Every Scholarship Granting Organization depends on school choice policy to operate. Without state tax-credits and other school choice programs, SGOs would cease to exist. Therefore, the biggest threat to the survival of scholarship organizations is the legislature.
Advocacy is your best line of defense against the threats of policy makers. In this sense, your best defense is a good offense. Policy makers are more likely to vote for favorable policies when they believe people care about their decision.
It is crucial for an SGO to mobilize donors, parents, and schools to action. Raising your voice is the best way to protect students who depend on your organization! To be an effective advocate, we recommend you:
- Stay Informed: Donors, parents, and schools look to you as the state expert on school choice policy. It is important you spend time reviewing the education bills on the floor of your state legislature. You must understand policy well to identify threats, know the changes you want, and communicate policy back to your stakeholders.
- Make it Easy to Advocate: In this world, everyone is busy all the time. Stakeholders care about the issues, but not all of them are willing to spend more than a few minutes researching policy and contacting legislators. Spend time making the issues easy to understand, explain why specific policies are important, make instructions and prompts for stakeholders to follow, and identify the policy makers you need to persuade. The more work you do on your end, the more likely donors, parents, and school faculty will act!
- Use Technology: Phone banks and mailing campaigns are effective, but they take a lot of time and resources to execute. Today, social advocacy is often happening over a variety of digital mediums. To date, President Trump has tweeted over 11,000 times during his term as president! With email, you can communicate with state legislators at the push of a button. Use technology to your advantage!
We highly suggest you take a look at the digital action center on the Institute for Quality Education (IQE) website. They make it easy for stakeholders to send an email, post on Twitter/Facebook, and call state legislators to advocate for school choice policy!
For more information about the IQE action center, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!