Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Social Ties: One of Seven Elements of a Successful Advocacy Network

Last month, Netcentric Campaigns published an article describing the Seven Elements of a Successful Advocacy Network. The presence of these elements in an advocacy network, identified through years of experience helping foundations and nonprofits build and launch high-performing advocacy networks, is essential for them to succeed. This article is the first of a series that will focus individually on each of the seven elements.
netcentric, campaigns, the seven elements of an advocacy network, social tiesSocial Ties
Advocacy networks are unique among all the different types of networks. By design, advocacy networks bring people together who – while they may share a desire for a common outcome or general direction of change – have many different ideas and convictions about how to get there. Many of these people will not ever have interacted before or, if they have, their interaction may have been as rivals.
Building and reinforcing social ties among the people in an advocacy network is an essential step in creating trust. Trusting one another allows them to communicate with fewer misunderstandings, makes it easier for them to overcome strategy disagreements, and facilitates collaboration, the development of a common language, and the establishment of a shared vision for the network’s goals.
How is it done? Netcentric Campaigns has helped foundations and nonprofits build social ties among network participants both online and offline. Offline, social ties are built in traditional ways such as organizing happy hours and in-person meetings at retreats and training sessions. Online, social ties are built through activities such as webinars, conference calls and e-newsletters in which network participants share their experience and expertise with one another, and through collaboration on network projects.
No single element among the Seven Elements of a Successful Advocacy Network is any more important than the rest, so watch for future articles from Netcentric Campaigns that highlight each one. Want to know more right now? Let us know in the comments below or contact us!
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons by Derek Wilmot