Animal Advocacy Made Easy

Geoff Urton, Senior Manager, Stakeholder Relations, British Columbia SPCA
Melinda Mennie, Stakeholder Relations Officer, British Columbia SPCA

ABSTRACT
Do you dream of making lasting, meaningful change for the lives of animals? At the same time do you feel too over-burdened and under-resourced to dedicate the time and resources to these pursuits?

You’re not alone. Even organizations with dedicated advocacy staff have this experience, which we call the Scarcity of Resources Adversity Problem, or SCRAP. Fortunately, social science research tested on the ground provides transformative answers that will help you overcome SCRAP and realize the change you want to see for animals.

Using this approach, BC SPCA staff and volunteers have realized advocacy successes beyond expectations, including $5 million in government funding, new regulations for the BC dairy industry, and new municipal bylaws for animal welfare.

Key Learnings:
1. Know how to tailor public awareness messaging for the greatest impact, based on modern social change psychological research
2. Be able to maximize individual relationships with government and other key stakeholders
3. Have a customized framework for developing their own strategy that will fit any organization’s size, goals and needs for future advocacy work.

PRESENTER BIOS

Geoff Urton
As the BC SPCA’s Senior Manager of Stakeholder Relations, Geoff puts his background in Animal Welfare Science (UBC) and Dialogue and Negotiation (SFU) to work advancing public policy initiatives across Canada. His advocacy and outreach team works with other stakeholders at the local, provincial and federal levels to advance animal welfare standards through a collaborative approach.

Melinda Mennie
With more than a decade working in the world of advocacy, Melinda joined the BC SPCA from the Canadian Red Cross in 2014 as their Stakeholder Relations Officer. With a background in Political Science (SFU) and Leadership and Management (JIBC), Melinda has a wealth of experience in working with stakeholders and advocating for change.