This New Advocacy Checklist Will Help Advance Your Nonprofit's Mission and Community's Well-Being - Alliance for Justice

This New Advocacy Checklist Will Help Advance Your Nonprofit’s Mission and Community’s Well-Being


Leslie Barnes

Group of American activists is protesting

Co-author on this blog:

Sara Watson

Is your nonprofit ready to advocate for the policies that will help advance your mission and your community’s well-being?  Your voices are an essential part of conveying why a particular policy is needed, the benefits it will convey, and how it should be implemented.  You can advocate, following government rules and your funder requirements.  However, being an effective advocate that maximizes the power you have, but stays within the rules, involves many parts of your organization.  

This isn’t just the responsibility of the person who speaks with policymakers.  Is your board, well, on board?  Does your finance department know how to track expenditures?  Are your communications experts ready to use appropriate language and respond to fast-moving opportunities and challenges?  Does your development staff know how to raise funds for this important part of your strategy, reassure funders that you’re following their rules, and use funds in a way to maximize your flexibility?   

In a new “Advocacy Checklist,” Bolder Advocacy Guest Contributor Dr. Sara Watson outlines 22 different facets of organizational readiness to participate in advocacy. It includes considerations both inside and beyond your nonprofit.  It will help you be prepared to take on a role that’s crucial to reaching your goals.  And it can reassure your funders you are using their resources accurately.

This checklist also compliments Bolder Advocacy’s organizational capacity assessment tools like the Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT!) and ACT! Quick, which can be used by nonprofits and coalitions to benchmark skills, identify gaps and opportunities, and determine where advocacy capacity needs to be built.

Dr. Watson is the founder of Watson Strategies LLC and has a thirty-year career in philanthropy and policy advocacy.  She has written a variety of publications on foundation engagement in public policy advocacy. 

Click here to download the Advocacy Checklist