|Anat and Peter Madonia at the City Hall News Panel |
On Friday, April 29th, City Hall News and City Arts sponsored a panel, Moving Government, for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about influencing government to move an agenda.
The panel was moderated by Peter Madonia, Mayor Bloomberg's former Chief of Staff and now the Chief Operating Officer at the Rockefeller Foundation. Panelists included Claudia Wagner, Partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips; Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; Anthony Ng, Director of Policy and Advocacy at United Neighborhood Houses; Andrew Friedman, co-executive director of Make the Road; and me.
There was a lot of great information shared. Below are a few key tips. Click here for more information.
Before you Start, Understand Government and Politics
Understand where the power resides
Getting Started: Create a Strategic Plan
Identify what you are trying to influence (funding, legislation, policy) and create a strategic plan taking into consideration the political environment, intergovernmental opportunities and challenges, and messaging/communications.
How Do You Get to the Influencers:
When building relationships with elected officials, it is very important to get to know the staff members, including the chief of staff, scheduler, and the legislative director.
Good commissioners, deputy mayors and other senior influencers listen to line and program staff, so get to know the agency people that deal with your organization and start building positive relationships with them. For example, invite them to visit your organization and recognize them for their work.
How do you get Influencers to listen to you?
Invite your local elected officials and other influencers to press conferences on your issues or organization. Invite them to visit your center and take photos to share with them (perhaps they will include it in their newsletter).
Communications Role in Advocacy
To generate more visibility for an issue, consider partnering with organizations that have a similar agenda. Your collective voice will more likely be heard in today's cluttered and noisy communications environment.
For more tips, click here.