Issue Advocacy

This includes a nine-part online deep dive into advocacy work for more experienced volunteers, and a more introductory one day training and a 90 minute training. Also included are a lobbying simulation, and graduate-level curriculum OFA staff taught at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. These trainings will give participants a framework on how to pick an issue and what first steps folks can take to create an effective and strategic campaign to start making change on the local level.

State and Local Issue Advocacy: 9-week online workshop

This nine week online series ran as a State and Local Issues Advocacy Workshop, and equips individuals with the skills to identify a root problem in their community, understand the fundamentals of coalition building, explain the current ecosystem of their issue, and write a campaign plan for their issue. Content is interspersed with workshops, where participants get to work with each other on their plans and provide feedback to each other.

Introduction to issue advocacy

In this online training, individuals are equipped to identify the root problems affecting the health of their community and propose a campaign plan to address these root problems.

Workshop: Issues practice

This online training helps participants get to the root problem affecting the health of their community and provide one another feedback on their issue statements.

Foundations of coalition building

This online training aims to help volunteers identify all the components of successful coalitions, and to apply these elements of building a coalition in their community.

Workshop: Coalition building

This online training helps participants the space to provide feedback on the problems they are facing as they build coalitions in their community.

Identifying policy

In this online training, volunteers explain the current policy surrounding their issue and take appropriate action for legislation around the issue in their community.

Crafting your campaign plan

This online training lays out the foundations of writing an effective campaign plan.

Workshop: Crafting your campaign plan

This online training helps participants the space to provide feedback to each other on their campaign plans.

Persevering through barriers

This online training helps participants analyze the barriers and challenges that they face as they implement their campaign plans, and persevere strategically.

Closing: Issue advocacy

This training gives participants the space to reflect on what they have learned and how to taken action over the course of the series.

Issue Advocacy

One-day training

The resources included in this section are intended for a one-day, in-person training. The training materials listed below are an amalgamation of resources from different trainings. Participants in these sessions will learn best practices and key elements of issue organizing, develop strategies to confront these issues, and identify effective tactics to plan their issue campaign.

Issue Advocacy: 90-minute training

This is a 90-minute primer on the basics of issue advocacy. Participants in this session will discuss the basics of issue organizing, learn how power mapping can identify the best approach for influencing decision-makers and identify effective tactics to plan their issue campaign.

Issue Advocacy: University of Chicago course

This is the entire folder of the curriculum for OFA’s graduate-level University of Chicago course on issue advocacy. The official course description is: “‘Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.’ These words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were never more true than in today’s gridlocked American political system. Smart public policy doesn’t pass and implement itselfit comes as a result of well planned, hard-fought, strategic issue campaigns, many of which span years and even decades. This course will teach students the theory and practice of strategic issue campaigns, from setting campaign objectives and targeting decision makers to planning effective tactics, designing a message frame, and winning the support of those who can further the cause.”

Lobby Games: Welcome to Harmonia

This issue campaign simulation allows participants to experience the dynamic nature of an issue ecosystem. Participants apply their understanding of issue organizing to understand how to influence key decision makers, identify traits of an effective issue campaign, and feel confident in crafting messaging and tactics for issue campaigns. These materials were originally derived from a national PIRG advocacy training.