The Activist Toolkit — Developing the Skills to Become a Trained Citizen Advocate

The activist toolkit is a step-by-step guide to introduce yourself, new volunteers, and other community activists to concrete actions you can take to develop skills as effective citizen activists. They provide you with the tools necessary to achieve success as an advocate and as a group.

Each skill builds upon the next within each grouping. You can choose to accomplish them in order or skip around. These how-to's are designed to challenge and inspire you as you grow as an advocate. By attempting and accomplishing each one, you build skill, talent, and confidence in exercising your personal and political power. As always, the RESULTS staff are available to explain and coach you as you take these actions.

Good luck and have fun!

Empower Yourself

  1. Choose one RESULTS global or domestic issue and learn its basics.
  2. Create and deliver an EPIC laser talk to another activist about the issue you choose. (Also see our EPIC PowerPoint as well as our PowerPoint on telling your story using "Public Narrative" for additional guidance.)
  3. Take a leadership role in your group.
  4. Attend the RESULTS/REF International Conference in Washington, DC.
  5. Set personally challenging goals and achieve them.

Milestones for Working with Congress

  1. Send an e-mail to your member of Congress.
  2. Make a phone call to your member of Congress.
  3. Write a letter to your member of Congress.
  4. Establish a relationship with the congressional aide who handles your issue. (Also, see our PowerPoint on this topic and/or our webinar offering tips on how to research your members of Congress.)
  5. Get your member of Congress to take an action in response to your request. 
  6. Ask a question at a town hall meeting or a candidates forum. (Also see our PowerPoint for additional guidance.)
  7. Meet face-to-face with your member of Congress.  (Also, see our PowerPoint for additional guidance. And if you are working on our global campaigns, explore this fascinating, practical information on how best to create our advocacy messages, courtesy of Tom Black of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.)
  8. Establish regular conference call or video meetings with an aide or member of Congress.
  9. Arrange a site visit for your member of Congress to communities affected by poverty.
  10. Inspire your member of Congress to write an op-ed on our issues. (coming soon)
  11. Get your member of Congress to take leadership on one of our issues.
  12. Reach a level of relationship with your member of Congress that enables 24-hour turnaround on phone calls.

Milestones for Working with the Media 

  1. Write a letter to the editor and send your published letter to your member of Congress. (Also see our PowerPoint for additional guidance.)
  2. Write or generate an op-ed and send your published piece to your member of Congress.
  3. Meet face-to-face with the editorial board of your local paper.
  4. Generate an editorial or article in your local paper and send a copy to your member of Congress.
  5. Organize a press conference or statewide media call on a RESULTS issue.
  6. Create an opportunity for your group to regularly contribute to public dialogue via a regular column, blog, radio show, or television show. (coming soon)

Milestones for Working with Your Community

  1. Host a table in your community to share the word about RESULTS.
  2. Organize a letter-writing meeting in your community.
  3. Speak to a local community group about RESULTS and/or one of our issues.
  4. Train a local community group in advocacy.
  5. Host a successful outreach meeting to engage new activists.
  6. Create, manage, and activate a community action network of grassroots and grasstops activists.
  7. Organize an educational site visit to communities affected by poverty.
  8. Organize a monthly letter-writing meeting in your community.
  9. Conduct a friends and family fundraising campaign.
  10. Organize a RESULTS fundraiser.
  11. Build a coalition of community allies.
  12. Organize a community forum on a RESULTS issue.