In working on an advocacy campaign – the basis of the campaign is a petition drive competition between different locations – an objective of mine was to contact legislators from Washington, D.C. in hopes of setting up meetings and potential site visits during their week of home office work on the first week of May.(Which just happens to be the week leading up to the Indiana Presidential Primary.. GO VOTE!)
Just like with any plan, you dream big!
I was dreaming big… we are going to get EACH legislator to come out and see ALL of our new sites, and we are going to have a TON of signatures of all of our supporters to hand them on their visit. A HUGE ADVOCACY WIN!!(Not that easy)
Even when contacting the legislator’s scheduler, all of the legislators already had their week full. Okay.. okay. Take a week off and call them to see if we can meet with staff.. right? Still waiting on that.
BUT! I received a phone call last week. A staff person that works in the home office of a legislator called ME? Needless to say, I was caught off guard.
(Catch your breath, Willie. Think this through. You can’t do it well if you do it next Friday. But we need ONE visit, you can’t lose her.)
“I’d love to come out and see EVERYTHING that you want me to see! I can come out…. next Friday! I am wide open NEXT FRIDAY!”
Thoughts running through my head, I was overreacting, but I was excited. I calmed down and said – “Well I would really love for you to meet our Senior Admin team, and it would be tough to get them all together in a week. Are there any other dates that could work?”
We mapped out a few more possibilities, I was able to ask our Senior Admin team what days would work best, and we are on our way to setting up a meeting!
Now for those who aren’t really heavy into the advocacy aspect of working at a nonprofit, I can understand why you are thinking – “Okay this isn’t that big of a deal. It is a staffer from the home office. This is just another thing we have to put on our plate and help plan.”
But… if advocacy is what you do at your nonprofit or company. Take this time to celebrate! You don’t need to throw a huge cake and ice cream shindig on a Friday. However, if you get a staffer from the home office to call YOU and want to make time to get to know your organization, then celebrate yourself. It is easy to get bogged down in the advocacy world. Sending numerous emails, letters and putting in phone calls with no returns or responses can be tough.
So make sure to take time and celebrate… even the small victories.
Basically… I did this…