What is Membership?

Membership is a package of tools and services to support you in your legislative campaign work. As a member of the Advocacy Institute community, your organization has access to our network of seasoned advocates, organizers and government insiders across New York State — regions include New York City, the Hudson Valley, Long Island and Western New York. AI provides the data, trainings, and insider access to help our members shift campaign strategy, align their advocacy with legislative timelines, build more meaningful relationships with elected officials and their staff, and ultimately, win progressive campaigns at the state and local level.

What's included in Membership?

Benefits of membership are outlined in part here:

Also, here’s a quick summary.

– Access to Tools designed to help members learn, research and organize
– Strategic Campaign Support
– Ability to request customized data sets (e.g. “all staff who report to Elected’s on X Committee”, “all Elected’s who serve on the following Committees”
– Year-round introductory and follow-up training sessions
– Access to invaluable strategic advisors

How do we become Members?

Membership at the organizational level is available through an application process. Most applications require that a member at your organization has attended at least one AI training, but we do many exceptions on a case-by-case basis. If you’d like to learn more about membership, visit: http://advocacy-institute.org/membership. Also, you can always apply for membership here: http://bit.ly/AINewMembership

What are the basic eligibility requirements of Membership?

Each member must be:
– Affiliated with a non-profit organization
– Working actively on social justice legislative or budget campaigns (either on their own or in coalition)
– Located in New York State

How will this help me advance our campaign?

There’s never a guarantee when it comes to winning legislative campaigns. Victory is contingent on so many external factors. What we’ve found in supporting legislative campaigns around the state is that having several layers of support helps build organizational and political power along the way. The support we focus on delivering is:

– Assessment of [the status and strategy of] your legislative and budget campaigns, as well as coaching and advice
– Insight in identifying targets, building relationships, expanding a coalition, drafting legislation, introducing a bill, etc.
– Templates for aligning your team around vision, strategy and tactics
– Workspaces and data directories that help you research and track current priorities

How much does Membership cost?

Membership fees are on a sliding scale determined by an organization’s budget. This keeps membership accessible to those with smaller budgets that are on the front lines of organizing. You can review costs here: www.advocacy-institute.org/fees

We are a small project or organization housed within a larger org, what budget will count towards the fees?

Membership fees for this scenario are determined on a case-by-case basis. Please email membership@advocacy-institute.org so we can identify the best approach for your project or organization.

Can you come to our organization to do a training / onboarding etc?

In brief, we’re not yet set up to do this. We currently design in person and remote trainings with cohorts in mind (multiple people across multiple organizations working across multiple issue areas). Also, all of our onboarding is facilitated remotely via webinars and virtual screen-sharing. However, if your team has a particular set of access needs that require in person training at your organization, please email membership@advocacy-institute.org.

How do I get started using Membership?

Getting started is easy. Each organization is provided an onboarding session, which is recorded and available to be shared with other team members. Also, if you already have access to our Legislative Directory, you can access other tools, videos and resources here: http://tools.advocacy-institute.org.

Can individuals (not assoc with organizations) attend your trainings / become members?

We welcome individuals to use many of our tools (maps, campaign strategy docs, etc.). However, our in person and remote trainings are created for members organizations actively working on social justice legislative or budget campaigns (either on their own or in coalition). If you’re an individual organizer or activist working as part of a coalition, one approach is to make a request of one of our current member orgs. You can see that list here: http://advocacy-institute.org/members.

Do you have materials in Spanish? Other languages?

Yes, we do have materials in Spanish. We’ve worked with organizations like Caracol Language Coop to provide both interpretation and translation services for several downloadable maps. We don’t currently have materials in other languages available, however we’re open to facilitating the development of these by request.

My organization is a member of AI, but I'm new to the organization… How has the organization used membership to date? How do I get started as a new staff member?

As a new staff member, we generally recommend first checking in with other team members familiar with our tools, videos and resources. Each organization prioritizes the adoption of membership benefits differently, so your team can help you understand where the team is in that process. And, we enjoy helping our members so if you find yourself needing something more personalized, we’re happy to help. We have a library of pre-recorded videos and guides to help fast track your utilization of membership benefits. Email us to schedule a tour: membership@advocacy-institute.org.

We're currently members but I'm not sure who has access to AI tools–can you confirm?

Yes we can. Email membership@advocacy-institute.org ask for an update.

How do we renew Membership?

Renewal is easy. You can skip the application process required for new organizations and continue getting high-quality trainings and tools to use with your legislative and budget campaigns here: http://bit.ly/AIMemberRenewals.