This section is under construction


This section will become a library of advice, tips about what works, and cautions about the limitations on advocacy for faith-based organizations. As we gain experience and learn from others, we will reorganize entries by a category system to make your search more efficient. We also invite you to contact us with suggestions to add to the usefulness of this section.


Real Rules and Limitations about Public Policy and Advocacy This is a fundamental primer that everyone should read to reassure each of us about the rules of the road.



Tips About Communicating 


Letters to the editor and editorials are rare opportunity to communicate your message to a wide public audience and gain support for your issue. Letters to the editor are one of the most widely read parts of the newspaper. Editorial writers and legislators often use them to gauge support of particular issues. They can create the impression of widespread support or opposition to an issue, so it is important that your letter get published. Using some of these suggestions can help make that happen.

  • Be timely. It is important to respond as quickly as possibleto articles or editorials that appear in the publication. You can send your letter by e-mail; printed newspapers typically accept letters and editorials by email.
  • Be relevant. A letter is more likely to be published if it is responding to something that was written in the publication. Try to include a reference to that article, editorial or letter in your response. Limit your letter to one topic!
  • Be personal. Let readers know how and why the issue affects you and your community. Use common sense language, incorporating real people and situations. Your goal is to win allies to the cause.
  • Have a strong opinion, but be reasonable, rational, and respectful of others.
  • Be positive when possible. Put forth solutions to the issue you care about.
  • Include information that is not readily available.
  • Follow the guidelines: These can typically be found on the newspaper’s website. The guidelines will tell you how to submit your letter and how long it can be. In most cases, the length will be limited to no more than 250 words, so be succinct!
  • Include your name, telephone number and address. Publications generally only publish if they can contact the author.
  • Spread the word. Get others who share your concern for the issue to write as well. The more letters that are received on a subject, the greater the likelihood that some will be printed.


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A letter to your state representatives is a good way to express your concern and advocate for a particular solution. Some legislators say handwritten letters from constituents stand out from the many computer-generated messages they receive.


Preparing to write the letter


  • If you are writing about a specific piece of legislation, try to find out as much information about the issue and the legislation as possible.
  • Try to find out the representative’s voting record on this or similar legislation in the past.


Writing the letter


  • Write it yourself. Personalized letters in your own words are best. If you are using a prewritten e-mail online, personalize the first few lines.
  • Be thoughtful and personal but brief. Share your knowledge and experience, but keep it short enough to hold the person’s interest.
  • Include your name and where you live in the body of your letter. This way, the representative knows you are their constituent.
  • Be specific and limit the letter to one topic. If possible, cite the bill number or title and clearly state your position on this topic.
  • If you are emailing your letter, put your issue in the subject line. Mention any groups or communities of which you are a part. This way, the representative knows that you are one of many people concerned about this issue.
  • Be courteous and thank the representative for their time and consideration.
  • Try to keep your letter to one page.
  • Ask for a response.
  • Pay attention; if your representative votes in agreement with your position write her/him a thank you letter.


Writing as a Community


One way that a community can participate in the political and legislative process is by getting together to write letters as a group. This can happen after Sunday services or during coffee hour; this is a great way to engage members and make a larger impact!




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