose, it is very difficult to get people to join your grassroots cause or contribute to your PAC.

The enemies of trust I outlined in part one of this article include:
• Regular grassroots and PAC underperformance
• Misplaced loyalty
• Direction changes
• Failure to trust others

There are more enemies of trust. In this concluding article I will review the four remaining trust blockers and the questions you must ask of yourself ...

Continue Reading →

Trust – The Ultimate Grassroots and PAC Motivator: Part 2

Misplaced Loyalty

Whether it’s defending your advocates to badly behaving legislators, or helping them navigate internal organizational land mines, we must demonstrate loyalty to engender trust.

Unfortunately, I still hear stories of legislators who treat grassroots advocates worse than their mother– in – law. Many of us have witnessed condescending behavior and overt animus toward constituents during our Capitol Hill and State House lobby day events.

We can’t prevent lousy legislator behavior, but we can defend our advocates when we witness the behavior, ...

Continue Reading →

How to Avoid the Tripping Point and Maximize Your Advocate Hill and State House Visits: Part One

Grassroots advocate Hill visits are a necessary activity for groups who are serious about impacting the legislative process. Why don’t these opportunities create raging grassroots thunder advocates? Why don’t the visits result in converted legislators?

To make an impression with our advocates and legislators, we must go beyond the stultifyingly boring “dos and dont’s” of legislative communications and empower our advocates to influence, rather than present, the organization’s position and their personal story to their legislator. However, many groups stubbornly cling ...

Continue Reading →

Grassroots Advocacy Groups Rely Too Heavily On Email Campaigns

In 2006, some House Members quietly erected an obstacle between them and their constituents.

They now required e-mail correspondents to solve a simple math or logic problem for their e-mails to get through. The electronic roadblock drew howls of protest from public interest groups and trade associations, who denounced it as a threat to democracy. The idea, of course, is to ensure that only actual people – and not mass-mailing computers of the kind often used by interest groups – send ...

Continue Reading →

Is Anyone Reading Mass E-mails Sent to Lawmakers?

Probably not, according to a survey by the Congressional Management Foundation. Most Congressional staffers polled – 75 percent – said they believe the cookie-cutter e-mails from constituents are sent without the constituents’ knowledge.

The staffers’ skepticism over the e-mails may be related to findings from another CMF survey. That survey found that the number of letters and e-mails received by Congress has quadrupled in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, the number of people hired to read them has stayed the same.

The ...

Continue Reading →

The Habits of Effective State Advocacy Groups

The results of the following research have been featured in many of my advocacy workshops, as well as various national and regional publications.

In our initial research review, we saw that the specific word “grassroots” was the second highest response as one of the habits of an effective advocacy group. However, upon further review of the responses, we noted that there were numerous responses such as: “active membership,” “lots of members”, and “regular people” that refer to grassroots.

Therefore, I am republishing ...

Continue Reading →