Effective health advocacy is not an easy endeavor, but when executed correctly, the results can be game-changing. Health advocates, whether operating through organizations, coalitions, campaigns, or movements, are accustomed to spending long periods of time with no outwardly visible activity or tangible progress, followed by an immediate sense of urgency and action to seize a window of opportunity. In many ways COVID-19 was one of those windows with phrases like health disparities becoming crystal clear to many.

TCC Group, a consulting firm dedicated to collaborating with foundations, nonprofits, and companies to solve complex social problems, has deep experience supporting advocacy efforts for funders focused on health and other issues, including working with advocates to build their advocacy strategies and capacity, advocacy evaluation, and research related to more effective advocacy practices.

In the last few years, we’ve found our advocacy evaluations are becoming even more complex. Change is happening in less predictable ways, and many dynamics—including an emphasis on power, racial justice, equity, and values-led work—are changing how advocates are working. This is certainly true in the field of health advocacy as health equity has increasingly become the framework many advocates use, and more and more issues move from a nonpartisan to a partisan arena.

In 2021, we conducted three research projects for three different clients with the goal of helping funders and advocates better understand ways to improve and sustain effectiveness. The research confirmed the complexity of the changes and affirmed that there is no magical solution—while also uncovering practical ways that funders can be better partners to advocacy organization.

In this Views from the Field article, we’re sharing some key takeaways from the research for health funders:

  1. Effective Support of Advocacy Coalitions
  2. Effective Support of Grassroots Advocacy Organizations
  3. Effective Support towards Policy Durability

Read the full article about health advocacy by Deepti Sood at Grantmakers In Health.