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Jan 2, 2024

In this enlightening episode, Carol interviews Lisa Hazirjian, a historian turned advocate, as they delve into Lisa’s unexpected journey from academia to the forefront of nonprofit advocacy. Through a candid recount of personal challenges and professional transitions, Lisa shares her story, motivations, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.


Some of the conversation’s highlights:


Motivation for Advocacy: Personal emotions during times of loss and the desire to effect change in public policy were Lisa’s primary motivators to engage in advocacy work.


Nonprofit Misconceptions: Lisa corrects the common misconception that nonprofits cannot engage in policy advocacy, stressing that they can and should, as they often hold valuable expertise that can inform policymaking.


Strategic Advocacy: Despite political power dynamics, Lisa argues that effective advocacy is less about which party is in power and more about the ability to influence decision-makers through strategic engagement and communication.


Building Relationships: The importance of building relationships before needing to make an ask is highlighted, with suggestions to conduct surveys and use supporters as effective messengers to lawmakers.


Volunteer Engagement: Discussion of a “ladder of engagement” approach to progressively involve volunteers in advocacy work, starting with simple actions and building up to higher responsibilities.


Training and Responsibility: Emphasizing the need to train volunteers not just for tasks but also for understanding the bigger picture, the narrative includes a personal story demonstrating this practice.


Small Wins and Community: Acknowledging small victories and the value of creating a sense of community among advocates is presented as crucial for maintaining motivation and momentum in long-term policy campaigns.


Guest Bio:
Lisa Hazirjian, PhD, founded Win Together Consulting to help progressive change makers develop strategy, build power, engage supporters, and leverage strengths to achieve their goals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies, Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, and Ph.D. in U.S. History from Duke University, and is working toward a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School. You can reach Lisa at

Important Links and Resources:

      Win Together Consulting


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