About the Advocacy Institute

The Advocacy Institute supports social justice organizations to build the advocacy skills, knowledge and power they need to shape government policy for a more just and equitable New York. We envision governments at all levels that are accessible, transparent, and accountable to those directly impacted by injustice, especially communities of color.

About the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator

Are you working on a policy or budget advocacy campaign in Albany and want to deepen your skills and expertise? Are you looking to build with other movement advocates and create networks of support? 

The Advocacy Institute is excited to announce the first ever Advocacy Leadership Accelerator that seeks to create skills, capacity, networks, and support for advocates working across New York State. The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator is an opportunity for 15-20 advocates with some experience in legislative and budget advocacy to deepen their skills and build their leadership. This program will build on Advocacy Institute’s proven Legislative Campaign Assessment and Tracking Tool (LCATT) curriculum while digging deeper into campaign strategy.

This program will center an intersectional and racial equity lens to examine how multiple forms of oppression combine to impact advocates’ ability to affect policy change. The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator will be grounded in the work of participants, and our sessions will allow advocates to reflect on the challenges they are facing and strategies to address those challenges, in community with their peers.

What you’ll get out of the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator

Participating in the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator is an exciting leadership opportunity to:

    • Increase organizational capacity to run effective advocacy campaigns
    • Strengthen individual advocacy leadership and knowledge, and develop stronger peer networks with advocates across the state
    • Strengthen strategies and tactics to build leadership and ensure those directly impacted by injustice increase their influence on state policy-making
    • Strengthen relationship-building skills for working with elected officials and coalition partners
    • Learn practices and support for sustainability
    • Learn additional advocacy strategies and tactics on topics such as: Honing your ask, developing leadership and decision making structures, conducting a campaign power analysis, planning for implementation, working effectively with lobbyists and other strategists, and other advanced campaign strategies.

Who is this program for?

This program is designed for advocates and organizers with some experience doing state-level advocacy campaigns, from organizations that will have a state-level campaign in the 2023 session in Albany.

Participating Organizations

    • Serve communities in NY State (we are seeking regional diversity including Lower Hudson Valley, Mid-Hudson Valley, Capitol Region, North Country, Central NY, NYC, Western NY, Fingerlakes, and Long Island)
    • Are committed to conducting a state-focused campaign (to pass a bill or influence the budget) during the 2023 legislative session
    • Are committed to growing organizational capacity for advocacy work
    • Preference will be given to BIPOC-led organizations doing community organizing

Participating Individuals

The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator might be a good fit for you if you…

    • Have some prior experience with advocacy work and are committed to grow
    • Have a key role in your organization’s advocacy campaign(s)
    • Have organizational support & consent for participating in this program and applying what you learn to your campaign
    • Are committed to and grounded in advancing racial equity through your work
    • Can commit to full participation in the program (see program dates below), including two in-person retreats, semi-monthly virtual half-day sessions, and monthly strategic consulting sessions

The Advocacy Leadership Accelerator will accept one person per organization. Two people from the same organization may apply if they are based in different regions, and one will be placed on a waiting list, to be admitted if space is available. We are explicitly looking to recruit people of color, queer folks, people of varying abilities, and gender non-comforming people to deepen their skills and leadership in legislative advocacy.

Program Dates and Logistics

You will be expected to attend all the program dates below. Please let us know in your application form if there’s anything that would support you to be able to fully participate. We will cover meals, travel and lodging for the in-person retreats.

September 2022

    • Opening Retreat: Fri, Sep 9 – Sun, Sep 11 (arriving Thu evening, in Hudson Valley)
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Sep 30 at 10am-2pm

October 2022

    • ED Orientation Breakfast: Thu, Oct 6 at 9-11am
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Oct 14 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Oct 28 at 10am-2pm

November 2022

    • Virtual Session: Fri, Nov 4 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Nov 18 at 10am-2pm

December 2022

    • Virtual Session: Fri, Dec 9 at 10am-2pm

January 2023

    • Virtual Session: Fri, Jan 13 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Jan 27 at 10am-2pm

February 2023

    • Virtual Session: Fri, Feb 10 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Feb 24 at 10am-2pm

March 2023

    • Virtual Session: Fri, Mar 10 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Mar 24 at 10am-2pm

April 2023

    • Virtual Session: Fri, Apr 14 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, Apr 28 at 10am-2pm

May 2023

    • Virtual Session: Fri, May 5 at 10am-2pm
    • Virtual Session: Fri, May 19 at 10am-2pm

June 2023

    • Closing Retreat: Fri, Jun 16 – Sat, Jun 17 (arriving Thu afternoon, in NYC)

Monthly

    • One-hour strategic consulting session (organizations can send additional staff to participate in consulting sessions)

How to Apply

Deadline for applications is Friday, July 15

Please contact hello@advocacy-institute with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no charge to participate in the program for this first pilot year of the Accelerator. However, participants’ organizations will need to be AI members or join before the program starts.

Your organization does not need to be an AI member at the time of your application. However, once accepted, your organization must join AI for you to attend the program. 

We are asking participants to commit to attending all of the programming that is part of the Accelerator including the opening and closing in-person retreats, the bi-monthly virtual sessions, the Executive Director breakfast, and consultation sessions with AI team members and experts.

Because the goals of the program are both individual leadership development, and organizational capacity building, we’re asking your Executive Director to attend the orientation breakfast. This will be a chance to think through how to support organizational growth and to network with peers. If there is someone else in your organization who has final say over your advocacy work that’s not your Executive Director, please have that person attend.

We will prioritize one person per organization, and will place additional people from the same organization on a waiting list. If there is space, we will accept two people from the same organization, especially if they work in different regions.

Yes. The Accelerator is designed for participants actively engaged in or planning a state-government-focused advocacy campaign in New York State in the 2022-2023 legislative cycle. 

As this is the first year of the program, we do not have the resources yet to provide childcare or subsidize child care costs for participants.

While program materials will be available in English and Spanish, interpretation will not be provided.

For the safety of all participants in the Accelerator program, we are requiring full vaccination before the opening retreat as well as a negative PCR test conducted 3 days prior to arriving at the opening and closing retreats. In addition, participants will be asked to self-administer a rapid test every day during retreats (tests will be provided by the Advocacy Institute).

Info Session Recording

Special thanks to the Robin Hood Foundation Power Fund for support of this program.