As we’ve discussed, advocacy and lobbying does not need to be a fulltime job for every nonprofit, but we highly recommend that it be a part of every organization’s overall activities. Taking time to meet and maintain relationships with your local, state and federal elected officials and their staff will greatly benefit your organization and those you serve.
Inviting your legislator to visit your organization and meet your employees and consumers is a great way to cultivate that relationship. Allowing your legislator to see first hand the important work you do, as well as the challenges you face is often the best way of telling your story with the greatest impact.
Meetings with state-level elected officials at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, as well as with US Representatives and Senators in either their district offices or in Washington, DC are also recommended.
Finally, phone calls, letters, emails and testifying before a Legislative Committee are also highly effective communication methods to ensure that your elected official knows where you stand on an issue.
Below are several tools that we hope will help your organization effectively lobby on issues important to you:
Why Lobby? Ten Reasons to Lobby for Your Cause
Lobbying: The Basics
Dos & Don’ts
Coalition Building & Public Relations
CT General Assembly’s Abbreviations & Acronyms and Legislative Terms & Definitions
Best Practices in Public Policy
Public Policy Self-Assessment
Alliance for Justice Tools