3 Ways to Build Your Advocacy Infrastructure to Increase Engagement

3 Ways to Build Your Advocacy Infrastructure to Increase Engagement | MCI United States | EN

January, 04 2022

It’s a new year, which means new opportunities are on the horizon. As you prepare to launch some of your advocacy efforts for 2022, it’s important to have the right infrastructure to produce successful results.

At MCI USA, we help our clients navigate their programming and build this infrastructure for advocacy and engagement. In a recent webinar “Voices Carry: Inspiring Community Through Advocacy,” we highlighted a case study on how one of our clients, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, effectively implemented infrastructure building to create a sustainable advocacy community.

RESOLVE is a patient advocacy organization dedicated to reproductive health and infertility issues. It engages with more than 4,000 advocates from all 50 states to help with grassroots efforts for family-building legislation and to create an engaged community. In 2020, RESOLVE formalized their advocacy coalition and launched RESOLVE Advocacy Network (RAN). They learned the following key takeaways in sustaining long-term advocacy efforts.

  1. Set up your advocacy infrastructure first. Before launching the advocacy program, RESOLVE focused on building and organizing a detailed structure for advocates with guidelines, expectations, and time commitments. Volunteer manuals, application processes, and surveys were also created to help identify advocacy interests and match them with projects that fit their skill sets. These tasks may seem tedious, but they will increase your volunteer engagement tenfold.
  2. Ease the cognitive burden of participating in advocacy. Advocacy needs to be an entry-level process. People will act more often if it is quick and efficient. RESOLVE provided advocates with scripts, talking points, phone numbers and a list of actions they could copy and duplicate. They also used Phone2Action to connect advocates directly with their lawmakers via the RESOLVE Advocacy Network Action Center, taking out the guesswork.
  3. Create community. Advocacy efforts can take years to pass, and you need volunteers who are not going to burn out or lose interest. One way to do this is through building a community amongst your advocates to turn individuals into friends and family. RESOLVE created private Facebook groups and a mentor program that allowed new advocates to receive training and resources, as well as build connections and friendships.

While creating systems and structures can seem arduous to set up, when RAN launched, RESOLVE was immediately ready to recruit advocates with ways to engage, leading to increased advocate actions that resulted in a stronger impact and exceptional results. Over 75% of RAN advocates have already taken their first advocacy action, with much higher advocate conversion rates than industry averages.

Volunteers need to feel valued in their time, skills, and resources to reduce burn out and remain motivated. By using these three steps, RESOLVE had the structures in place to create a successful advocacy community.

We can help you create a successful advocacy program as well. Reach out if you’d like to have a conversation.

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