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Grassroots advocacy

Classroom to Capitol

My colleague, Jake Lowen, for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect, said something the other day, when we were talking with a group of nonprofit advocates, that has stuck with me since.

The conversation was about what trips people up, when it comes to including grassroots strategies in their organizations’ advocacy. What barriers do organizations, particularly those that provide direct services (and, so, have built-in constituencies), face in building and activating their grassroots power?

There was a sort of shuffling around, really, as people identified some of the likely suspects: difficulty figuring out exactly how to ‘slice’ their issues so that people are motivated to get involved, figuring out the appropriate asks and how to move folks along a continuum of participation, constructing campaigns with authentic opportunities for leadership…

Then someone asked about the first step, how you get started, to “do grassroots”.


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