How To Advocate 101

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How To Advocate 101

Building a Movement to Fight Global Poverty

Citizen advocacy takes passion, enthusiasm and patience --plus a commitment to ongoing education. Advocate U is designed to strengthen your advocacy skills and understanding of CARE’s work and advocacy agenda, as well as provide insider information on how the government functions. It provides a structure for you to gain confidence and a platform for you to present CARE’s issues to your members of Congress and community in a knowledgeable and powerful way.

Advocate U focuses on three key areas:

  • CARE’s Advocacy Issues – The issues that are top priorities to CARE right now
  • Organizing in Your Community – How to build a strong, diverse team
  • Political Processes – How the government works

All three areas are influenced by these Four Cornerstones of Effective Advocacy:

1. Direct Political Engagement: Interactions with your Federal elected officials, candidates, and/or their staff

  • Examples: Phone calls, hand written letters, emails, social media, meetings, public engagements/town halls

2. Indirect Political Influence: Any action that may influence your Federal elected officials, candidates and/or staff

  • Examples: Letters To the Editor (LTE) / Opinion-Editorials (Op-ED) and other traditional media opportunities, outreach from community/faith leaders/influencers/grasstops or local elected officials to your Member of Congress’s office

3. Recruitment: Activities and events that engage new CARE advocates and encourage them to take action with the CARE Action Network in your community

  • Examples: Attending or creating a community event to raise awareness and recruit new CARE advocates, directing someone to sign up at CAREaction.org, hosting a CARE meet-up at your home or other site, or working with your Regional Advocacy Coordinator to connect with grasstop community leaders

4. Education and Awareness: Expanding, developing and sharing your knowledge of CARE’s mission, organization, issues, policies and United States’ political processes

  • Examples: Doing research that increases your understanding of how government works, U.S. political processes and CARE’s advocacy issues. Accessing and studying online resource information via CARE.org, CARE Action Newsletters and the CARE Action website. Raising awareness via social media, blogs, presentations to community groups, and other opportunities for sharing CARE with your networks
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