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Design Thinking in Advocacy (Deep Dive 2)

October 3, 2023 @ 11:30 am 12:30 pm

Design thinking encourages an approach to problem-solving that centers around your audience. In this interactive conversation, we will explore some real-life design problems and the steps we can take to solve them.

Roxana Gomez, ACLU of Washington
Casey Kincheloe, Beekeeper Group (moderator)
Matthew Longacre, Conference of State Bank Supervisors
Dustin Perchal, The ALS Association


What is design thinking? Design thinking is a way to solve problems through creativity 

Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test 


  • Give advocates several actions 
  • “8 ways to take action in August” 
  • Creatively set up an action challenge 
  • Different metrics for each action 
  • Letter to the Editor – pre-drafted and option to customize 
  • Tracking published letters to the editor was a bit more challenging 
    • Lesson learned: Improve the reporting from Advocates on those placements 
  • The top tier actions – drop by info by district office 
  • Disability disclaimer on-call alerts (For example: ALS some folks can’t call in)
  • Include call-to-action with QR code in the webinar and other presos


  • Have the tech team test what actions people are clicking most and how you can have the page change order of most taken actions 
  • Create an actionable user persona 
  •  A people that are worth pursuing  
  • How can we serve them to meet their needs in your campaign? 
  • Who are we talking to? What do they need? How can we get their attention? 
  • Create a dashboard for advocates to take action 
  • Talking and interviewing advocates has helped improve their materials and meet their needs 
  • Sometimes you just focus your efforts on one person who can make the whole campaign worth it 
  • Set your voice and tone based on Heros and Villains 
  • Google Analytics and plug-in that allows you to see the person, if they opened, and what links they clicked 
    • Connect your email to your Google Analytics 


  • Turn people into meaningful advocates 
  • Who is in your coalition? 
  • Lean into community members and organizations
  • Everything feels urgent all the time – and it’s not that urgent 
  • Establish a culture of belonging 
  • We need to rethink the “win” 
    • Passing the bill should not be a “win” if you can’t retain your advocates 
  • Centering the Voices of the Most Impacted 
    • Determine who is doing this to be authentic vs check a box 
    • Accommodate your structure to meet advocate lifestyles 
    • Language matters internally and externally 
  • Ask your advocates what they want to be referred to as 
  • Come back to your core mission 
  • Understand your opponents 
    • Extensive mapping with lawmakers 
    • Understand lawmaker’s drive and motivations to identify who they listen to.


October 3, 2023
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
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