Twitter Chat Recap: Advocating in Place

On Monday, June 29, Apra Members joined Preeti Gill (Sole Searcher Strategies), Mandy Heath (Florida International University), Jessica Balsam (University of Washington), and Catherine Flaatten (George Washington University) to talk about ways to advocate for ourselves and our peers in the field. Highlights include:


  • Demonstrating your value and how your contribution is vital in the current times
  • Reprioritizing your work to be external or client-facing so your impact is more visible
  • Think collectively to keep necessary contracts & relationships with vendors
  • Tying production outcomes to vendors
  • Highlight valuable and actionable info that requires existing resources

Making Room for More Impactful Work:

  • Using this time to focus on value add by reviewing data
  • Knowing your leadership’s – and your own - priorities and adapting accordingly
  • Showing leadership on how research impacts fundraising dollars
  • Having boundaries and sticking to them
  • Identifying FY21 goals and working towards aligning with them

Advocate for Each Other:

  • Using advocacy to be protective of marginalized people – building a culture of trust and safety to retain diversity and uplift their contributions
  • Understand the difference between BIPOC being invited versus “voluntold” to serve on equity, diversity and inclusion committees and hiring panels
  • Make Room: Listen, amplify and recruit diverse individuals – get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and get determined to commit to the work daily
  • Using networks to let others know of job opportunities, and making sure your networks are diverse – connect with Prospect Development colleagues who are different from you
  • Check to see if a panel you’ve been invited to speak on is diverse. If not, offer a seat – maybe your seat – on that panel to a minority voice in the field

Being More Inclusive and Culturally Sensitive:

  • Breaking the “past-predicts-future” mindset
  • Committing to speaking up and fighting for inclusivity and sensitivity in hiring, meeting invites, covered topics, and training

Digital & Virtual Tips and Techniques:

  • Dropping ratio numbers into conversations with leadership
  • Training: live, virtual training; tutorial videos
  • Portfolio reviews via Zoom; group and 1-on-1 meetings; video-free check-ins
  • Rolling out reports on a regular basis
  • Using visuals and leveraging marketing tools to review old projects
  • Moved donor strategy sessions online


Apra's Advocacy Toolkit
Apra Connections: "What Are You Advocating For?"
Apra Advocacy Infographic
NYT: "Are You Willing to Give Up Your Privilege?"

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