About Advocacy School

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version


Advocacy School  is an Ottawa-based social enterprise that provides professional-development learning opportunities and mentoring / coaching designed to enhance the in-house capacity of civil society organizations (in both the community non-profit and professional / trade  association sectors) to constructively and effectively influence decisions of government. Its objective is to develop and deliver a body of learning tools of broad relevance for use by individuals and organizations whose goals include legitimately influencing public opinion, institutional behaviour and public policy.


Advocacy School has the following core missions:

  • to stimulate the development and delivery of new methods and tools for facilitating learning related to public-policy advocacy (including lobbying) and convene a community of practice for those involved in such work
  • to provide a focal point for civil society access to advocacy capacity-building services and tools
  • to provide direction, guidance and technical assistance to instructors in the development and delivery of learning tools related to advocacy
  • to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration about new approaches, technologies and pedagogies associated with advocacy training
  • to promote the value of advocacy training as a key feature of civics education and constructive engagement in government policy and decision-making and of healthy, democratic political discourse 


Advocacy School provides a suite of both “live” in-classroom as well as internet-based workshops, seminars, webinars, distance-learning modules etc., all related to learning / acquiring advocacy skills, strategies and tactics. Its curriculum is aimed at members of Boards of Directors, Executive Directors,  and staff of professional / trade / associations  as well as community non-profit organizations and charities at national, provincial and local levels.

Note: While Advocacy School’s curriculum is designed primarily for individuals who work in  community non-profit organizations, industry and trade associations, its course offerings are also available to unaffiliated individuals interested in enhancing their own advocacy skills.


Advocacy School’s instructors are drawn from the community of public-policy advocates (i.e. public affairs and communications consultants, lobbyists etc.), currently active and former public servants, politicians and political advisors as well as academics and trainers with extensive experience in public affairs. (See Advocacy School Instructors)

Advocacy School is directed  by Sean Moore, one of Canada’s most experienced consultants, teachers and writers in public-policy advocacy ( www.seanmoore.ca )


Advocacy School has been developed and is being managed as an initiative of Sean Moore Advisory Services Inc.; however the medium-term vision for Advocacy School’s future is that it be ultimately administered as a program of a foundation, an NGO or a university.

Promotion and Marketing:

Advocacy School’s services are marketed primarily through its website www.advocacyschool.org launched in early 2011 in collaboration with numerous non-profit umbrella groups that have offered to publicize Advocacy School’s services among its allied and member constituencies.

Strategic partnerships are also being constructed with foundations, universities, associations, companies and community-based organizations in several Canadian communities with a view to co-hosting  and co-sponsoring “live,” "in-person” Advocacy Weekends in various locales throughout 2011, on a shared-cost, shared-revenue basis.


We would like to thank the following organizations for their direct and indirect support for the creation of Advocacy School. Ranging from financial and in-kind support through to critical analysis and valuable advice, the support of these organziations have each played a role in bringing this initiative to reality:

- Muttart Foundation of Edmonton

- J.W. McConnell Family Foundation of Montreal

- Maytree

- SiG - Social Innovation Generation, a collaboration of the J.W. MConnell Family Foundation, the MaRS Discovery District of Toronto , the University of Waterloo, and the PLAN Institute of Vancouver

Free Content

"Looking for some "free" - i.e. no charge advocacy training?  Advocacy School recommends a training program developed in Minnesota, specifically for the disabled community. Yes. It's focused on the U.S. state-level government system but there's still much there that has parallels in Canadian public-policy advocacy.