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Writing for Systems Change: How to Make the Case for Advocacy

Many organizations working towards social change by providing services to their communities have begun to incorporate advocacy work alongside their direct services. Because the results of advocacy work are often long-term and the context can get complicated very quickly, it can be difficult to write a compelling request for funding, creating a skills gap for fundraisers and grantwriters. Through participation in the workshop, attendees will develop skills to properly craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application for nuanced advocacy work. This session will particularly focus on providing strategies for organizations that incorporate advocacy activities to further a direct service agenda. 

Learning Objectives:
-Define advocacy and how it can complement direct service work
-Identify challenges to fundraising for advocacy work
-Explore strategies for identifying need/advantage of advocacy and systems change
-Determine best practices for preparing compelling requests 
-Learn how to frame objectives and outcomes for advocacy work

Benefits for grant professionals
-Write more successful proposals for advocacy
-Find ways to fund areas of work that are not currently grant funded 
-Increase awareness among funders about how nonprofits are impacting communities beyond direct service
-Develop specialized skills for this kind of fundraising
-Increase awareness among funders about how nonprofits are shaping their communities beyond direct service to individuals and families

GPC Competencies Addressed:
How to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application 

Eric is a Director at Elevate, a DC-based grantwriting firm that last year helped raise $66 million for its clients. In his role, Eric manages a small team for each of his 4-5 nonprofit clients drafts proposals and reports, oversees prospect research and lead generation, advises on cultivation and relationship building, and supports grant calendar management. He works primarily with organizations using advocacy to move towards a more just and sustainable world.

Noura brings over 10 years of experience in institutional philanthropy, including proposal development and program design in education, violence reduction programs, community-organizing and advocacy, public interest law, homelessness, and human services spaces. Prior to joining Elevate, Noura worked in grants and communications at a public charter high school and also in international development, designing and managing programs in the Middle East and North Africa.