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The very fact that you are reading this means that you already have the greatest asset an advocate can have -- a desire to make a difference. An advocate is someone who takes action to make a positive change in his or her community. In the context of tennis, an advocate is someone who takes action to ensure that the growth and maintenance of tennis facilities and programming are top priorities for his or her community.

What Is Advocacy as It Applies to the USTA?

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Advocacy in the USTA context involves taking our passion for, and knowledge of, tennis and connecting it to the needs of communities, schools, colleges and local governments. Advocacy is the ability to demonstrate to decision makers how our array of programs can benefit their community.

The USTA has committed itself to becoming an advocacy organization. This means it has invested time, money and talent into the notion that the growth and health of tennis requires coordinated and persistent engagement with public and private sector decision makers. This engagement is needed to harness the public support and resources needed to expand the availability and quality of tennis facilities and programming in communities just like yours.

The USTA's advocacy agenda is motivated by the conviction that the sport of tennis can be an important part of improving communities, schools and the quality of life for all. As a fan, player or supporter of the game of tennis, you know how tennis can make a difference, but our charge as advocates is to convince decision makers in the public, private and non-profit sectors of this in order to gain their support. Across the country, there are millions of players and thousands of tennis organizations that are passionate about tennis. You are our most underused resource but our most valuable asset.

Development

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The work of becoming an advocate falls into two distinct categories: 1) conceiving your project and 2) carrying it out to completion. Along the way, there are many tasks to complete and many people to involve. One key role of a tennis advocate is to organize the tennis community in your neighborhood, town, city or county. There is strength in numbers, and chances are, there are plenty of people in your community who share your goals and interests. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Having friends and allies will pay off in the long run.

To ease your transition into advocacy, below is a step-by-step process you can use to see your project through from conception to completion, with helpful hints and tips to follow along the way:

Conceiving Your Project: Four Vital Steps

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First you dream, then you plan so you can build up and flesh out your dream. Benefit from our core organizational tips, developed through the trials of past advocacy efforts to create the most successful effort possible.

Carrying Out Your Project: Four Vital Steps

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Once you formulate ideas, conduct the research and gather the help necessary to begin building, here are some valuable suggestions to complete the next phase of your project.

 
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