Advocacy 101

The key to success in changing government policies and funding is through grassroots advocacy. Our Advocates are the Arthritis Foundation’s chief resource for making positive changes in our government. Advocacy is often thought of as intimidating, inaccessible and complicated but it can be a lot easier than you may think and that elected officials want to hear your story!

Whether you are attending Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC, or meeting with your state officials, advocating for arthritis issues throughout the country is essential to making medications more affordable, funding new research and ultimately finding a cure. 

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to turning these challenges and priorities into action through our state and federal advocacy programs. 

Types of Advocacy


Represent and speak up for yourself and your loved ones. Be informed about the issues and take an active role in positively impacting policy that will allow you and your community to live a healthy, productive life. 


With your help, we can work together to build the strongest community possible. You can be the voice for the interests and concerns of your neighbors. 


Use your local communication channels to increase public awareness and influence public interest in arthritis issues through publication letters, social media, interviews and other communication platforms. 


Reach out to elected officials at the local, state or federal level, to educate and influence them on important legislative decisions. Every American has a constitutional right to have his or her voice heard by elected decision makers. 


Influence laws, regulations and rules that have an impact on your well-being. This can be as lofty as a federal regulation or as simple as a rule at your workplace. 

Your Role in Government

As a citizen of the United States of America, it is your right and responsibility to take an active role in our government. You can do so as an Arthritis Foundation Advocate! Your first step is understanding the basic structure of our civic system. There are three levels of government you can engage with: 


If you want to engage at the federal level, you should contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress and your two U.S. Senators. You can also reach out to the President of the United States, who heads the executive branch of the federal government. 


If you want to engage at the state level, you should contact your state legislators. Every state (except Nebraska) has a bicameral legislature with both a House and a Senate.  The Governor of each state heads the executive branch. 


If you want to engage at a local level, you can notify your local elected officials, like your town’s mayor or council member. 

Elected officials at all levels of government represent the members of their community called constituents. As a constituent, you have specific elected officials based on where you live. Find your elected officials on our website - go to our Action Center and use the Find Officials tool. 

Send your questions to [email protected]

Advocate for What's Right

As an Arthritis Advocate, you’ll feel good about taking action to make health care more accessible. Help shift the policy and public perception that affects those living with arthritis.

I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate


    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer


    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner


    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

Become a Volunteer

More About Volunteering


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.


Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000


Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.


Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.


Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.


Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.


Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.