Leadership_Government Relations, Necessary or Illusion_3 of 3

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When You Work for the Government?:

When You Work for the Government? Who Needs Friends, Mary Olien Green Spring Gardens Alexandria, Virginia

Our role as employees:

Our role as employees Stewards of the resources Managers of staff and budgets Planners for the future But ultimately, To serve the community whose dollars pay the bills

You’re an employee. No, you can’t …:

You’re an employee. No, you can’t … Lobby elected officials to steer funding and other resources your way. Pressure your organization’s leadership to fulfill your needs and desires Nor …. Fail to develop strong relationships with like minded citizens and citizen groups.

Whose voices will you hear today?:

Whose voices will you hear today? Elected Official Appointed Park Authority Board members VP FROGS Two staff in my supervisory chain

Friends Groups Provide Valuable Advocacy Services:

Friends Groups Provide Valuable Advocacy Services

What motivates an advocate?:

What motivates an advocate? “People protect the places they know and love.” It’s more than civic duty or simple pleasure, but a deeper emotional connection.

What can a Friends Group do?:

What can a Friends Group do? Provide mission support Fundraising Business advisors Connect host communities to the site Attract new audiences Build relationships with decision makers Offer a sounding board for ideas

Advocacy is most effective when…:

Advocacy is most effective when… Relationships are built with decision makers ahead of the time of need. Partnership efforts are well established. Solutions are presented with the issue.

Advocacy is killed when…:

Advocacy is killed when… Communication fails between the group with the need and the group that can help Within each of these groups The advocating group believes it is “owed” control because of its financial or time investment A group feels manipulated into advocacy

Advocacy is killed when…:

Advocacy is killed when… A group tries to manage policy, when that is not their role or task There is a lack of understanding about process for creating policy for affecting change The group is not unified in creating its message and method for affecting an outcome Patience for the process is lost

Choose a meaningful target:

Choose a meaningful target Who knew a copper FROG could cause trouble? Know in advance who is authorized to advocate. Know in advance what the advocate will say

Saving a position from budget cuts:

Saving a position from budget cuts What we did: Provided a fact based narrative with statistics on the benefits of the position. Demonstrated how this position strongly supported the education mission of the garden through the use of volunteers Meet with the advocacy team to be sure they understood the facts

Saving a position from budget cuts:

Saving a position from budget cuts What they did: Created letter and email templates to recruit group members to advocate. Made phone calls with their own personal stories Attended budget input public meetings

Saving a position from budget cuts:

Saving a position from budget cuts The outcome: The position was saved. The Park Authority learned more about the role of Master Gardeners for providing education services, which met a key component of the mission. A well-organized advocacy campaign can have successful results.

A success story from the Fairfax County Park Authority:

A success story from the Fairfax County Park Authority

Thank you!:

Thank you! Any questions?

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