Advocate Toolkit:
How to Manage a Letter-Writing Campaign 

One of the most effective ways to communicate your message is through a letter writing campaign. These advocacy efforts are designed to inform and engage decision-makers who may have little or no knowledge of an issue. Its purpose is two-fold: inform and persuade. Often, a few letters addressing the same concerns on a given issue will become the difference between success and failure.

1. Get Prepared

Before drafting any letter, there are a few items that must be gathered:

Literature about your coalition or organization â€" preferably a brochure or flyer that can easily accompany letters and fit into a standard business-size envelope;

Lawmaker address list -- including accurate spelling of names, titles, jurisdictions, and zip codes.

Addresses for Key News Editors and/or Columnists -- Determine early what members of the media would be interested in the communication with lawmakers.

Confirm Volunteer Availability -- Identify a day, time, and location that are the most convenient for people who will be a part of the campaign.

Secure all necessary equipment and supplies -- Pens, paper, stamps, copy services

2. Take Action

Each letter must include:

  • A description of an issue that is clear, direct, and easily understood.
  • Clear context on an issue answers the "why" question; it connects real life circumstances with your advocacy.
  • A clear request that states what should be done and when.