Advocacy Meeting Training Toolkit: An Overview
Effective advocacy is critical to advance our issues and defend them from attack. An advocacy visit with elected officials and their staff is one method that individuals can use to advance NCJW’s goals and protect our rights.
This 60-minute training toolkit provides a framework to prepare activists in your section or community to participate in or lead an advocacy visit. Your number one goal when leading this training is to ensure that participants are learning the skills they need to successfully complete an advocacy visit. We encourage you, as the presenter, to adapt components of this toolkit to best suit your needs and to be relevant and appropriate for the participants.
Contents of this training toolkit:
This toolkit includes a variety of resources to train others to have successful advocacy visits with decision-makers. See below:
- Advocacy Meeting Trainer’s Guide [Word]
- Advocacy Meeting Training Presentation [Powerpoint]
- Trainer’s Script for Role Play Scenario[Word]
- 501(c)(3) Status and Election-Related Activities
- Advocacy Visit Report Form[Word]
- Difficult Scenarios at Advocacy Visits
- Hard Questions & Pivoting
- Ten Tips for a Successful Training
- Tips to Having a Successful Advocacy Visit
The Advocacy Meeting Training Guide complements the PowerPoint presentation. Please edit the script as it fits your needs. If you do not have a co-presenter, identify one or two seasoned advocates before the training to assist in the role play. Throughout the script there are:
- Time allotments for each activity;
- Suggested prompt questions; and
- An example scenario for the role play when meeting about an abortion bill.
Tips for successful training
(Check out the related resource “Ten Tips for a Successful Training ” for more information.)
Preparation. Designate co-presenters and make sure they are clear about the purpose and messages of the training and their roles.
- Review the entire script and presentation. Adapt them with information relevant to your audience.
- Determine how you want to prepare your trainer’s notes in advance. Consider using note cards, printing out the trainer’s guide, or using a tablet.
- Set a comfortable tone conducive to learning.
- Learn about your audience before presenting to ensure the content will resonate.
- Practice, Practice, Practice! The more you know the material, the better the training.
Logistics. When planning your training, consider location and accessibility.
- When picking the space, remember people will be taking notes and you will be using technology. Consider a space where everyone can engage in the presentation.
- Practicalities like parking and accessibility via public transportation are important. Additionally, have enough volunteers for set up, to welcome participants, and to clean up.
- All efforts should be made to ensure that the event is accessible to everyone. Consider the following: spaces without stairs/with an elevator, gender-neutral bathrooms, microphone if more than 20 people.
Policy topic. To make the training relevant, pick a policy issue that your section will be talking about on their own advocacy visits. Use that policy issue/s in your roleplay and examples.
Timing. This is a template for a 60-minute training. Allow adequate time before the training begins for people to settle in, and after to chat with each other. Consider the needs of your section and any desired extra time when planning and advertising the event.
Learning Styles. Consider different learning styles, such as:
- Visual learners need to see what you are teaching in order to learn. Consider using the PowerPoint with graphics or a flip chart for responses.
- Auditory learners need to hear things in order to learn. They will learn best from lectures and facilitated dialogue.
- Kinesthetic learners need to move in order to learn. If you have extra time, allow for participates to break up into groups for role-playing scenarios.
Contact Ari Solomon, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lindsay Morris, email@example.com, with any questions.