Invest + Develop + Sustain = Gain -The Heckman Equation
Advocacy is essential to advance and sustain a systems-building policy agenda, and to secure the funding necessary to support the system at the state and local levels.
So what does advocacy mean? Advocacy is taking action to speak out against or build support for an issue, idea, or social cause. The essential ingredients of advocacy are:
- Education: Understanding and communicating issues, impacts, and concerns.
- Leadership: People willing to take action and speak up about issues.
- Action/engagement: Creating change by organizing a group of people to make it happen.
At its core, advocacy is providing education about the issues. It includes lobbying, but it also goes beyond lobbying. We all do advocacy in some way—when we take action, we try to make change. How we advocate depends on the level at which we’re trying to make an impact. This advocacy continuum shows example activities at each level of change. Additionally, community engagement is important to help build public support for your policies and issues. Working with others and in coalition with organizations that share your values and passion can show public officials that many people care about the issue.
When you’re ready to take action, it’s important to have the information you need to confidently speak on behalf of children and families. Some ways to accomplish that include: