Who should use this tool? Organizations, coalitions, and groups interested in a quick self-assessment of their advocacy capacity can use this tool. Advocacy capacity consists of the skills, resources, knowledge, and practices that lead to effective advocacy over time.
How does the tool work? The LACC Tool is a revised version of the Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Capacity* pilot project tool developed for The George Gund Foundation to implement the Alliance for Justice's new evaluation of advocacy model. The shorter version presented here consists of 18 multiple-choice questions about different indicators of organizational capacity, organized into four sections:
  • Advocacy Goals, Plans, and Strategies
  • Conducting Advocacy
  • Advocacy Avenues
  • Organizational Operations to Sustain Advocacy
Each question will ask you to review a set of statements and rank your organization’s current capacity using the following scale: Very Strong / Always = 4; Moderately Strong / Usually = 3„; Somewhat Strong / Sometimes = 2; Rarely = 1; Never = 0 and I Don’t Know / Not Applicable = N/A.
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Please note that if you are answering the questions, DO KEEP YOUR SCORES MANUALLY for each of the 18 indicators (a separate sheet to keep your scores is also provided here) because with this survey we are only collecting the cumulative score for the entire group. See it as an opportunity to reflect on which areas you would like to prioritize to strengthen your organization’s or group's advocacy capacity.

Please keep in mind:

„-  Achieving a high score in every category is not the goal. Rather, the goal should be to use this tool for honest reflection about whether you are now, so you can plan with intention as you map out where you want to go from here.
„-  Remember that finding ways to rely on your partners is often the best strategy to fulfill a capacity need. Nobody has it all – or needs to do it all by themselves.
„- „Planning about repeating the self-assessment at regular intervals to assess your progress and growth over time is almost as crucial as obtaining the initial score.
 - And, finally, having fun with self-exploration promotes good mental health. Balance is as important in life as it is in advocacy.

In solidarity and the pursuit of language justice,
LACC Team

„*Check out the terminology page on Bolder Advocacy website as needed to look up technical terms used in this tool.

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* 1. In preparation for advocacy work, my organization/advocacy group scans the outside policy environment as well as its own knowledge, skills, and resources for advocacy.

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* 2. Agenda - Our organization/ advocacy group has a clear advocacy agenda that is informed by its constituents/community and approved by its leadership.

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* 3. Plans, Strategies, and Adaptability - Our organization/ advocacy group  (1) identifies key decision-makers for its advocacy agenda goals, (2) determines what it will take to obtain those decision-makers’ support, and (3) plans a flexible strategy in order to advance its agenda.

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* 4. Research and Analysis - Our organization/ advocacy group gathers and analyzes credible information on its issues and shares its analyses as appropriate.

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* 5. Field Operations - Our organization/ advocacy group communicates with, educates, and engages its constituents, networks, and the public on its issues.

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* 6. Advocacy Partners and Coalitions - Our organization/ advocacy group identifies and collaborates with other stakeholders in the same policy environment in order to advance its goals.

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* 7. Messaging - Our organization/ advocacy group develops clear, compelling, and concise messages that are adapted for its target audiences (internal and external).

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* 8. Media Relations - Our organization/ advocacy group plans media outreach and distributes information to media (online, broadcast, and print) as needed to communicate its messages.

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* 9. Influence Decision Makers - Our organization/ advocacy group builds and nurtures ongoing working relationships with elected officials and other policymakers who can influence the progress of the organization’s advocacy agenda.

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* 10. Administrative - Our organization/ advocacy group monitors and works to influence executive branch, regulatory, and enforcement activity in order to further the organization’s advocacy priorities.

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* 11. Legislative - Our organization/ advocacy group monitors and works to influence legislative activity in order to further its advocacy priorities.

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* 12. Ballot Measures, Referenda, and Initiatives - Our organization/ advocacy group monitors the planning and progress of, and takes public positions on, ballot initiatives, referenda, and other initiatives related to its advocacy priorities.

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* 13. Electoral - Our organization/ advocacy group understands the election process and participates in voter and/or candidate education efforts.

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* 14. Litigation - Our organization/advocacy group monitors litigation related to its policy priorities and pursues activities, such as initiating litigation.

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* 15. Organizational Commitment - Our organization’s leadership understands and supports its advocacy plans and activities.

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* 16. Funding Advocacy - Our organization/ advocacy group informs individual donors and foundations about the value of funding advocacy and the ability of funders to do so under the law.

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* 17. Decision-Making Structure and Process - Our organization’s or advocacy group leadership has a clear process for making timely, informed decisions about its advocacy work.

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* 18. Fiscal Management and Sustainability - Our organization/ advocacy group allocates funding for advocacy work and tracks its lobbying activities and expenses as required by law.

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* 19. As you review your scores, keep in mind: the goal here is not to get the highest score in every single indicator. No organization, coalition, or group has it all. Rather, this tool is designed to help you reflect with intention about what your assets and strengths are—and prioritize areas in which you want to build your capacity to become more resilient and sustainable.
  • Areas to Strengthen Checklist
  • Preparation
  • Agenda
  • Plans, Strategies, and Adaptability
  • Research and Analysis
  • Field Operation
  • Advocacy Partners and Coalitions
  • Messaging
  • Media Relations
  • Influencing Decision-Makers
  • Administrative Advocacy
  • Legislative Advocacy
  • Ballot Initiatives and Referenda
  • Electoral Advocacy
  • Litigation
  • Organizational Commitment
  • Funding Advocacy
  • Decision-Making Structure and Process
  • Fiscal Management and Sustainability
Why would you like to strengthen your organization’s advocacy capacity in these areas?

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