Identify a group of stakeholders who should be at the table to set and frame advocacy goals. Consider who should be part of this core group and make sure that they represent your constituency. Consider forming an advisory board with this core group. Many of these people will become identified as you survey your community in part 1 of this Toolkit. Be sure to include “champions” from outside the regular arts and arts education communities who have power and influence within your community. These may include politicians, business leaders, civic leaders, members of the town finance committee, etc.

Hold a focus group or a series of informal interviews with members of this group to refine your goals. Analyze your situation to get at the heart of your issue and to gain an understanding about relevant current and past circumstances.

Senior citizens often are a powerful voting block within communities. If they perceive that the schools are wasting money, they will vote down budget overrides. Seniors often have limited budgets and become concerned about the continuous rise in property taxes. Many in this group, however, also recognize the importance of a balanced education and have an appreciation for the arts. It is important to get representatives from this group at the table.

Do your homework!

You may find this template useful for developing a plan of action for organizing your people.

Determine who your allies who can support your case and are help you enact change such as:

  • Parents: Booster Club and PTO/PTA Presidents
  • Local Businesses: Chamber of Commerce, Arts-related businesses
  • Local Elected Officials: Mayor, City Councilors
  • State and Federal Elected Officials: Representatives, Senators
  • School Committee Members
  • Superintendent
  • School Administrators: Principals, Fine Arts Director, Arts Coordinator
  • Teachers: Arts, General, Retired
  • Students
  • Arts Organizations Leadership
  • Artists/Performers
  • Higher Education Representatives
  • Print and Broadcast Media
  • Community/Civic Groups
  • Religious Leaders
  • Youth Organizations
  • Senior Citizens

Assess the strengths of the group and decide who should join you.
Create a Network of Support

Organize a core group of decision makers and select a coordinator.
KCAAEN Leadership Kit

Recruit other members with various talents.
Volunteer Information Form
Sample Discussion Questions

Define and Delegate Tasks.

Tips for Running a Good Volunteer Meeting

Assess who has the power to help you.
Target Decision Makers List

Find others who can help you (Browse our Links)

Note: Steps 2 and 3 may be happening simultaneously or in cycles until you get ready to implement your plan.

Also: It is important to Organize your Message with a core group of people prior to recruiting a large base of volunteers.

3. Organize Your Message