My Reflections on CCVO’s Policy Lunch and Learn: Nonprofit Advocacy 101

 
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by Lina Khatib, CCVO Policy Analyst

On January 16, CCVO hosted the first in our new Lunch and Learn series focused specifically on Policy in the nonprofit sector. Twenty-five participants, most from the nonprofit sector, filled the room and brought a diversity of policy advocacy experience.

Alexa Briggs, Manager of Policy & Research at CCVO and I kickstarted the discussion with a short presentation, making the case on why advocacy work is critical to our success as a sector. The strength and impact of the nonprofit sector peaked a lot of interest, as several attendees were spotted taking photos of the presentation and jotting down notes around the impressive stats on the sector, such as: Alberta is home to more than 26,000 nonprofits, contributing approximately $10 billion in GDP to the economy and touching the life of virtually every Albertan.

We also spoke about CCVO’s various initiatives around the provincial election, and engagement tools coming for the sector, including our Alberta Nonprofit Election Toolkit and #nonprofitsvote campaign. We were excited to respond to several follow-up questions, as participants probed further into the details and how they might use these tools in the upcoming election cycle.  

We were able to spend a good part of the session in a group discussion with the participants, with many questions bringing out a range of advocacy experiences and ideas for best practices. Attendees explored broad themes, such as the crucial role that nonprofits play in public policy development, to tactical advice, including how to approach an MLA for a meeting. It became obvious that despite the diversity in experiences, we are each other’s allies, supporters, and source of information.

I appreciated the overall positive tone of the conversation among participants and during the session, and later reflected on how advocacy can often be a long and difficult journey with road blocks along the way. I look forward to learning more about some of these challenges in our future sessions and discussing the ways that we can overcome them. I hope you’ll plan to join us at one of our upcoming Policy Lunch & Learn sessions! 

As we move into the months and weeks leading up to the provincial election, CCVO will be focused on providing resources, like the Alberta Nonprofit Election Toolkit to will help your nonprofit communicate your policy priorities from a place of strength, and a voter engagement strategy that will help mobilize our sector and show our strength in numbers.  

Follow us @calgarycvo for updates about our next lunch and learn session and access resources to help you engage in advocacy during the upcoming provincial election.