1. Advocacy Resource

Making a Lasting Impression with Creative Advocacy

By Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

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.

Peace Walk: Indiana to Washington, DC
Peace Walk: Indiana to Washington, DC

[LEFT] Peace Walk: Indiana to Washington, DC (2005) [RIGHT] Silhouettes of children, representing victims of landmines, displayed in front of the U.S. Capitol (2007).

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.

Learn More

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 SFreeman-Woolpert@fcnl.org with a brief description of your action and any pictures or videos you have.

Advocacy Resource Singing to Senators and Baking Cookies: Examples of Creative Advocacy 

Creative advocacy can take many different forms. If you're looking for inspiration, here are a few stories of advocates getting imaginative with their lobbying.

Advocacy Resource Design Your Own Creative Advocacy Action 

We know that creative advocacy can draw media attention, engage the community, and help build a relationship with a member of Congress or their staff. But how can we design our own creative actions to advocate for an issue we care about?

Sarah Freeman-Woolpert

  • Advocacy Teams Trainer

Sarah Freeman-Woolpert recruits, trains and supports Advocacy Teams around the country to develop deep advocacy skills to lobby political leaders for peace and justice. Sarah contributes to the strategic development of the FCNL Advocacy Teams through outreach, team-building and problem-solving to expand a robust, self-sustaining network of grassroots advocates.