Marshaling Resources

  • Utilize skills—Understand what capabilities each of the players bring to the team environment and utilize skills accordingly. What members of your organization have law backgrounds? Do you have any politically connected members? If a project involves a safe-routes-to-school initiative, do you have any teachers or PTA representatives amongst membership? Use your committed members is the best way possible - in areas where they have experience and the ability to make a difference. Some other useful skills may include caterers, carpenters, accountants, computers, and writers.
  • Seek contributions—It is often the case that members in your organization do not have enough time or financial resources to dedicate to your cause. But, these same members may still want to contribute more, and they can often do so by providing supplies like answering machines or an old computer. You may even be able to get office space through a member or member contact at very little cost. Seek out assistance. It is often out there waiting for you to find it.
  • Publicize your needs—Make a list of the things you need to run your organization and make the list known. Post it in the office and run the list in your newsletter. You may be surprised with how much you can get if you make it known.
  • Develop partnerships—Will your cause be helped through a larger constituent base? If so, it is often helpful to seek partnerships with organizations that share your vision for particular goals. Is there a pedestrian rights group that may work with you to increase non-mechanized transportation alternatives?
  • Fund raising—Do not underestimate the value that an effective advocacy organization provides its membership. While some members may complain about dues, do not sell your organization's efforts short. If your dues barely cover postage and costs associated for a newsletter, then it is difficult to justify spending resources on advocacy. You must balance dues with costs and services. Often the very people who complain about high dues will frequently be happy to make a special contribution in response to an appeal that relates to a specific interest or problem. Make clear to donors what it is your organization has done, what it is doing and what it will do in the future. This justifies your requests for continued support. Provide flexibility to members for giving various amounts to your organization.