Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 3: A Deeper Dive into Advocacy

Now, more than ever, direct service organizations are being called upon to advocate for individuals as well as for policy change. By integrating service and social change, organizations can continue to effectively provide needed services, while addressing the root causes that make services necessary. You may be wondering:

  • What would integrating service and social change look like for your organization?
  • What are some steps you can take, no matter where you are in the process, to more actively engage your constituents?
  • How can you build on skills you and your staff already have to make a seamless transition to policy advocacy?

To address these, and many more questions, BMP hosted a webinar (part of our Tools to Engage webinar series) to lift up the work one organization is doing to integrate policy advocacy into the work they’re already doing. In an interview with project consultant Judi Sherman, Executive Director of SparkPoint Contra CostaBetty Geishirt Cantrell, shared her organization’s experience of volunteering to engage in a “deeper dive” to assess their capacity to integrate policy advocacy into their current service provision and develop a plan for future action. Takeaways include an understanding of the factors helped make this “deeper dive” a success, how the process changed the organization, and how integrating service and social change might not be such a big leap after all.

Watch the recording here, and download a PDF of the slides.


Power and Constituent Engagement

This worksheet, which some may find helpful to use in tandem with the Sources of Power handout, allows individuals to assess where they personally have power within their organizational context, what power they have in relation to the clients/constituents their organization serves, and what might happen if clients/constituents had more of a say in the organizations.


Tools to Engage Webinar Part 2: Barrett Foundation and the Common Good Action Project

This webinar, Barrett House and the Common Good Action Project is part 2 of the Tools to Engage Webinar series. Hear from Building Movement Project consultant Leah Steimel and Connie Chavez, Executive Director of the Barrett Foundation, about the Common Good Action Project in New Mexico and how the Barrett Foundation put lessons from the CGAP cohort into practice to break down silos and transform their Board. Also, learn more about BMP’s Tools to Engage website.


Tools to Engage Webinar Series Part 1: Engage to Change

Maria Mottola, Executive Director of the New York Foundation and Julia Watt-Rosenfeld, Director of Community Organizing and Advocacy at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation join BMP staff for the first Tools to Engage Webinar to discuss the development and implementation of the “Engage to Change” guide.


Engage to Change Video Series: Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation Pt 1

Explore how some nonprofits are shifting the way they engage the people they serve. Learn how community members moved from being recipients of expertise to becoming partners in transforming their own lives, the organization, and the surrounding community. In a series of conversations with a dozen New York City nonprofits, hear the motivation behind engaging clients and community members as agents of change in challenging times.

In this video we interview Jamel Burgess, Youth Organizer with Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation.


New Voices at the Civic Table: Facilitating Personal and Social Change

This article describes six pilot initiatives of the Alliance for Children and Families — New Voices at the Civic Table (New Voices), a philanthropy-funded effort to challenge human service organizations to integrate civic engagement as a permanent part of their infrastructure. All six New Voices models included common elements: leadership training, civic education, experiential learning, participatory decision-making, networking, and reflective evaluation. Each also reflected one of four primary variations to civic engagement based on their community needs and demands: self-efficacy, constituent involvement, mobilizing, and organizing. Results demonstrate that civic engagement in human services not only produces a means for promoting social change but also changes the way participants see themselves in the community.


Client Voice and Engagement

When engaging clients or constituents more deeply in the work of your organization, it is helpful to examine not only the ways they are already involved, but also the quality of that engagement. Understanding who has power and how to share it is key to effectively involving constituent voice in your work. This agenda and the accompanying worksheet can help you to delve deeper into individual programs or areas of your work and begin to generate concrete ideas for next steps in engaging clients.


Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-impact Nonprofits

This book, first published in 2007, is a guide to how nonprofits achieve extraordinary social impact. After studying 12 nonprofit, the authors identified six practices that lead to success. Advocacy and constituent engagement are key.


Organizational Readiness Assessment

The Organizational Readiness Assessment is designed as a tool to help organizations explore the status of their vision and mission, their relationship to staff, partners and constituents, and their leadership approach as part of an organizational culture conducive to social change efforts.


Increasing Participation and Membership in Community Change

This toolkit provides step-by-step guidance for increasing participation and engaging constituents and community members in a change process.