Advocacy Communications: The Good, The Bad, and The Wildly Successful

Small Budgets and Big Messages

Success. In the world of politics and engagement with elected officials, many will tell you that you need a team of lobbyists and a large budget to be successful. I’m here to tell you that those requirements are the exception, not the rule. Especially, when like most nonprofits and trade associations I know, have ENGAGED, ACTIVE advocates. As we move forward in continually uncertain times, it is vital that nonprofit professionals learn the skills needed to effectively communicate with elected officials and get priorities accomplished. 


  • Big Budgets DO NOT Equal Success: Some of the largest organizations who spend more than some nonprofits’ yearly budgets on advocacy lose to those same nonprofits on key issues for their constituents. 
  • Money DOES NOT Vote–Constituents Do! Nonprofits have always had the best tool going for advocacy: PEOPLE. You are some of the best at making connections with them on issues they care about. Translate that connection to success! 
  • What happens when 7,000 emails are sent to one person’s inbox? Powerful advocacy tools and how to wield them effectively. 


Erez Yoeli

Research Scientist

Erez (pronounced ‘EH-rez’) Yoeli is a research scientist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where he directs the Applied Cooperation Team.  His research focuses on altruism: understanding how it works and how to promote it.  He collaborates with governments, nonprofits, and companies to apply these insights to address real-world challenges like increasing energy conservation, improving antibiotic adherence, reducing smoking in public places, and promoting philanthropy…