What happens on lobby day?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

On lobby day, non-government organizations (NGOs) organize an event to meet with lawmakers and their staff. The purpose of this event is to build relationships and educate policymakers about the organization’s issues. Lobby days provide an opportunity for NGOs to advocate for their cause and influence legislation that aligns with their goals.

During lobby day, NGOs typically schedule meetings with legislators or their staff in advance. These meetings are usually held in the lawmakers’ offices or designated meeting spaces within the legislative building. It is important for organizations to plan these meetings strategically, targeting specific lawmakers who have influence over the issues they care about.

The main objective of lobby day is to convey the organization’s message and create awareness about their cause. This involves presenting information and data to support their position and explaining how specific legislation can address the identified issues. NGOs often prepare talking points, fact sheets, and other materials to leave behind with lawmakers and their staff for further reference.

Personal stories and experiences can be powerful tools during lobby day. Sharing stories of individuals or communities affected by the issues at hand helps to humanize the cause and make it more relatable to lawmakers. NGOs may invite individuals directly impacted by their cause to speak during meetings or share their stories in other ways.

In addition to scheduled meetings, lobby day events may also include larger gatherings such as rallies or press conferences. These events provide an opportunity for NGOs to rally their supporters and generate media coverage for their cause. Lawmakers may be invited to speak at these gatherings, further amplifying the organization’s message.

It is worth noting that lobby day is not limited to just one day. Some organizations may plan lobby days that span multiple days or even weeks, especially if they have a large number of meetings to schedule. The goal is to maximize the organization’s impact and create lasting relationships with lawmakers.

To make the most of lobby day, NGOs often engage in grassroots advocacy efforts leading up to the event. This can include mobilizing supporters to contact their legislators, organizing letter-writing campaigns, or hosting educational events to raise awareness about the issues. These efforts help to lay the groundwork for productive conversations during lobby day.

Lobby day is a crucial opportunity for NGOs to engage with lawmakers and advocate for their cause. By building relationships, presenting compelling arguments, and leveraging personal experiences, these organizations aim to influence legislation and bring about positive change.