Advocacy Toolkit

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Advocacy is defined as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others. It is a way to support and promote important messages further influencing and improving public policy. An organization or individual can choose from many advocacy activities, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Public speaking,
  • Research,
  • Education (to legislatures and to the public about the legislative process)
  • Mobilization (through rallies and grassroots efforts)
  • Media campaigns,
  • Educational conferences (to gather, network, and share information)
  • Training sessions, and
  • Lobbying.

This toolkit aims to provide you with information, guidance, and resources designed to help you become a knowledgeable and skilled advocate for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Our hope is that it will be a resource for people at various stages of advocacy involvement – from those who can dedicate several hours per week to a specific interest, to those who can only spare an hour or two every few months to participate in an event, address an issue, or write a letter to their local legislator.

The following resources are meant to: a) help individuals and organizations build their public policy and advocacy skills, b) identify community HIV/AIDS prevention needs and potential solutions, c) effectively communicate issues to policymakers and opinion leaders, and d) mobilize members and leaders to action.

  • Advocacy vs. Lobbying – Click here to find out more about the difference between advocacy and lobbying. Also, the lobbying regulations that affect nonprofit organizations.
  • Know Your Audience – Click here for information on how to contact the appropriate individuals in various political areas.
  • Media Advocacy – Click here for information on how to effectively communicate with the media.
  • Advocacy Implementation Plan – Advocating as part of a group gives you strength. Here are some suggestions on advocacy with a “southern states” agenda
  • Utilizing the Southern States Manifesto – Click here for more information about HIV/AIDS and advocacy areas of need: prevention, treatment, and issues specific to the southern region.
  • Advocacy Strategies – Click here for examples of advocacy initiatives from partners of the Southern AIDS Coalition.
  • Advocacy with Elected Representatives – Click here for recommendations on how to effectively communicate with decision-makers. Also, resources to assess the legislative landscape.


HIV/AIDS Advocacy Resources

Click here to learn more about advocacy groups, research initiatives, and AIDS consortiums in the southern region.

Sample Advocacy Documents: