Create Your Own Strategic Advocacy Plan
It is important to take the first three steps listed in this toolkit before you engage in any advocacy. Your food council or community group should: 1) identify the food system policy and planning issues that you want to address through advocacy, 2) prioritize which issues to work on first, ideally by developing a policy platform or campaign, and 3) start networking with the decision makers in your community to build relationships with them. Once you have gone through these three steps, it is time to make strategic advocacy plans for each of your issues.
We recommend using the “Strategic Advocacy Worksheet” and the “Strategic Advocacy Plan Template” for each issue that your group has identified for engagement in the next two years. Going through the process of making strategic plans for each issue will highlight potential actions that might be taken in parallel for multiple issues, and may help to cultivate policy champions for a broad spectrum of your food council’s work.
The downloadable “Strategic Advocacy Worksheet” below will walk you through the steps of making an advocacy plan.
After completing the worksheet, enter in all of your work into the “Strategic Advocacy Plan Template” and your group will have a comprehensive document to support you in effectively advocating for one of your identified issues.
This is only the start of your work! Once you create your plans, you must follow through with each step, adjust your plan as needed, check-in with each other to evaluate your process along the way, celebrate victories, and reflect on the overall process at the completion of your advocacy campaign.
Remember, you’re making a plan to be strategic! We recommend following each of the steps laid out in the order provided (while being flexible) to be successful in your advocacy. You will likely need to adjust your plans as you begin your tactics, but that’s OK; it is meant to be an adaptable document to keep you grounded in your strategic plans.
Good luck in your advocacy!