Strong, knowledgeable and diverse voices make up organizations. Staff or constituents, such as school leaders, teachers, parents or students, bring extensive programmatic expertise to the table. But too often, this expertise goes untapped. Penn Hill Group holds comprehensive trainings for these groups to focus and frame their knowledge on policy development and advocacy. We help bridge the divide between policy and practice.
Through our trainings, we provide the tools needed to push policy and legislative agendas at the Federal, State and local levels. We help refine goals and strategies or adjust techniques by providing in-depth knowledge of the Federal landscape. We also help develop critical skills, including how to tell an advocacy story and leverage data in messaging; how to develop and talk about policy; how and when to engage in the policymaking process; how to conduct legislative visits; how to amplify advocacy with media and social media; how to create and maintain relationships with policymakers; and how to build and maintain coalitions.
Our trainings can be a half day, a full day, multiple days or a fellowship over the course of a year—or more. We coach beginner advocates as well as more seasoned advocates interested in learning new approaches. We work to ensure that the trainings align with your organization’s goals and partner with you on logistics, materials and agendas.
Specific ways Penn Hill Group supports trainings:
We assist in conceptualization and implementation. Penn Hill Group will work with you to develop a training plan that meets your organization’s goals, timeline and capacity. We can help frame the training concept, develop training agendas and modules, facilitate the training, and support event logistics and content.
We develop tailored materials. Penn Hill Group will develop background and on-site materials, including documents on political and policy landscapes and the how to’s of advocacy, communications and Hill visits.
We design and support advocate development. Depending on the length of the training, Penn Hill Group will work with advocates before, during and after the in-person meetings. Specific support areas include:
- Policy development. In some trainings, advocates work in topic areas to try their hand at policy development and advocacy based on their expertise and what will help their community. Penn Hill Group helps advocates select policy topics and supports their development.
- Ongoing, customized technical assistance. Penn Hill Group provides ongoing technical assistance by phone or e-mail as participants draft their deliverables or prepare for in-person meetings. For example, we review drafts of memos, blogs and fact sheets and participate on consultation calls to give nuanced feedback and allow for the exchange of ideas.
- Tailored Capitol Hill trainings. Penn Hill Group can help prepare you for Capitol Hill meetings by:
- Advising on background materials and reviewing or drafting other materials as needed.
- Providing a legislative overview and opportunity for “mock legislative meetings.” We prepare and deliver a presentation to discuss national legislation and policy issues and provide tips for legislative visits.
- Managing a debrief conversation either in person or online and answering follow-up questions to ensure that participants continue to deepen their advocacy and policy knowledge.
- Speaking and writing opportunities. We identify and support opportunities (congressional briefings, op-eds, etc.) for you to disseminate your desired policy messages for advocates.
- Final reflection discussion. Penn Hill Group will support meeting planning, prepare meeting materials and help facilitate discussion for a final module to reflect on the fellowship experience. This will help inform how to improve future fellowship cohorts.