Rules of the Game: Grassroots Advocacy


Monika Graham, Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort, Victor Rivera Labiosa


Community Organizing, Influencing Legislation, Lobbying, Public Charity Advocacy

Grassroots organizations play a crucial role in advocating for social and policy change, engaging in advocacy from the ground up by mobilizing their communities to harness collective power. Effective advocacy allows grassroots advocates to shape public debate on critical social issues. On this episode, we will discuss the wide array of advocacy activities grassroots organizations can engage in to advance their mission and pursue positive policy change.

Our Attorneys for This Episode:

Monika Graham Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort Victor Rivera Labiosa

Issue Advocacy and Lobbying

  • Organize a rally, town hall, or similar event to mobilize community members to speak up and advocate for important causes
  • Provide legislators with information on issues of importance to their communities so they can make informed policy decisions
  • Educate voters and candidates on issues in a nonpartisan way
  • Engage in lobbying (direct and grassroots)

Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns to Set the Record Straight

  • Focus on what was said (the issue), not who said it (the candidate)
  • Avoid talking about a candidate’s qualifications or whether someone is a good or bad candidate
  • Avoid discussing a candidate’s record
  • Avoid talking about voters and making references to them

Get Out The Vote

  • Three easy ways to get started: host a national voter registration day, provide voters with resources that contain helpful voting information, use social media to encourage voters to vote
  • Must remain nonpartisan
  • Can be targeted for nonpartisan reasons (historically under represented, community it serves, community it hopes to serve, etc)
  • Avoid mixing issue advocacy with GOTV

Recent Stories From Grassroots Organizations

Lideres Campesinas is part of a coalition called Safety Net For All which fights to ensure that undocumented workers get the benefits they deserve by pushing for legislation that supports their cause.

Building Freedom Ohio’s core mission is to help formerly incarcerated individuals rejoin the community and regain their rights. Building Freedom Ohio advances it’s mission by encouraging citizens to register ahead of the 2024 election.