Keys to lobbying coalition success
I want to get back to the topic of running a successful lobbying coalition, (for previous entries, see links at the bottom of this post).
One thing to remember is that, when you're working with a coalition of people to accomplish a goal, it's a coalition of "people"...with all the benefits and baggage that people bring.
People mean personalities, egos, strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some general and specific keys to lobbying success to keep in mind:
Work with one another
Many group dynamics are always in play, but remember, you are on the same side. Try and put egos and personality conflicts aside.
Give people ownership
The earlier allies are recruited into the group, the better. They understand the context and feel that they are part of the decision making process. People who feel they had a part in “the plan” are more likely to help carry it out.
Make sure the meetings go well
There is a natural enthusiasm when starting a new endeavor, whether it is starting a new lobbying coalition or a new grassroots organization. Unless sustained action replaces the initial enthusiasm, the group will die off.
On the other hand, if an organization becomes the place where “things are really happening,” people will want to join. While people are busy and don’t want to waste their time with “another meeting,” they will flock to be part of the action for something that’s really working.
Develop a culture of activism
Let everyone who wants to join the group know that they should not join unless they are prepared to volunteer for action items. Every meeting should include action items that the members can volunteer for, as well a review of action items from the previous meeting to make sure they were done or get status updates.
This brings a sense of accountability to the group. If people know they're going to be accountable, they're more likely to "do".
- Good groundrules for lobbying groups
- Picking a leader for a group lobbying effort
- Laying a good foundation for a lobbying campaign
You can find more great tips for effective grassroots activism in my Grassroots Training Series. Check it out!
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