This brief offers four tools that funders can use to get a better handle on a grantee’s contribution to an advocacy effort.
Advocacy takes place in a complex and crowded political environment with many organizations trying to move policy on the same issue at the same time. Consequently, advocates often collaborate with allies to increase the likelihood that their unified advocacy voices will be heard. Collaborative advocacy work can take many forms, from tightly coordinated campaigns and long-term formal coalitions, to looser networks and one-time partnering on particular tactics.
While funders acknowledge and often encourage collaborative advocacy efforts, they are nonetheless responsible for making decisions about which individual organizations they should support within the broader field of advocates, and for judging whether a particular organization should receive funding to advance a particular policy goal. Acutely aware of this competitive funding context, advocates understandably might hesitate to identify the important role that allies and partners play in helping them to advance policy.
Even when they do acknowledge the work of partners, it can be challenge for grantees to be specific about the unique role they played in an advocacy strategy when reporting their achievements to funders. This can lead to confusion among funders who want to know what a grantee’s unique contribution to policy progress has been.
This brief offers four tools that funders can use to get a better handle on a grantee’s contribution to an advocacy effort. The tools can be used at both the start of a new grantee relationship or at the end of a grant, after advocacy strategies have been implemented.