As Quaker advocates, we know that the most effective way to influence our elected officials is to build a relationship with members of Congress and their staff. But this isn’t always easy, and many grassroots advocates across the country have discovered an important principle along the way: to be effective, sometimes you need to get creative.
From baking cookies to singing songs, creativity can be a fun—but serious—tool for effective grassroots advocacy. Here’s why:
Makes a lasting impression. Members of Congress and their staff will remember your letter, your lobby visit, or your op-ed more if it stands out from the rest.
Touches people’s emotions. A creative approach can build a stronger emotional connection and humanize a complex policy issue.
Engages the media. Creative advocacy can gain the attention of local media and spread your story to a wider audience.
Draws wider community participation. The more interesting and unique your advocacy, the more people will get excited and inspired to take action.
Counters discouragement. It can be tough to stay engaged when we don’t see immediate results. But creative advocacy can keep our spirits up and allow us to have fun while advancing policy change.
No matter your level of experience with lobbying, creativity is an important part of effective advocacy and powerful relationship-building.
Read more about how you can take creative action, and learn how other advocates have used creative advocacy to create change.
If you have engaged in creative advocacy, we would love to hear about it! Send an email to SFreeman-Woolpert@fcnl.org with a brief description of your action and any pictures or videos you have.