Giving Compass' Take:

• Loren Wood discusses the steps for individuals that want to enact policy change to achieve social impact. These include: Identifying core issues and solutions in the community, building alliances, and utilizing stories with data. 

• What are the main challenges in advocacy and policy work? As a donor, how difficult is it to mobilize communities to support policy change?

• Learn more about how foundations can advocate for policy changes. 

Thanks for sticking with us all the way through our Impakt Checklist! We’ve covered a lot of ground so far, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t cover one last thing: the role of policy change in effectively enacting systemic change.

We’ve purposely left it to the end because it will take skills from all of our previous steps and it might be the most difficult piece of the puzzle. Because, in order to enact policy change you have to create a movement. To create a movement, you need leverage. How do you get that leverage?

It comes from overwhelming buy-in and support from the community (step 1) and your strategic partners (step 2). It comes from running a world class organization, having data and stories to tell about your work’s impact on the community, all while being “sticky” enough so that it spreads (step 3).

But, you’ll help increase your chances for success by incorporating advocacy and policy efforts into your processes and efforts from the outset.

  • Championing Policy Change
    • Core Issue Identification & Ownership (Step 1) As you work with the community to help identify the root cause of their issues and develop solutions to overcome them, be sure to include your local government representatives in the process.
    • Collective Impact for Strong Alliances (Step 2) When you’re building out your strategic alliances, aligning around a vision, collecting data, and checking in, think about the need for having policy/advocacy expertise.
    • Running A World-Class Organization (Step 3) Part of running a world-class organization is about ensuring you have your “sticky” stories of impact, along with the data to support it.

Read the full article about championing policy for greater impact by Loren Wood at Medium.