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Silhouettes of children, meant to represent the victims of landmines, displayed in front of the U.S. Capitol (2007).
Silhouettes of children, representing victims of landmines, displayed in front of the U.S. Capitol (2007).

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.

Peace Walk: Indiana to Washington, DC
Peace Walk: Indiana to Washington, DC (2005)

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.

Report Back

If you have engaged in creative advocacy, we would love to hear about it! Send an email to with a brief description of your action and any pictures or videos you have.

Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

Deputy Director of Strategic Advocacy

As FCNL’s deputy director of Strategic Advocacy, Sarah Freeman-Woolpert was responsible for deepening and expanding our Advocacy Teams program, a network of hundreds of Quakers and friends lobbying to build congressional champions for peace and justice.