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Evaluation of Grassroots Advocacy CARE USA

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  1. Evaluation of Grassroots AdvocacyCARE USA Giulia McPherson Deputy Director, Citizen Advocacy

  2. The Case for Grassroots Advocacy “I’m so thankful that CARE has organized this conference to amplify the need that is out there. Believe me, the squeaky wheel does get the grease! Don’t let tomorrow be a ‘check in the box’ moment for you. Continue to call your members of Congress, follow up on your meetings and get others involved as well.” Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), May 2009 “Not everyone can go into the field, or even donate. But every one of us can be an advocate for people whose voices are often not heard. Bill Gates Annual Letter, January 2011 “I attended the CARE call yesterday and called my Congresswoman’s office this morning.  I really appreciate how well organized and helpful CARE is in equipping us with direction, drafted letters, and talking points. It makes it easy to take action.” CARE Advocate, June 2011

  3. CARE USA’s Grassroots Advocacy History of CARE’s Grassroots Advocacy • 1998 - Launched Reproductive Health Education Program, which engaged CARE’s donors to form a nationwide network of advocates interested in improving women’s health and the lives of families around the world. • 2000 – Partnered with PAI for the “PLANet” campaign to increase public and policymaker awareness and support for international family planning programs. • 2002 – Grew into the CARE Action Network, a nationwide network of advocates supporting CARE’s advocacy agenda. The CARE Action Network aims to: • Recruit CARE supporters to help advance CARE’s advocacy agenda • Educate CARE supporters about CARE’s advocacy agenda • Mobilize CARE supporters to take action in support of CARE’s advocacy agenda

  4. 2011 Advocacy Agenda • Assisting Countries in Conflict • Securing Effective Funding for Foreign Assistance • Providing Economic Opportunities for Women • Empowering Girls to Learn and Lead • Ensuring Food for All • Increasing Access to Maternal Health

  5. CARE Action Network The CARE Action Network team is comprised of six Field Coordinators based throughout the U.S., whose activities include: • Recruiting • Tiered advocate structure • State/District Chairs • Educating • Annual Leadership Summit • Quarterly Conference calls • Local/Regional Events • Mobilizing • In-District Meetings • Action Alerts • National Day of Action • CARE National Conference

  6. Monitoring & Evaluation CARE consistently monitors grassroots advocacy efforts through a series of internal reporting mechanisms. • Online mobilizations • Number of individuals who took action • Number of letters generated *Also sorted by target members of Congress • Offline mobilizations • Number of calls placed • Number of e-mails sent • Direct feedback/commitments made • In-district meetings • Number held • Direct feedback/commitments made

  7. Congressional Champions Grassroots advocacy efforts contribute towards the development of Congressional Champions who actively support issues on CARE’s advocacy agenda. • Introduces or co-sponsors legislation • Speaks at CARE Event • Hosts hearings on issues related to policy agenda • Spearheads Dear Colleague Letters • Makes floor statements in support of issues

  8. CARE Action Network by the Numbers • Membership • Over 170,000 members • Almost 3,000 are “grasstops” advocates • 85 State/District Chairs representing 24 states and 51 districts • Mobilizations • In FY10, CAN members took a total of 119,350 online actions • In FY10, CAN members took part in 77 in-district meetings • Events • The 2011 CARE National Conference drew 1,137 attendees and 335 congressional meetings were held • Over 170 people hosted events for the 2010 CARE National Day of Action

  9. Success Stories • Child Marriage - CARE prioritized the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act at the last two CARE National Conferences in May 2009 and 2010, where hundreds of CARE advocates discussed this issue with their policymakers on Capitol Hill. This advocacy by CARE advocates resulted in increased support of the legislation, including dozens of additional cosponsors. • Microfinance - CARE advocates met with Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and his staff during the 2011 CARE Conference to discuss the International Affairs Budget, Education for All and microfinance. He was so taken by the microfinance issue that he offered to spearhead efforts to generate support among his colleagues. This has now resulted in a Dear Colleague letter currently circulating the House, led by Reps. Rush, Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Donald Payne (D-NJ). • FY11 International Affairs Budget – In April 2011, CARE joined partner organizations to oppose cuts to the FY11 International Affairs Budget. Advocates generated calls and e-mails expressing support for development programs funded by this account and drastic cuts were avoided.