The 111th Congress is in a frenzy of activity as the new administration proposes new legislative priorities on a lot of fronts. State legislatures are meeting or will be meeting more than the subsequent handful of months. State Net produces an superb state legislature calendar. If your organization has not currently carried out so, now is an superb time to create a Legislative Strategic Strategy.
Most nonprofits diligently perform on strategic arranging, but most usually that arranging is restricted to the company finish of the nonprofit and not the policy finish. A Legislative Strategic Strategy assists you determine precisely what your legislative objectives are in the brief and lengthy terms, and ascertain what it will take to support you attain these objectives.
Unless you are a large organization, like the American Association of Retired Persons or the National Education Association, it is finest to limit your brief term legislative objectives. Mid to smaller sized nonprofits commonly never have the sources and “individual-energy” to take on dozens of concerns and surely they never have the sources and individual-energy to do them all properly. As with frequent strategic arranging, Legislative Strategic Organizing starts with understanding your mission and brainstorming what policy objectives will support the organization attain that mission.
I like to create a list of principal, secondary and tertiary concerns. What are the two or 3 concerns that are principal and vital to our members? What would be secondary or even tertiary? Clearly identifying your principal concerns assists you strategy how to use the sources you have (income, time, members) and keeps you from receiving side-tracked by concerns that you could have a stake in but are not vital. Right after figuring this out then you can improved ascertain how you will devote your political capital.
Most of us are not islands we perform in coalition with other groups and organizations that have equivalent or sister missions. For instance, what would the cattle association have in popular with the sheep herders’ association? Is it grazing or water rights? Legislation that protects open land although permitting structured use? Is it legislation that funds illness analysis and eradication? Conduct outreach to organizations that you consider your nonprofit crosses paths with and obtain problem places of agreement. Leveraging the energy of your membership and the energy of a further organization’s membership is vital.
For the secondary and tertiary concerns, I usually loved acquiring points I could sign on to, no matter whether it was a further organization’s legislative tactic, letter to Congress or amicus briefs. Signing on not only place you in the game, it also increases your cache and visibility. It tells your members that you are performing “anything” to be element of a public policy work, but you are not spending your sources on concerns that never rank at the prime.
In your Legislative Strategic Strategy it really is okay to dream. In a great globe, what do we want? Is it an amendment of an current law? Is it a absolutely new regulatory scheme or a absolutely new law? Are we going for a Constitutional Amendment? I did say dream. What would it take for us to recognize that dream? Additional income, a lot more members, a lot more clout? The dream legislation can grow to be element of your longer variety objectives.
How are we positioned to mobilize when we have our strategy? In the olden days, we utilised to generate telephone banks, I nevertheless have an old chapter coaching manual that taught our chapters how to telephone bank. Now it is so quick to pop off a message, present hyperlinks, even sample letters, and so on. My favourite tool for mobilization is CapWiz by Capitol Benefit, but there are a lot of of these tools out there that perform equally properly. Mobilization demands arranging and judiciousness, you run the threat of wearing men and women out if you are continuously issuing a get in touch with to action. Assume about how you are positioned. I had a conversation lately in which I was told the organization did not have the e-mail addresses of its members. So now, they have to go gather these addresses of more than 1,000 members prior to they can start to send out immediate alerts.
What will it take to familiarize the selection makers with our lead to? Have we carried out a excellent job of educating legislators or do we have to have to make an work? Have we identified and matched our members with legislators? What do we have to have to do to attain that?
In a later report I will speak about going to your legislators and selection makers. But for now, these are a handful of hints on creating a Legislative Strategic Strategy, a quite essential procedure if you are in an organization that demands to advocate for itself or for a worthy lead to.