Unlocking the Power of Advocacy
Why Key Advocacy?
Winning. That’s the primary objective of any organization involved in issue advocacy. Even in today’s age of technology, email blasts and once-per-year fly-ins aren’t enough anymore. Policy victories in Washington, DC and state capitals are achieved through quality, not quantity, advocacy. The latest “innovation” to grassroots advocacy is a complete return to advocacy’s roots - building a national network of advocates, Key Contacts, entrusted to engage their lawmakers.
Outside of the nation’s largest interest groups, few organizations have the in-house resources and knowledge to fully amass this army of advocates and maintain quality communications at a time when leveraging Key Contact and grassroots advocacy programs has never been more vital. Or more effective.
Key Advocacy stands ready to enable organizations large and small to unlock the power of advocacy.
Key Advocacy Services
This is a primary (but not exhaustive) service offering of how we can help your organization.
Identification & Development
You’ve built a list of advocates, thousands strong. You’ve surveyed advocates for their relationships, experience and desired activities. How do you find the best candidates to represent your cause in each area of engagement? We'll show you methods for selection and development that turns an e-advocate into an engaged, active champion back home in the district and in Washington.
Federal & State
Teaching your advocates facts and figures are vital to your Hill Day. Are they prepared when an office counters your arguments with a "flinch"? Or, has DC gridlock pushed issues to the states, overwhelming you with heavy state advocacy day travel without the resources for more staff? We'll teach your advocates how to persist and counter a flinch, and help lead federal and state advocacy days when needed.
Expert witnesses. In-district advocates. Legislative conference attendees. What are the goals of your key contact program? How will you demonstrate progress until the ultimate legislative or regulatory victories? How do you show the C-Suite the value-added benefits of your program and not just its costs? We'll guide you on best practices for auditing and measuring results as your program grows.
Are you looking to certify advocates through an “Advocacy University"? Do you prefer an annual, week-long, single-day or partial-day training? In need of a new advocate webinar? We can customize training and certification programs to meet the needs of your organization and advocates - online, in Washington, DC, or in any of your states of practice.
From new advocate guides to key contact toolkits. Monthly or quarterly engagement calls to webinars. We can provide materials that continually educate and engage your advocates so they're ready to act the moment your issues gain traction.
Does your messaging resonate with legislators as well as your advocates? Do advocacy campaigns provide enough guidance to stakeholders? Have you maximized the features of your online advocacy system? We can assist with each level of your communications, and even run your online advocacy system.
"We return time and again to David. His front-line experience leverages the most effective techniques for advocacy programs, while also having a knack for motivating members and stakeholders to be active beyond just a Capitol Hill Visit Day."
– Eric Storey, Grassroots Strategist, American Academy of Family Physicians
& Executive Director, Grassroots Professional Network
Who We Are
David trained advocates who have testified before the US House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections,
before US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee
(David himself also testified during an intake session of the Disease Planning Committee as his own mother
was losing her battle with Alzheimer’s).
David has assisted the advocacy efforts of technology giant Microsoft, regional utility Ameren, associations such as the American Diabetes Association and the National Association of School Nurses, and also worked with public affairs organizations including the Beekeeper Group, DCI Group, SmithBucklin and VoterVoice. For more than a decade with Capitol Advantage/CQ Roll Call, he helped establish the nationwide, affiliated grassroots programs for associations and professional societies that are the leaders in their industry.
His past affiliate clients include the American Bankers Association, American College of Cardiology, American Library Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Trucking Association, Credit Union National Association, National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
David M. Lusk, Founder
David Lusk is the Founder and CEO of Key Advocacy. With over 20 years of policy experience, David specializes
in nationwide, affiliated grassroots efforts and key contact engagement programs. His focus is on how to
influence policymakers by unlocking the power in sharing one’s personal story. He has trained over 7,000
advocates in nearly every state, ranging from nonprofit volunteers to executives in the C-Suite.
"David’s demonstrated success running and advising advocacy programs makes him an entertaining and effective speaker. Our advocates really welcomed David’s session, and he was a perfect addition to our programming."
– Joe Franco, Vice President, Grassroots, LeadingAge
After establishing a strong client relationship for several years, David was hired by SHRM in 2010 as a direct employee to launch, implement, and oversee their key contact program, known as the SHRM Advocacy Team. Within three years, SHRM’s Advocacy Team grew to 1,300 HR Advocate members strong with over 200 Advocacy Captains in place, and was recognized by National Journal as one of the top five issue ambassador programs by August 2013.
Because of the legislative and engagement successes his programs achieved, David is considered a knowledge leader in advocacy best practices and developing advocacy programs. Among his media appearances and accolades are:
From 2013 to 2015, David directed the Alzheimer’s Association’s Ambassador Program. He expanded the system to engage with all 535 members of the US House and Senate, and implemented Alzheimer’s Congressional Teams - support networks for each volunteer Ambassador. During this time, Congress appropriated record-level funding increases toward Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Through the Noise podcast program for association executives
National Journal’s Strategic Research Series, "Best Practices in Washington Advocacy: Extending the Enterprise" (August 2013), featured SHRM’s Advocacy Team as one of Washington’s best (link is members-only)
New Hampshire Union Leader article on Alzheimer’s advocacy efforts during presidential primaries
Public Affairs Council frequent speaker and panelist for its DC educational programming and Advocacy Conference since 2008
Congressional Management Foundation’s Advocacy Leaders Network frequent speaker and panelist
Grassroots Professional Network/CQ Roll Call’s Lunch and Learn Series panelist
American Society of Association Executives’ Associations Now magazine & government relations symposium presenter
Observer-Reporter (Pittsburgh, PA) series "No Longer Me" featured David’s work on Alzheimer’s
Presented over 200 speeches and training sessions on advocacy best practices at national and state annual conferences for dozens of associations, nonprofits and professional societies
David graduated from Brown University with degrees in both Public Policy and Business Economics. He currently serves on the American Society of Association Executives’ Government Relations Section Council and co-chairs the GRSC’s Content Subcommittee.
Arlington, VA 22213
©2019 by Key Advocacy