What does advocacy work entail?
Working in an advocacy organization, you serve an organizational mission that aims to influence public opinion and/or decision-makers on public policy. Advocacy work varies in scope and scale, with common examples including policy analysis, lobbying, stakeholder engagement, and campaign organizing. Some advocacy organizations focus their work on educational activities to support legislative or policy change, while others directly advocate for a community or provide direct services to that community. Project management skills, communication skills, and passion for the organization’s mission are helpful in landing a job at an advocacy organization. Issue expertise can also be helpful, though many roles require flexibility and a wide application of skills in addition to policy insight.
Examples of advocacy organizations
- Education Trust
- Educators for Excellence
- Teachers’ Unions
Sample roles in advocacy organizations
- Collects and compiles information to inform government officials.
- Analyzes the impact of policy decisions and makes recommendations.
Campaign Policy or Issues Director
- In conjunction with a candidate for public office, develops a policy agenda that reflects the candidates vision and values.
- Works with other campaign aides to spread the word about the candidate’s positions to the media, advocacy organizations and potential voters.
Communications Director/Press Secretary
- Crafts the message of a non-profit or government organization.
- Responds to media requests and issue press releases on your organization’s work.
- Work with a diverse mix of people within a community to build social and political capital to advocate for policy changes and/or policy implementation.
- Supports and promotes a particular policy position by acting as a liaison for communities, government officials and public agencies.