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 a critical tool for helping communities to thrive and prosper.
Until you get to hear our podcast conversation for yourself, here’s the gist:
Governments can do more to improve community well-being than they are doing now. This is a central lesson from the COVID pandemic. Governments are better able to move the needle on health disparities, homelessness, and other critical needs than even the largest philanthropies.
Advocacy is an important tactic to achieve policies that improve people’s lives. Communities can obtain the resources that they need to build better lives for everyone, but only if we demand it. Even if your time is very limited, you can and should advocate on issues that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about.
Strong advocacy is led by affected communities. Nobody is more of an expert on issues of well-being or health than directly affected people. If you are an ally in the service provider or philanthropy sectors, your support to community members seeking to make change is essential now.
Your expertise is valuable and truly valued. Elected officials want input from service providers in their districts. Getting to know the local staff of your elected officials – whether you write regularly or meet face-to-face once per year – creates momentum for the change you want.
Community organizations can measure the change they are creating, to improve their advocacy. There are tools on my Resources page which are a good place to start. Or contact me and I’m happy to help.
Help is available for community organizations that want to investigate advocacy but are not sure what they are legally permitted to do. Bolder Advocacy, a program of Alliance for Justice, provides technical assistance and training.
Ready to hear more? My conversation with Ann on the Community Possibilities podcast is available here.