Advocacy on the Menu at Boston Globe

In the mood for a tasty lesson on doing #advocacy right? Check out the Boston Globe’s “Food” section’s inspired campaign, #ProjectTakeout.  https://bit.ly/3M9egTd #Project Takeout’s goal is to spur readers’ support for local independent restaurants during this second crushing pandemic winter. My favorite part is the feature “Three Places We Supported This Week.” https://bit.ly/3Hst1x5 Each weekly …

Community Possibilities Podcast: Advocating for Social Change

I recently had a great chat with my friend and colleague Ann Price, who hosts the Community Possibilities podcast at Community Evaluation Solutions. Ann’s expertise is working with community-based social service organizations both large and small on strategy design and evaluation for social change. We’ve connected over our passion for advocacy and policy change as …

Grant Seekers Meet Monster Anteaters: What Your Concept Paper Can Learn from a Movie Trailer

Monster green anteater movie trailers can improve your concept paper. Not immediately finding this obvious? Nuclear powers now square off over Twitter, and jumbotrons post marriage offers. In times like these, it seems logical to borrow magic from a medium that attracts millions of eyeballs. Grab that $8.00 bucket of popcorn and read on.

Bars Are for Pitchers, Not Pitching

In a world where work can’t start until a cat is ejected from someone’s keyboard, private in-person business meetings are as rare as carbon paper. But a chat behind (real) closed doors is something that should not be lost entirely to the mists of time. In pre-pandemic 2019 I was an accidental witness to a …

Prevail in Local Level Policy Change by Maintaining the Narrative Upper Hand

Even in the best of times, proposals to change local services – such as roads and schools – are often controversial. And this, of course, is far from the best of times. Opponents of specific public works projects find ready allies in residents who are unnerved by changes to the city or neighborhood status quo …

Politicians and Cow Manure: Voters Harmed by Corporate Polluters Urge Candidates to Take a Stand

From before the United States even existed, political actors sought to get the narrative upper hand. No less a figure than Paul Revere forged public opinion with this propaganda image about the Boston Massacre. The engraving (a print from which is in the collection of the Concord Museum) helped inflame New Englanders’ sentiments against London’s …

Learning and Adapting on the Statewide Election Trail

Political campaigns were among the many activities of normal life upended by the sudden emergence of COVID-19 in the winter of 2020. State and local campaigns, which often turn on successful door-to-door voter contact, were particularly affected. In a Talking Points Memo piece co-authored with David Shorr, an evaluation colleague and local elected official, I …

Grantee-led Evaluation for Better Learning

In this post for Center for Effective Philanthropy, my colleague David Shorr and I argue that advocacy organizations and their funders learn best when the advocates themselves are supported to measure progress on their highest-priority issues and concerns. Focusing on what grantees want to learn helps ensure that measurement is consistently incorporated into advocacy grantees’ …

Welcome to Cog & Gear

A strong evaluation or measurement plan positions you to make the most of policy opportunities. It prepares you to better manage unforeseen challenges. And it helps you meet the information needs of your management, board, and funders efficiently, and with less stress. A good measurement plan creates tools and systems that generate meaningful data, while …