Strategy for running a successful advocacy campaign

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Strategy for running a successful advocacy campaign

Around the world, nonprofit organizations and human rights defenders are standing firm with the righteous and against the unjust. One such example is nonprofits striving to safeguard women’s rights and protecting women from all forms of gender-based discrimination. 

Developing and running an advocacy campaign is to continuously make efforts to compel lawmakers for a specific change: a change which is for the common good. These kinds of campaigns, supported by thousands to millions, will encourage lawmakers to take the right action and be rational with the decision. Unlike the typical nonprofit fundraising campaigns, advocacy campaigns are going to take a longer time duration. 

The objective of an advocacy campaign can range from drafting and passing a new or amended an old law; to reforming the judicial system; to implementing and monitoring a law. The passion towards achieving the advocacy goals comes from a righteousness idea, implementing a policy for the collective good, or to change or oppose a bad one. 

That being said, an advocacy campaign needs to be well planned, should be communicated effectively and must be backed by a team having at least a personality who is idolized by the common mass. 

#1. The goal: Set it the right way

Ask yourself – do you know what you are running towards to achieve? Setting a discrete goal is necessary to know what you are aiming for. But this can be intimidating. Enacting change is the purpose of an advocacy campaign and the common goal is to mend the wrongs in the world. Surely, this will not serve as an underlying goal. You need to be more specific and this can be done by setting SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound.

Drafting SMART goals for advocacy campaigns is similar to the way you do it for your nonprofit fundraising. The target should be specific and defined. It should be measurable. For example, a petition that requires 10,0000 signatures for a law to be implemented. Given all the resources and the constraints you have to deal with, set goals that are achievable and not beyond your reach. The goals should be relevant and should be achievable in a set period of time. 

#2. Ensure your message to be loud and clear

A well-grounded and sound message will define how your supporters and audience are going to perceive your campaign. The message should focus on defining your goals, the mission and, should attract and unify the mass. Your supporters should know what your campaign is about and what you are advocating. Not just any, but a strong and powerful message that involves the public and provides an emotional bond is important.

#3. Build a strong team 

A team on-board to run your advocacy campaign is mandatory. A nonprofit fundraising campaign is a task well done with a team of volunteers and an administrative member to supervise it. But an advocacy campaign is different. You should build a team consisting of authorities in advocacy campaigns, the subject matter specialist, marketing specialists, software experts along with a team leader. Encourage advocates among your regular donors and supporters to get involved and if possible, to be a part of your team. 

#4. Outline a communication plan

Create a compelling communication plan. Now that you have a powerful message to deliver and a team to lead the way, it’s time to share the message widely. Your choice of words in your communication content matters a lot. Make sure it is persuasive and straightforward. Start with sending out email communications and mobile messages to your current supporters. Chances are high that they will help you grow your network. Alongside this, start promoting your campaign on social media. With over a billion active users, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter is a great way to reach more people. To unleash the full potential of online platforms, the key is to target the right audience.

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