Educating public officials about the value of sport in the lives of those with disabilities and specifically the benefits your programs deliver to people in your community is essential to creating more inclusive policies, programs and resources. The following steps can help you engage public officials in your community, state or at the federal level in supporting your programs.
1. Define your objectives for reaching out to public officials
- What are the goals, objective and benefits of the advocacy effort?
2. Who is the Target Audience?
- The target audience depends on the issue and who has jurisdiction. Some likely targets include: Mayor, City Council, County Commissioner, State Legislators and Senators, State Agency Officials, Governor, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, or Federal Agency Officials.
3. What Resources will be required?
- Some knowledge of local, state or federal advocacy
- Commitment of resources (staff, board time, may require travel)
- Strategic use of resources (advocacy effort aligns with organizational priorities)
- Board member participation (when relationships exist)
4. What’s next?
- Develop the message
- Conduct meetings
- Secure champions
- Mobilize stakeholders
- Keep the momentum going
Why is it important to build relationships with public officials?
- Increases visibility and awareness for your program
- Enhances your ability to affect public policy
- Engages a potential new resource or funding source
- Builds support for your program