Leadership Development

The Advocacy Institute works to level the playing field for Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities, immigrants, low-income people, and other leaders who have been historically excluded and underrepresented. We believe that legislative advocacy is knowable and navigable, and we have developed a core curriculum to provide advocates with the foundational tools they need to build – and win – powerful campaigns. Our intimate trainings foster connections between social justice movement organizations, build relationships across issue areas, and demystify advocacy work for people who are too often denied a seat at the table.

All trainings are led by Advocacy Institute staff with a strong commitment to social and racial justice and years of experience in government work, direct service provision, policy advocacy, and organizing. We work closely with trusted government insiders, seasoned advocates, and experienced organizers to create training spaces where participants can gain an inside perspective on legislative and budget advocacy and strategize next steps in their campaigns. Participants leave trainings with concrete skills and customized tools to support their advocacy going forward.

Advocacy Leadership Accelerator

Are you working on a New York State policy or budget advocacy campaign and want to deepen your strategy and skills? Are you looking to build knowledge and power with other movement leaders and join a growing community of advocates? 

Advocacy Institute invites you to apply for the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator, a 10-month program that expands advocacy skills, capacity, and leadership for up to 20 emerging organizers and advocates across New York State. This program will be held from September 2024 through June 2025, designed to prepare advocates for the legislative session and provide support throughout. We will build on Advocacy Institute’s proven Legislative Campaign Assessment and Tracking Tool (LCATT) curriculum while digging deeper into campaign strategy.


This program centers 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 is grounded  in the work of participants and our sessions will allow advocates to reflect on challenges they are facing while brainstorming strategies to address those challenges with their peers.

Applications for this program are now open, please click the link below to learn more about the program and apply.

Learn More

Our trainings & events are open to policy advocates, organizers, community members, volunteers, and others working toward a more just and equitable New York.

Join us on Wednesday, May 22nd from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM to learn more about the Advocacy Leadership Accelerator. In this information session we will discuss the goals and curriculum of the program, participation requirements, and how to apply. Click here to register.

Advocacy Institute is now accepting applications for the next Advocacy Leadership Accelerator! This is a 10-month program that expands advocacy skills, capacity, and leadership for up to 20 emerging organizers and advocates across New York State. This program will be held from September 2024 through June 2025, designed to prepare advocates for the legislative session and provide support throughout. Applications are due Friday, June 14th. 

Click here to learn more and apply. 

An image with the Advocacy Institute logo, and a group of people sitting at a table with their focus on a Advocacy Institute Co-Director of Training. Nia Adams. The image reads Apply 2024 Hudson Valley Regional Training Thursday, May 16th 9:30am-5:30pm and Friday, May 17th 9:30am- 4:30pm

Join the Advocacy Institute on Thursday, May 16th and 17th, for our in-person Hudson Valley Regional Training. Over the course of two days we will explore the legislative and budget process at the state level. Participants will have the opportunity to build networks with other advocates from the region, and hear from a panel of experienced advocates to examine the political landscape in the Hudson Valley.  

 During this training, we will explore:

  • The timeline, mechanics, and basic concepts of legislative advocacy in New York State
  • Explore  the key players in the Hudson Valley and how the region fits into the broader statewide political landscape
  • And how to build effective relationships with elected officials and coalition partners 

Advocacy Institute trainings are open to policy advocates, organizers, community members, volunteers, and others working toward a more just and equitable New York. Thanks to the generous support of the Westchester Community Foundation, we can offer subsidized registration for $60 per participant. Trainings are free for Advocacy Institute member organizations and $60  per person for non-members. The Advocacy Institute will provide lunch and coffee on both days.

At this time during the initial registration process, we are limiting organizations to (2) people to encourage a diverse group of people and experiences in the room. Any additional registrants will be wait-listed until further notice. However, we encourage at least two people per organization to inspire accountability. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, and we will notify you of your acceptance no later than May 3rd.

If you are interested in being a member or have questions about membership, please email membership@advocacy-institute.org.

Register Here

These trainings are free for AI members and low-cost for all others. Details are added to the Upcoming Events tab closer to each training date.

2024 Calendar

Virtual Trainings

  • Thursday, January 18 at 2:00-3:30pm: The 2024 Real State of the State
  • Thursday, February 15 at 2:00-3:30pm: A Guide to NYC Budget
  • Thursday, April 18 at 2:00-3:30pm: How Policy Passes: The NYS Bill to Law Process
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 9-25 at 2:00-4:00pm: 2024 NYS Virtual Summer Camp (6 Sessions)
  • Thursday, September 19 at 2:00-3:30pm: Who’s Who: Power Mapping in Albany
  • Thursday, October 17 at 2:00-3:30pm: A Guide to the NYS Budget
  • Thursday, December 5 at 2:00-3:30pm: Looking Forward: NYS Election Review


In-Person Trainings

  • Thursday, May 16 & Friday, May 17: Hudson Valley 2-Day Training
  • Thursday, November 21 & Friday, November 22: New York City 2-Day Training
View on Calendar

Core Trainings

The AI team has developed a core curriculum that provides the foundational tools advocates need to effectively craft campaigns and navigate the halls of power. Interactive exercises, small group discussions, real-world case studies, and strategies to support member-driven advocacy are woven into all of our trainings. We also work closely with movement groups to tailor and create trainings responsive to current campaign needs and strategic opportunities. Our current core trainings are:

  • Introduction to Advocacy – define and differentiate advocacy, legislative advocacy, and lobbying.
  • Local & State Landscape – explore the different powers of local and state governments and the importance of choosing the right forum for your advocacy.
  • New York State Bill to Law – learn how a bill (really) becomes law at the state level, including how to select sponsors, strategies for moving bills through committees, and routes to get to a floor vote.
  • New York State Who’s Who – get familiar with key players in the state legislative and budget processes.
  • Who’s Who Buffalo, Hudson Valley, Long Island, and NYC – discover key players in your community and the roles they have in local and state politics.
  • New York City Bill to Law – learn how to move a bill through the New York City Council and win over the Mayor.
  • New York City Budget – explore the in’s and out’s of the budgeting process, including tips on how to impact the big picture of revenue and spending, and different types of funding you can secure to support your work.
  • Developing a Strong Bill Package – understand how to develop the specifics of a bill, collect info to back up your proposal, and effectively message around your ask
  • Coalition-Building – explore the importance of working across regions and issue areas, and learn concrete strategies to build a strong coalition.
  • Identifying Targets – learn to figure out who you need to push to move your campaign forward.
  • Building the Relationships You Need to Win – learn effective strategies to connect with your targets.

Recordings of past webinars are available to AI members via our Tools portal. Not yet a member? Contact membership@advocacy-institute.org to discuss!


Webinars: free for Advocacy Institute member organizations; $15 per person for non-members, unless otherwise noted.

In-person trainings: free for Advocacy Institute member organizations, $100 per person per day for non-members. 

Contact hello@advocacy-institute.org with any questions.