What Is an Advocacy Strategy Plan?

An advocacy strategy plan is a comprehensive plan that lays out the various action steps and strategies of an advocacy-based campaign. The plan can contain several sections, including a background and analysis of the advocacy.      

According to an article by Citizens’ Committee for Children, impactful and effective advocacy can entail a wide range of activities such as research, budgeting, legislation, policy analysis, community organizing or mobilization, lobbying and education. Advocacy also involves multiple stakeholders in society including government authorities, media, community leaders, the general public, civic leaders and various sectoral groups.   

Examples of Advocacies

There are many types of advocacies. With all kinds of problems in the world and in society, one can never run out of advocacies to support. The following are just some of the most common causes and advocacies that individuals and organizations alike strive to support.   

Children. One of the most popular and probably easiest advocacies to get behind are causes that involve helping children. Many nonprofit organizations such as World Vision or Save the Children center around advancing and protecting the rights of children around the world. Young children not only represent the future of the world, but they are also one of the most vulnerable sectors in society. Especially in low-income areas or poor nations, children’s lives are at risk each and every day. Whether it is health, education or development, children need support and guidance not only from the adults tasked to care for them, but from their community and wider society. Along with women and persons with disabilities, many children around the world continue to face abuse and exploitation. Organizations that fight for and advocate for children make it their mission to mitigate these various forms of abuse, neglect and acts against children. Animals. Another popular cause that a lot of people fight for is the rights of animals. In recent decades, many groups and individuals have called for the protection of animal rights within the context of the production and manufacturing of products by various companies, most notably the cosmetic and fashion industry. Animal testing has long been a laboratory practice and also remains an issue for many concerned individuals. Advocacies that revolve around animal rights and welfare have gained significant traction in recent decades. So much so, that many corporations and institutions have banned animal testing and other inhumane or harmful practices altogether. This advocacy for the protection of animals has resulted in significant change in the treatment and regard for animals. Hunger. Hunger remains a pervasive problem even in a society deemed to be modern and civilized. In a world where technological advancements and unprecedented economic growth have undoubtedly increased the quality of life for some people, still many remain below the poverty line- especially in poorer countries. And food, as the most basic need, remains difficult to come by for those living in poverty. Hunger and poverty are intrinsically linked, and from it can bring a host of other problems such as malnutrition, crime, drug abuse, and corruption among others. The importance of food security is not only a national issue, but a global and humanitarian one. Fortunately, many established organizations and influential individuals continue to fight against food insecurity and create programs that address hunger. Along with the goal of eliminating hunger, access to clean water and a healthy living environment are goals that must accompany it as well. Environment. The green movement has been around for decades. Many well-known environmental advocates such as Greenpeace have been in operation for years. Organizations and individuals alike have fought for the restoration of forests, protection of the seas, mitigation of air pollution, etc. Today, climate change is the most pressing and serious environmental problem facing humanity. Advocates for the environment continue to call for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and more accountability from nations, industries and corporations whose carbon emissions create the heaviest impact on the atmosphere. Being an advocate for the environment goes far beyond announcing your love for Mother Earth, it is a conscious and deliberate effort to actively care for the environment by making better lifestyle choices.

Qualities Needed In Advocacy Work 

Advocacy work is not a walk in the park. Similar to development work, it takes a lot of sacrifice and commitment to truly see the fruits of your advocacy. Although there are many values and characteristics an individual should espouse in order to thrive in the field of advocacy, the following qualities are some of the most fundamental traits one should possess.   

Perseverance. A key characteristic that ought to be present in anyone who works in the field of advocacy, is perseverance. Fighting for what you believe in is not without its challenges. Oftentimes, not only one but multiple obstacles can stand in the way of achieving your goals. These obstacles hinder your advocacy work from moving forward. As this is more likely to happen than not, you cannot be easily discouraged by failures and roadblocks. Without perseverance and a burning desire to see things through no matter what, any attempt will crumble at the first sign of difficulty. Thus, if you are determined to see your advocacy through despite problems or challenges, then you must learn to persevere and stand your ground. Dedication. Another key trait that one must have to thrive in advocacy is dedication. Without genuine commitment to your cause, it can be difficult to move forward, especially when problems arise. Not only is a good work ethic necessary, but it should be coupled with a deep dedication to one’s work. Hard work and dedication should go hand-in-hand. One without the other would leave you empty and meaningless. An advocate for women needs to have a strong desire to promote women’s rights and interests. An advocate for social justice would not only need to be well-informed about societal ills, but he or she must be committed to the people directly affected by the injustices. An advocate for human rights needs to be dedicated to the people he or she serves. Integrity. Advocacy is essentially fighting for your deepest beliefs and values. Anyone can pursue a career in advocacy work; but if you do not genuinely believe in your cause, the work may end up feeling unfulfilling or not meaningful to you personally. Integrity, in one way, is basically harmony between your intentions and actions. If you have integrity and a deep sense of commitment to your cause, then your work will mean so much more. Motivation and inspiration will come more naturally because of it. Integrity is deeply tied to your character and the truthfulness and responsibility you hold when navigating the triumphs and trials of your advocacy. Advocacy work entails a significant amount of lobbying as it deals with both public and private institutions. Without a strong sense of integrity and moral character, temptation and corrupt practices can easily take hold of your opinions and decisions.

How to Create an Advocacy Strategy Plan

To create an advocacy strategy plan, you need to remember that commitment to your cause is a key ingredient in mapping out a strategy plan.  If you need a quick but reliable template, using a predesigned template can save you a lot of time and resources. Simply browse the sample templates above and choose one that suits our needs. Once you’ve done that, follow the simple steps below.  

Step 1: Objectives

The first thing to cover in an advocacy strategy plan is the objective. Whatever your advocacy is, you need to establish clear and coherent goals before mapping out your strategies, programs and plans. The key is keep your objectives descriptive and direct. Ideally, it should also be specific and targeted. The list of objectives does not need to be long as well, a couple of direct bullet points should do. For example, if your advocacy strategy plan centers on alleviating hunger and poverty, then your objective should directly state this in specific and definite terms.   

Step 2: Framework and Background

After establishing the objectives of your advocacy, the next step is to provide a brief background or overview on the cause you are supporting. Alternatively, you can also introduce a framework that will enable you to present your strategic plan through a particular lens. Whatever your decision is, the important thing to remember is to help the reader gain a better understanding of your plans. This cannot be achieved without first offering some background on the advocacy. For example, you can touch a little bit on your advocacy’s history or highlight key figures that helped shape its development. 

Step 3: Analysis 

A key section in an advocacy strategy plan is the analysis. This can be done in various ways. One approach is by conducting a SWOT analysis. Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your chosen advocacy. This requires a considerable amount of brainstorming, examination and maybe even research. The point of conducting an analysis is to enable you to fully grasp all aspects of your cause and to give you a more comprehensive view of your advocacy. Just like the framework or background study in the previous section, a thorough analysis will offer another layer of comprehension and appreciation for your chosen advocacy.     

Step 4: Strategic Plans

Since it is a strategic plan, you obviously need to outline plans and steps on how to achieve your advocacy objectives. This section can contain a series of plans. How you present and arrange it, however, will depend on you. Plans can include your proposed budget, activation plan, communication plan, marketing campaign, and other initiatives. It is crucial to note that crafting plans is one thing, but its implementation strategy can be an entirely different thing. Thus, you need to make sure that your plans are not just sound and objective, but realistic and feasible.     


What are some advocacy strategies?

Some examples of advocacy strategies include social media campaigns, consultations and dialogue with legislators, lobbying strategies, grassroots programs, etc.

How do you prepare an advocacy strategy?

To prepare an advocacy strategy, you need to gather not just relevant, but accurate and updated data on the advocacy. It helps to have a firm grasp of your advocacy objectives, goals, and analyses as well. Refer to the guide above for more detailed instructions on how to craft an advocacy strategy plan.

How do you create an advocacy action plan?

An advocacy action plan requires clear objectives, a comprehensive understanding of the advocacy and realistic, concrete plans. When it comes to drafting advocacy action plans, a good tip to keep in mind is to consider all stakeholders, including decision-makers and those directly affected by it.

At its core, a good advocacy strategy plan is other-centered and service-oriented. Browse the sample templates from the collection above, select one that suits your needs and start customizing your own advocacy strategy plan today!