4 Ways for Local Chambers to Engage in Advocacy

There are many ways to engage in the advocacy arena.

It's important that you make the distinction between legislative activity and political activity.

The following 4 things are key in having a full on government affairs program for your chamber.

The first two fall under the legislative activity category and the last two are clearly political activities.

1.    Lobbying
2.    Grassroots
3.    PAC's
4.    Endorsements


I've talked about this before HERE and in a nutshell this is where you and your members are having direct contact with your legislative leaders. Preferrably a one-on-one meeting with the member or his or her staff.


This is where you may engage your entire membership in a letter writing campaign or a phone call campaign.  Don’t forget the letter-to-the-editor grassroots tactic.  It can be very productive.


This is a separate entity and designated fund that your members can contribute personal money to, which in turn, allows you to can make direct contributions to candidates.


This is where you go on record and endorse a specific candidate for elected office.  While you may not make everybody happy when you make endorsements it's an effective tool in your government affairs toolbox.  It's important that you use a clear set of criteria to measure candidates so you can decide on endorsing pro-business candidates or incumbents in an open and transparent way.

Remember, the key to making the above four activities successful is having a strong government affairs committee that can vet the above and make recommendations to your full chamber board for consideration and action.

Good luck!