Community Catalyst System of Advocacy

Six Capacities for Effective Advocacy

Coalition and Stakeholder Alliances

Build, expand and maintain strong coalitions and networks that represent a broad range of consumer interests and bring different assets, missions, perspectives, constituencies, relationships and strategies to work collaboratively toward a common goal.

Community Catalyst works with advocates and coalitions to bring together a broad range of advocacy organizations and stakeholders that have different capacities, missions, constituencies, and strategies to work collaboratively toward a common goal. We also provide coaching on how to engage diverse partners and stakeholders with different strengths and constituencies.


Communicate the right message to the right audience to build timely public and political support for an issue or position and to counter opposition.

Community Catalyst works with partners to clearly and effectively frame issues for public understanding, identify target audiences, develop compelling, persuasive messages, and employ a variety of communications strategies, including media, blog and editorial coverage and social media campaigns, to ensure messages reach the right audience at the right time.

Resource Development

Raise and appropriately allocate dedicated and unrestricted funds in support of an advocacy campaign and to sustain advocacy work over time.

Community Catalyst helps advocates identify and build relationships with funders, and assists with grant proposal development.

Grassroots Organizing

A process of building power by involving a constituency in identifying both the problems they share and the solutions to those problems, identifying the targets that could make those solutions possible, engaging with those targets through negotiation, confrontation and pressure, and developing the capacity to take on further problems.

Community Catalyst provides advocates with strategies and coaching to identify ways to build a grassroots constituency to actively support campaigns and advocacy efforts.

Policy Analysis & Advocacy

Analyze complex legal and policy issues, conduct research and develop sound policy solutions. Strong policy analysis provides organizations with the data and context they need to develop winnable policy campaigns, identify key constituencies, and engage allies in the work.

Community Catalyst analyzes and comments on proposed state and federal policies or institutional policies; drafts model legislation; collects data and conducts research to address critical questions arising from constituencies affected by a given policy; monitors implementation of policies; educates and leverages relationships with key decision makers as appropriate.

Campaign Development

The ability to plan and coordinate advocacy campaigns is essential to shape policy decisions and outcomes. Campaign development brings together all the capacities and orchestrates the involvement of partners and allies to take advantage of opportunities to advance a consumer health agenda.

Community Catalyst helps advocates and coalitions make effective use of the capacities in service of a common goal. This assistance includes identifying key decision makers, building alliances to expand support or opposition to a proposal, and thinking about the right time to move on different elements of the campaign.

Supporting Capacities


An individual who constructively brings together the diverse voices of a group of individuals working toward a common goal. The leader understands the importance of supporting processes that are working and changing processes that are not working. The leader can work from behind the group, alongside the group or, when necessary, lead the group.

Community Catalyst cultivates, develops and supports leaders through individual coaching, strategic guidance, and access to trainings offered through our learning community.


Monitoring and evaluating progress, outcomes, and impacts is a critical component of any advocacy initiative to ensure ongoing learning and effective implementation of project goals.

Community Catalyst provides coaching, tools and support to help advocates develop measureable outcomes and identify key impacts as methods for evaluating their work.

Six organizational capacities work in conjunction and transform many separate organizations into a coherent whole that is better positioned to achieve health policy change, creating a system of advocacy.