Thinking about starting a RESULTS group in your community? Or just want to get the word out about RESULTS issues? Learn how to talk about your issues locally, and how to build a coalition where you live!
A fun way to let people know about RESULTS is to host a table at an event in your community. Many local events allow groups and vendors to set up tables so attendees can browse for different opportunities in their area. Festivals, volunteer fairs, community expos, and conferences related to social justice are all great venues for a table. You can include the following on your table:
Letter-writing meetings are a great way to engage people in your community in advocacy that is quick, easy, and effective.
If you are drawing a blank on what a timely, powerful letter-writing topic might be, not to worry. RESULTS provides monthly action sheets with talking points and background information that will provide you with the information you need to write a timely, compelling letter. Check out the latest monthly action sheets on our website and find one that works for your group. These action sheets include not only a relevant action you can take, with guidance, but a sample meeting agenda as well. Allow an hour so that activists have a chance to read through the materials and ask questions, write their letters, and even share them with the group if they wish.
A key tool for creating political will is by offering to present at a local event in your area about RESULTS and/or one of our issues. This helps to expose others in your community to our organization and our work. Identify an audience that shares an interest in our issues or how we work. Pick your topic and identify your target audience and main contact. Draft and practice your presentation and be sure to pass a RESULTS Sign Up Sheet around the audience. Then follow up after your successful presentation!
There are many opportunities to bring an advocacy workshop to a community group in your town. Civic groups, schools, church groups, and other organizations are often looking for guest speakers, and you could bring a topic not often discussed.
An outline for an effective advocacy workshop includes introductions, a primer on RESULTS, and a word about the importance of grassroots lobbying. Laser talk coaching is another important element to have in your advocacy training before you close. For a deeper dive into crafting your advocacy training, keep reading.
RESULTS has created an easy format for our volunteers to use to create powerful “laser talks” – short and compelling talks, less than 2 minutes long, that end with a call to action. Laser talks are the backbone of our advocacy work.
Have you ever thought about how many people all around the country who are looking for a group like RESULTS?
There are some additional elements that are important to any great outreach meeting:
An overview of RESULTS
Background on a RESULTS issue and an action to take (laser talk training or letter-writing)
A clear chance for guest to join RESULTS
Although very effective, personal inviting is also time-consuming. That is why you want a group of people doing it at the same time; a group RESULTS calls the “Inviting Team.” An Inviting Team is RESULTS activists and people in your community who care about RESULTS who are willing to invite others to your event. Make sure there is a point person for the arranging of your logistics (location, locking/unlocking of facility, technology needs, building signage) and publicity (any additional advertising you are choosing to do above and beyond your targeted inviting). As the time for the meeting approaches, make sure there is a location logistics point person, assign hospitality to someone, have a RESULTS Sign Up Sheet so attendees can list their name and contact information. And don’t forget to follow up.
By providing the opportunity for others to learn about RESULTS, you not only strengthen our work in anti-poverty advocacy, you provide an effective and successful outlet for those out there wanting to make a difference but are not sure how.
A RESULTS Action Network is a loosely organized pool of community-based advocates and supporters connected to a RESULTS group. Action Network members may not typically participate in regular group activities and meetings, but they take actions to support the group’s advocacy and organizing efforts and may participate in fundraising efforts.
There is no magic formula to creating a Community Action Network, but a great first start is to figure out how you will contact and keep track of your network even before you find people to join it. Also, determine how often you will communicate. If someone prefers only to be contacted for particularly important actions or actions that relate to your local RESULTS group, participating in your local Community Action Network could be perfect for them.
Then be strategic. If the right local opportunities to reach out haven’t surfaced for your network in a few weeks, consider sending a link to a powerful article, an invitation to have coffee, or a thank you for being willing to stand at the ready. This allows people to also give you feedback, contact detail updates, etc.
Akshita Madala: Starting a new RESULTS group (1 min.)
One of the most potent ways to connect with the heart and soul of our issues is to schedule a site visit to an organization or group affected by poverty right in your own community. A site visit is meant to be a respectful way of learning from and standing in solidarity with those who are directly impacted by the legislation for which we advocate.
Discuss the possibility of a site visit with your group. Once you have chosen a specific site to visit, research it. Call the site and ask for the executive director or office manager. Identify yourself as a member of RESULTS in your community and briefly define RESULTS for the person answering your call. Tell them why RESULTS is interested in their site. Also ask whether your group could make a site visit in order to take more knowledgeable action. Carefully discuss discretion/privacy issues for site clients (during the visit and in sharing observations/stories after the visit) with the site representative and review these with the group. Then confirm the visit with the site the day before to be sure all is set.
Intrigued by the idea and want to learn more about how to conduct and follow up on the site visit? Keep reading for some great advice.
Letter-writing can be a very natural, practical, and important component of your group’s gathering for the monthly national webinar or of one of your group’s Education & Action meetings. Or, if you are a solo activist, it can simply be a regular action you take as part of the monthly agenda of the RESULTS work that you keep.
Very simply, a Friends and Family Campaign is a fundraising effort based in letter-writing. You appeal to your loved ones by telling them about the powerful work of RESULTS, your passion for it, and how it has changed you. You then invite them to invest in our work of saving lives and ending poverty.
The fundraising efforts of our activists have made a difference from the organization’s very beginnings, allowing us to navigate economic turbulence and take advantage of in-the-moment opportunities, while also raising our profile in the community. Because of this, your willingness to spread the word about RESULTS to your inner circle and invite them to participate financially in our work can be a game-changer that moves us closer to our goals.
Another way to successful fundraise is by hosting an event in your community. Most groups new to these events choose to host a house party. This is a relatively small event, where your group personally invites people to attend, you share some light food and drink, and hear about RESULTS’ successful work in a comfortable setting. Some parties include guest speakers or short videos to highlight the importance of investing in RESULTS anti-poverty advocacy. At the end of the evening, you simply ask those in attendance to make a contribution to our work. It’s that simple.
We have a comprehensive set of fundraising support tools designed to make the execution of a fundraiser as clear and easy as possible.
A fundraising event can be an inspiring and fun endeavor, allowing you and your group to educate your community on the issues, expose them to the power of RESULTS, and enlist them as partners in our work.
Your community is made up of many different constituencies who care about the same issues we care about. One helpful way to think about creating a broader community of support and action is to imagine it as a pyramid.
At the top of the pyramid are the movers and shakers in your community or “grasstops.” These people possess political clout, and can help your group influence legislators and the media.
Your RESULTS group sits in the center, organizing activities in your community. The middle of the pyramid is your local RESULTS group. You are the glue that holds the network together and a vital source of information and actions for other organizations and individuals trying to make a difference.
Your RESULTS Action Network forms the base of the pyramid. The bottom of the pyramid is made up of community partners your group can network can enlist to make calls or write letters at short notice.