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Knowing Your Assets From a Hole in the Ground

August 13, 2014

Any objective-oriented endeavor requires two key components: the goal(s) to be achieved and the resources available in support of achieving them.

Without a clear understanding of the resources at your disposal, any attempts to outline a tactical plan to achieve the identified objective(s) will be inefficient and poorly supported at best and a complete failure in the worse-case scenario.

With objective(s) and resources identified, you are able to create the most efficient, effective approach to leveraging your resources in support of your goal(s).

The Best Time To Expand Your Advocacy Program

August 7, 2014

If you have been a grassroots/grasstops advocacy professional for long, you have noticed the resource challenge stakeholder and relationship-driven legislative advocacy faces at times.

On one hand legislative advocacy has seen tremendous growth and adoption. On the other, stories of advocacy professionals being asked to do much with little (as far as resources are concerned) have abated little.

Typically, organizations respond to two specific events as motivators for increasing their investment in grassroots/grasstops advocacy:

National Journal: 23 Lobbyists Per Member

July 31, 2014

If you had a sneaking suspicion the halls of Congress have felt more crowded in recent years, National Journal has the confirmation you need.

According to a report recently developed for National Journal members, in 2013 there were 23 registered lobbyists for each Member of Congress. That doesn't include the thousands of "unregistered" lobbyists who work to influence legislation in ways that do not require formal registration.

Increase Your Legislative Impact in 3 Easy Steps

July 22, 2014

There is never a bad time to make it a priority to increase the footprint and impact of your legislative advocacy program - especially as crucial mid-terms approach.

Like email lists and Facebook, Twitter and social media followers, each new relationship (between elected officials and a stakeholder) and willing advocate you are able to identify permanently expands the potential influence and impact of your legislative advocacy efforts. Additionally, making the effort to identify your stakeholders' issue interests and positions and connections to community organizations noticeably expands your opportunities.

RAP Index has been designed to specifically harness technology to make the identification and management of the kinds of data points listed above a no hassle, turn-key process. However, the beauty of the suggestions that follow is that even smaller-scale efforts to cobble together your own process for capturing and maintain this kind of information will reap huge rewards for your advocacy program.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend From RAP Index

July 3, 2014

As we head into the Fourth of July weekend we wanted to take a moment to share the driving force(s) behind RAP Index.

As advocacy professionals, we believe our legislative process works best when there are as many passionate, informed voices contributing to the process as possible. We also deeply understand the challenges that come with finding and engaging those stakeholders who are interested and able to meaningfully participate. Above all else, RAP Index was created to use technology to solve these challenges.

Add Some Boom To Your Sparklers For More Effective Advocacy

June 30, 2014

Sparklers are as central to a 4th of July celebration as emails, tweets and Facebook posts are to modern legislative advocacy practice.

But do you really want to load up the family for a 20 minute sparkler display?

Probably not.

Sparklers are fun, inexpensive and can be handled by just about anyone but they lack the punch - and by extension the same level of effectiveness - of the big booms and crackles of the really effective fireworks. No one ever comes out of a big 4th of July celebration and tells everyone how amazing the sparklers were.

The RAP Index ROI

June 27, 2014

It's budget season for many organizations leading us to a question that often arises: what is the ROI of using RAP Index?

Let's face it, grasstops and grassroots professionals are often being asked to do a lot with a little when it comes to the advocacy programs they are responsible for. Combine this with the glazed look that sometimes covers the face of company or organization leaders when program specifics are discussed and you quickly realize the importance of being able to justify any advocacy-related expenditure.

Increase PAC Donation Effectiveness in 3 Steps

June 20, 2014

PACs are obviously a great way to support the elected officials who understand and work on behalf of issues critical to an organization and its stakeholders. There is a naked logic to them - when a legislator truly understands, is sympathetic to and helps to voice an organization's concerns on a given issue it would be ludicrous to expect that organization to do anything other than the most they can do to help that legislator get reelected.

While most PAC donations are still handled at the gut level, there is tremendous opportunity to leverage today's data-driven technology environment to make PAC donations and even more efficient and effective legislative advocacy tool. Here are three ways your organization could begin that process today:
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