Over the past several years managing and funding policy advocacy organizations, I have at times sought out resources specific to their unique challenges. There is a lot of great people management content around that can be applied across for-profit and non-profit settings. There are also several great resources specific to nonprofit leadership. However these tools tend to focus more on direct service organizations. While many of the parts of board relations, operational strategy, and executive leadership are similar, advocacy organizations can differ in important ways.
The most significant discrepancy is that the type of worked performed requires separate skill sets and organizational strategies. Further, setting goals is always difficult in a nonprofit context where results can be hard to measure and many constituencies have competing perspectives. I believe advocacy organizations take these challenges to new levels. Fundraising offers its own set of hurdles with advocacy specific legal guardrails at times limiting the scope of work.
Manageable is my attempt to identify these problems and share my own experience tackling them. It’s starting with a blog and will soon expand to include other available resources. Eventually I intend to enlist others with different experiences and expertise. My hope is that advocacy executives, staff, board members and funders find something worthwhile that helps them increase their impact. If you have ideas or questions, don’t hesitate to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.