Why write an advocacy letter?

  • To encourage a specific action or outcome on an issue (eg. breastfeeding in public)
  • To discourage a specific action or outcome (eg. closing of an outpatient breastfeeding clinic)
  • To remind government officials of opinions that citizens hold
  • Letters ARE considered when officials prepare their votes!!!
  • To praise actions taken by officials, local community groups, etc.

Who should I contact?

Anyone who can make change happen or have influence on change

Can it make a difference? 

  • Citizens need to express their views and take part in the decision making and change process.
  • If you don’t express your opinion, that person or group may not know that your opinion exists


  1. Identify yourself as a constituent.  Politicians are only compelled to respond to constituent mail
  2. Be brief and simple.  Try to keep the letter to one page or two at the most
  3. State and report your position.  Always state your position in your opening paragraph and again in the closing paragraph
  4. Personalize your letter.  If using a form letter make changes to it and make it your own. Personalized letters carry much more weight
  5. Be polite and avoid ultimatums and rudeness. Everyone responds better to praise then criticism.  Rudeness does little to create change 
  6. Do not enclose additional material. These are rarely read.  If you have an excellent resource you wish to share, mention it in your letter and offer to send a copy if desired
  7. Do not exaggerate or lie. Stick to facts and personal experiences.  Fabrications could ruin your credibililty
  8. Make sure your message is timely.
  9. Send a copy of your letter to your local policy makers/CEOs/managers
  10. Acknowledge any response 


Your name and address



Salutation (Dear ______ )

1st Paragraph:  Let the reader know what your concern is.

2nd Paragraph:  You need to let the reader know the importance of your concerns and any impact the concern may have on the community.

3rd Paragraph:  Thank your reader for taking the time to read your letter and make sure you re-state your concern.  Provide a way for him to respond to you letter. Always add that you look forward to hearing their response on the issue.  Now they know you expect an answer.


Your Name
Your Address
Phone number
Email address