We’ve been busy. We just put out an eNewsletter update on our activities. This year we switched our messaging/donations/advocacy/database platform from Kintera to GetActive. I’ll do a separate blog post on it, great stuff. Suffice to say sending out 1000+ email newsletters (full color HTML version and a plain text version) with GetActive was a lot of fun to do and much easier than it was with our previous software. Getting a decent open/response rate, too.
In January, we presented a program for research advocates in San Francisco, now we’re doing a program for grassroots advocates in Washington, DC. We’re calling it “Grassroots Empowering Change: Connecting the Dots in Colorectal Cancer Advocacy.” It will be April 24–26, working around OVAC’s (One Voice Against Cancer) Lobby Day on April 26th. OVAC brings “regular folk” grassroots advocates together to visit their Congressional office and speak out about funding for cancer research, prevention and treatment. OVAC offers an afternoon workshop before the Congressional visit, so advocates walk in to speak to their Senator somewhat prepared. We are expanding that preparation by hosting additional workshops specifically targeted to colorectal cancer advocacy.
The idea is to help connect people who are already taking an active local voice in colorectal cancer advocacy and connect them to other advocates and ideas that can help them carry their message further. I know from experience that when you are advocating on an issue, it’s easy to get so focused on the local and immediate problem and you end up reinventing the wheel where you could take materials and support from someone else attacking the same problem in their local community. These are the folks that will then go back home and build volunteers and make things happen.
We know that to get anything done you need a crowd. One lone voice doesn’t carry very far.
Our Winter 2006 newsletter is out and in the mail and we’re working on the Spring issue. This is something that I will probably have to farm out on the design. It’s just too time consuming for me to do in addition to my other responsibilities. It kills me to let go of anything visual, but the Winter issue was a few weeks late because the days kept ending and I didn’t get to it.