What does Congress do with all those emails? And what do the people sending them really think about advocacy?

We've got some answers...

In collaboration with eight nonprofit organizations with active advocacy programs, we surveyed nearly 4,000 activists about how they participate in advocacy, what they think is most effective at moving the needle on policy they care about, and how they feel about their advocacy experiences.

Concurrently, we conducted off the record in-depth interviews with current and former senior Hill staff from both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress. We asked about how various advocacy tactics were received, the best ways to get attention for an issue on the Hill, how their offices dealt with different types of constituent communications, and their best advice for people running advocacy programs.

What emerged was a fascinating picture of what we have dubbed the “Advocacy Gap,” a disconnect between how activists mobilize and how Hill staff say they should mobilize to move a policy issue.

Key findings:

  • For activists, online action and advocacy are synonymous.

  • Constituents and legislative asks are key on the Hill

  • Quality trumps quantity

Click here to download the full report.

The Advocacy Gap - Research for Better Advocacy