Note 1: Every now and then, I abandon writing posts on how to raise money, etc., and write a post on events related to social justice. This is one of those posts.
Note 2: Prior posts have poked fun of the Democrats. Now it's the Republicans' turn.
Note 3: The lyrics below can be sung to "Clementine."
In a bistro, with the fellas
And $300 wine
Are they lobbyists or just friends with
Representative Paul Ryan?
He's an earnest, thoughtful, serious
Man of faith, a family man
Whose proposed cuts would mean Gram eats
Only ramen soup and spam.
Health care coupon (What's next? Group-On?)
Calls it Medicare Reform
It won't cover much stuff other
Than removal of a corn.
He loves freedom, faith, and choices,
Truth and his P90X,
Less aid for the poor and voiceless,
His ripped abs, and his ripped pecs.
Hint: It has something to do with communication.
Face to face
Present your case
To incumbents and candidates
At forums and debates.
At conventions and caucuses; to committees and commissions,
To councils, congresses, and coalitions
Requests for donations
Town hall meetings
Your annual report, your monthly newsletter
Constituent calls: 10 are good; 100 are better.
Regular updates - hard copy and online
Remember: Out of sight is out of mind.
Hard to get your elected's attention?
The indirect message can trump direct mention:
Call a call-in radio show
("We're still waiting for the mayor's answer - just a simple yes or no.")
Send a letter to the editor, submit an op-ed ...
Opinion sections are usually well-read.
You can use [nonviolent] protests, pickets, marches, sit-ins
Squatting, street theatre, sign-waving, and knit-ins
When your elected helps bring your mission to fruition,
Send lots of thank yous; give public recognition.
Get the most from your communications work - anything less is a tragedy!
Embed your messages in a messaging strategy.*
* In other words, it's best to have a communications plan/strategy before you choose specific communications action steps (tactics). The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has developed a helpful guide to communications planning.
First things first: If you are reading this and have any idea at all as to why my text is formatted so oddly, please let me know! Thanks, Lisa
A friend of mine who worked in the mayor's office of a small city told me this story:
The City invited local nonprofit organizations that operated recreational programs to apply for
funding. Among the applicants were a nonprofit organization that offered swimming classes,
enjoyed by a broad cross-section of residents, and an organization whose only program was a golf
course, enjoyed by a small but loyal base of fans. The golf club was awarded money; the swim
program was not.
My friend felt that, for the most part, the swim club needed and deserved the money more than the golfers did. But, she said there was one complicating consideration:
The golf club's representatives regularly visited City Hall and updated key people in the grant-
making process about the golf club's programs, events, maintenance challenges, and more. The
swimmers did not visit City Hall, and offered no updates.When it came time to decide which
groups got money, the grant-making folks had much more information about the golf program than
about the swimming program.
Here are my five notes-to-self from this story. (What are yours?)
1) DON'T assume that your organization's good work speaks for itself.
2) DON'T assume that fundraising and other activities not directly related to your mission don't
constitute good work.
3) DO cultivate relationships with government officials and staffers.
4) DO advocate funding for their services.
5) DO these things on an ongoing basis.
Check back tomorrow for 33 ways to protect your government support.