We believe engaging as many people as possible in fact-based advocacy is the best way to ensure budgets, laws, policies, services and practices meet the needs of children, youth and their families. We are committed to gathering the facts, educating New Yorkers, and advocating for children — and hope you will want to advocate too!
What is Advocacy?
The act or process of supporting a cause or proposal, Merriam Webster Dictionary
Effective advocates influence public policy, laws and budgets by using facts, their relationships, the media, and messaging to educate government officials and the public on the changes they want to bring for children and their families.
CCC’s Tips for Effective Child Advocacy:
We want to share with you the key components to CCC’s successful advocacy campaigns for children:
- Know the facts: To gain and maintain credibility, it is critical that you have the all of the facts on both sides of any issue. Having this information at your finger-tips will help you in conversations with government officials, the media, other advocates, and the general public.
- Use the facts: Any position you take should be grounded in the facts. It is often helpful to put your facts into one-pagers that you can distribute.
- Have clear and concise message: Government officials, the press and the general public do not have time for long-winded conversations or documents—you need to get to your point quickly and concisely. And remember to watch out for the jargon and acronyms used in different fields—you want everyone to understand the issues you are raising.
- Nurture relationships and work collaboratively: Advocacy is a joint venture- you need to find your allies and work with them. Your chances of success are much greater when there are large numbers of organizations and people on your side. Whenever possible, be sure you and your allies have consistent data and the same messages.
- Engage the public: Use the media, social media, petitions, letters, e-mails and other grassroots strategies to engage as many New Yorkers as you can. Remember numbers speak loudly to elected officials!
- Make your voice heard! Advocacy is not the place for being shy. Make sure you spread the word—through meetings with government officials, press conferences, letters, petitions, rallies, and phone calls. And don’t forget to talk about what you are advocating for at dinner parties and social events- you never know who can become a useful ally.
- Say thank you: Remember that everyone is busy and their time is valuable. Keep your meetings short and always say thank you afterwards. When your advocacy is a success, always thank everyone who helped you achieve your victory!
Child Advocacy Resources:
- CCC’s Keeping Track Online Data Tool on Child Well-Being
- Browse CCC’s Data and Reports
- Take Action Now!
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- Take CCC’s Community Leadership Course
- Find your elected officials
- Register to vote
- New York State and New York City Budget 101