Advocacy 101

On this page:

  • Getting Started in your Clubs
  • Advocacy 101: the first steps for involvement at the Club level
  • Act On It – Locally: getting a bit more involved The Advocacy Project: the simple guide to advocacy
  • The Advocacy Project: the simple guide to advocacy from the pages of the CFUW Advocacy Handbook

Advocacy has been important to CFUW since its formation in 1919. The first six clubs that eventually came together to form CFUW had advocacy as a primary pillar in their community work.

The CFUW Advocacy Tool-Kit is an ever-evolving collection of handouts, guides, and power points to help you, both as a member of CFUW and as an individual, to tackle issues that concern you.

  • What is Advocacy? (pdf): Some definitions as well as CFUW highlights
  • Advocacy Action Document 2020: This is a summary of CFUW policies where action is still needed, and which are of current interest. This also includes 2 annexes: listings of archived policies and current policies.

Getting Started in Your Club

Program ideas, including films and books, for both clubs and book groups.

Advocacy 101 for Clubs: the first steps for involvement in advocacy at the Club level

For CFUW, the first steps into advocacy can involve working with the community, studying and evaluating the annual resolutions, starting an Issues group, Following up on requests for action from both National and provincial Councils:

Working with the community:

  • CFUW and the Community (pdf): For CFUW, advocacy includes community and social action. This gives ideas on how to become more involved with the community, creating partnerships.

Starting an Issues group:

Following up on requests for action from both National and provincial Councils:

Act On It-Locally: getting a bit more involved

CFUW clubs work with their local politicians – this is how we expand our influence.

The Advocacy Project: the simple guide to advocacy

Below is a summary of steps as found in the CFUW Advocacy Handbook(pdf)

  1. First, it’s a concern. It’s the issue that is bothering you, or a request for action from either national or provincial Councils.
  2. What do you want to do about it?
    • Community service project, perhaps volunteering or fundraising, or a partnership with other like-minded organizations – no CFUW policy needed
      CFUW and the Community (pdf)
    • Public awareness campaign – needs to be based on CFUW public policy
    • Advocate to change public policy – needs to be based on CFUW public policy
  3. Before you start:
  4. There is no CFUW public policy to support your cause:
  5. There is CFUW public policy. What to do:
    1. Research the issue/concern– this is one of the most important steps: You need to understand the issue, its facts, the decision makers, the timeline and how you can help. The basic questions of why? what? who? when? where? how? need to be answered. Check your sources and your facts.
    2. Identify your audience:
    3. Identify stakeholders and partners: Find groups that can help; who is affected by the decision? Is there a champion to help? Connecting with local politicians and partners (pdf)
    4. Determine your message: Long term – what is your goal; short term – what is your “ask” for immediate action. For politicians, frame it as a solution; Story-telling is a powerful form of advocacy.
    5. Check the CFUW Guidelines for Advocacy again before determining action:
      CFUW Advocacy Guidelines (pdf)
      CFUW – Who does What (pdf)
      You want to advocate beyond your local Club area? Check with your Regional Director: CFUW Policy-to-Action National Advocacy Campaigns (pdf)
    6. Determine strategy: Time to pull together all the research, resources – financial and human – to determine next steps
    7. Determine action – suggestions from writing letters to protests:
      CFUW Advocacy Handbook (PDF)
      Writing Powerful Letters (PDF)
      CFUW and the Community (PDF)
      Connecting with Local Politicians and Partners (PDF)
      Organizing an All-Candidates Meeting (PDF)
    8. Evaluate – do this along the way with every stage

Case Studies

Resources on Government:

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