As a new RESULTS volunteer advocate, there are many skills to learn! We’ve created these 7 modules to help you brush up on advocacy skills, dive into current campaigns, and become familiar with support tools RESULTS has available to assist you in your advocacy. Each of these lessons will equip you will the basic skills you will need to become a powerful RESULTS advocate 

These are not meant to be completed all in one day. We encourage you to break up these lessons into multiple days over time. Each lesson will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour and they all include action items for you to dive right in.  

One of the first steps toward becoming an effective activist is learning how to speak powerfully about the issues. To do so, we must be educated about what we are talking about!  RESULTS regularly provides informational tools for our advocates to learn about the issues on an ongoing basis throughout the year.  

Action Item: Read through the learning materials and take notes on the following:  

  1. What stands out the most about this issue 
  2. Why it matters to you 
  3. Think about personal stories you may have that relate to the issues 
  4. Any questions you have  

Learning Materials:

RESULTS created the “Laser Talk” which is an easy tool for our volunteers to create short and compelling talks that are less than 2 minutes long. These are the backbone of our advocacy work! We use Laser Talks when we meet with our members of Congress and their aides, when we call our editorial boards, and when we invite people to a RESULTS event.   

Every month, RESULTS produces a new Laser Talk that corresponds with the issues we are currently working on. We invite you to write your own Laser Talks about the issues too!  

Action Items:  

  1. Read our current Laser Talk messages and practice reading out loud in front of a mirror
  2. Read the New Advocate Basic on Powerful Speaking to learn about EPIC messaging
  3. Write your own EPIC message using our powerful speaking overview and EPIC worksheet  

Learning Materials: 

RESULTS empowers our volunteers to share personal stories to convey images that facts and figures cannot. It is important for you to create a personal story, because it will make your advocacy even more effective. It does not have to be an epic statement or life-altering event that brings you to this work; you just have to speak from the heart!  

Action Items:  

  1. Write down the reasons you are working on anti-poverty issues 
  2. Use the powerful speaking workbook to brainstorm what experiences and values you can use to create a personal story  
  3. Write down your personal story and practice it in front of the mirror 

Learning Materials: 

Grassroots Spotlight

Sample Personal Story: Aaron Carrillo

Some kids look forward to their birthdays, or holidays. When I was young, my brother and I looked forward to tax time.

Grassroots Spotlight

Sample Personal Story: Bukekile Dube

“Hi, Buke!” my representative said warmly, and greeted me with a hug at his Capitol Hill office. His staff also welcomed me by name. A year ago I never would have dreamed that I would be on a first-name basis with a member of Congress. How did we get there?

Grassroots Spotlight

Sample Personal Story: Beth Wilson (last 2 paragraphs)

I only have one life, and I can’t waste it. The best way I know how to use my life is by making a difference in the world through RESULTS.

Grassroots Spotlight

Sample Personal Story: Willie Dickerson (5th & 6th paragraphs)

Willie Dickerson’s white mustache twitches as he pauses for a moment, thinking hard. We have just asked him how many of his letters to the editor have been published around the country. He finally responds, “Around a thousand, but I’m not sure of exact numbers.”

One of the first actions you can take as a RESULTS volunteer is communicating with your member of Congress through an email, letter or phone call.

This may be your first time reaching out to your members of Congressand thats okay! RESULTS provides all the necessary tools and support you need to effectively communicate your request. 

If you need to learn how to reach your member of Congress, you can find out the name and contact e-mail for your member of Congress on the RESULTS website by using the Legislator LookupHint: you can also find their DC office phone number here!  

Action Items:  

  1. Read the “Communicating with Congress” overview and make note of any questions you may have  
  2. Use the RESULTS Action Center to help guide you through sending an email to your member of Congress 
  3. Call your member of Congress and leave a message for your representative (Bonus points if you do it during business hours!) 

Learning Materials: 

A key action to RESULTS advocacy is publishing letters to the editor in the local media. One of the best kept secrets from Capitol Hill is the enormous influence of media on congressional decisions — not just cable news or The New York Times — but the local papers in the communities that members of Congress represent.  

Action Items:  

  1. Read through other Letters to the Editor published by RESULTS volunteers  
  2. Write a draft LTE about one of our current campaigns
  3. Use the Action Center or visit your local newspaper’s website to submit a letter to the editor!  

Learning Materials:  

Organizing meetings with our members of Congress and their staff is a cornerstone of RESULTS advocacy. By reviewing these learning materials, you will familiarize yourself with the process to set up a meeting with your member of Congress, learn more about who represents you, and have all the tools to make a meeting happen 

Action Items: 

  1. Read through the learning materials so you understand the process for organizing a lobby meeting 
  2. Participate in an upcoming Congressional meeting with your RESULTS group
  3. If there are no meeting in progress or you aren’t part of a RESULTS group, schedule your own! RESULTS staff can help you prepare 

Learning Materials 

As a RESULTS advocate, you will be sharing about our work, the organization, and our mission quite often! Use these learning materials to help you speak powerfully about RESULTS and our mission.  

Action Items:  

  1. Practice “pitching” RESULTS using our Laser Talk 
  2. Write your own Laser Talk by adding personal details about why you chose to volunteer with RESULTS 
  3. Familiarize yourself with how to have a successful one-on-one meeting to talk about RESULTS and our advocacy  

Learning Materials: 

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