Deep Dive Breakout 2

Thursday, August 1, 2019

11:30am-12:30pm

You’ve done the hard part and recruited your advocates, but what can you do to keep them engaged and growing? Discover how to plan and optimize training at different levels of experience, across a broad geographic region, and through a variety of learning styles or mediums.

NOTES

  • Balancing different levels of advocates 
    • Knowing your audience is very important 
      • Three key audiences 
        • The active
          • The smallest group but the most resource intensive 
            • Need more intensive training and development of more advanced trainings
        • The interested
          • Need help taking the step to someone who takes action
            • Will not come to an advocacy training if it is stand alone
              • Important to inject elements of advocacy into other things
        • The aware
          • Members who need to be made aware of advocacy efforts even if they are not involved
      • Once you have an understanding of your audiences, create trainings that meet their unique needs
    • Advocates come in with different backgrounds and experiences that need to be taken into account when developing a successful training program 
      • Consider factors like level of education, and socioeconomic backgrounds 
      • Keep your audience in mind when integrating technology
      • Surveying trainees ahead of time or using existing data can help to craft the most effective trainings 
        • You can also ask questions that will help with other elements of advocacy 
    • Big difference between those who practice pitches and those who just learn about it.
      • Role playing is vital to successful pitches/meetings
        • Even 20 to 30 minutes improves quality
        • Pairing up experienced advocates with less experienced advocates 
          • Planting experienced advocates in groups to play role of legislator/staffer to help other trainees 
            • Practice an easy sell and a more contentious meeting 
  • Crafting and tracing realistic benchmarks
    • Advocacy index – capacity
      • Use surveys of members/organizations and ask questions where answers equate to a point system as it pertains to advocacy capacity
      • Benefits 
        • Easy to understand and comparable across organizations and programs along with budgets and goals
        • Accurately measures capacity
        • Shows gains and trends over time 
      • Shortfalls
        • Benchmarks are self reported which can be inaccurate due to over and under reporting
        • The tool benchmark just quantity and not quality of advocacy
        • Blips in quality (moving legislation) can alter the numbers in a way that doesn’t tell the full story
          • Having something actionable doesn’t mean that capacity is increasing it is just resulting in more actions
  • Training the trainer programs 
    • Start by identifying key advocates 
      • Particularly involved or experienced advocates
      • Influencers or community leaders 
    • What is your curriculum?
      • Identify what skill set you want trainers to take away and what the needs of their trainees are
    • How do you train them?
      • Consider budget, geographic logistics, etc.
    • How do you keep your program sustainable
      • Ensuring that advocates learning from trained trainers are up to par
      • Creating benchmarks to evaluate effectiveness of trainers 
    • The most successful training view it as training leaders and not training advocates 
      • Creating a culture of shared learning and cooperation is an important element of building advocates to leaders.
        • Online forum where trainers can share resources or experiences
    • Including benefits or rewards making the training seem more like a bigger program helps to engage participants 
  • Embedding action in training and vice versa
    • Engagement as opposed to communication
      • If you don’t engage advocates won’t retain the necessary information
  • Continuing education programs that work
    • Things that do not work and what to do about it
      • See the value in failure 
      • Survey the needs of your audience
        • Use the information to tailor methods of continuing ed 
      • Pilot programs