Taking Action: Planning an Event


Taking Action: Planning an Event

Hosting an event allows you to gather your community together to learn more about your issue and take action collectively. Remember that when planning an advocacy-focused event, your ultimate goal is to bring people together and incite them to action.

For a timeline on how to prepare for your event, click here.
For a sample event checklist, click here.

Types of Events

  • When determining what type of event to hold, think about what would resonate best with your community and what would be a manageable undertaking for you and your fellow organizers.
  • Be creative with food, music and activities that will educate and motivate your audience to become more involved. Making an event fun will build support for the event and the issue.
  • Hosting a Speaking Event
  • Bringing speakers to your community is a great way to educate and promote action. Invite a speaker who is on the front-line of your cause. Nothing is more powerful than hearing from someone who has expertise in a specific issue and can speak to it with authority.
  • For tips on how to plan a speaking event, click here.
    To request a speaker from American Jewish World Service, e-mail ajws@ajws.org.
  • Host a House Party
  • House parties are a smart way to gather people together when there is an immediate call to action, such as garnering support for a specific piece of legislation. Take advantage of this opportunity and hold a petition drive or letter writing action (see “Reaching Decision-Makers”).
  • Table at a Community Event
  • Staffing a table with materials and quick action opportunities is a simple way to build support. Tabling is especially effective on campuses, in community centers and at community events.
  • Tips:
  • • Make sure you have permission to table in your location.
    • The whole point of tabling is to talk to people and get them interested. It is important that you and your table look welcoming and friendly.
    • Have resources and flyers that people can take with them.
    • A sign-in sheet for names and contact information is a good way to keep track of people who were interested in getting involved.
  • For other creative event ideas, click here.

Maximize the Impact of Your Event

  • Take Action with AJWS. Have a laptop queued up to the AJWS Action Center or paper copies of a current AJWS action, so that guests can take action.
  • Fundraise. Maximize the impact of your event by fundraising for AJWS and your cause.
  • For more information on organizing fundraisers, click here or check out AJWS’s fundraising guide for volunteers.

Coordinating Events

  • Planning ahead, remaining organized and recruiting others to help will make planning your event manageable and rewarding. Set a date and location, send invitations and plan logistics well in advance, leaving time to confirm all details.
  • For a timeline on how to prepare for your event, click here.
    For a sample event check list, click here.
  • Creating Partnerships
  • Bringing in partners to work on your event is a great way to expand your capacity and maximize your impact. Plus, a strong coalition of individuals and groups will attract more people to your event.
  • Research organizations and institutions whose work and mission coincides with yours. Use the internet or visit a local community center, library or place of worship to learn if there are other groups organizing local events for the same cause. When you reach out about partnering on an event, make sure to explain your expectations and how groups will benefit from the partnership.
  • • Academic Institutions
    • Local and National Foundations
    • Community Centers
    • Cultural Organizations
    • Peace and Justice Organizations
    • Local Unions
    • Local Environmental Organizations
    • Student Groups at Local Colleges, i.e., campus Hillels
    • Humanitarian, International Development or Human Rights Organizations
    • Faith-based Institutions, i.e., Synagogues and Churches
  • Selecting the Proper Venue
  • When deciding on a venue, make sure to think about:
  • • Will you have enough space for everyone? Enough chairs for guests to sit?
    • How much does the space cost? Who will pay for it? Can you use a donated space?
    • Do you need audio visual equipment or a sound system?
    • Is your venue accessible by public transportation and does it have sufficient parking?
  • For venue ideas, click here.
  • Turn Out
  • Getting the word out about your event will help make it successful. You can also use community and online tools such as Facebook, Twitter, local listserves and communal calendars and bulletins to bring your event to people’s attention. For more information on how to engage with the media see “Engaging the Media.”
  • Tips:
  • • Invite at least twice as many people you think will come.
    • Ask a friend or colleague to co-host the event and invite their friends and colleagues.
  • For an invitation template, click here.

Advocacy Toolkit