Six Steps To Advocating With Credibility:
1.) Try to use statistics backed by multiple non-profits and government sources if you can find them.
2.) Look for the most current research on what you want to share–research and numbers change often. If you have a 2007 number, try to find one from 2010, or better yet, 2015.
3.) Spend five minutes checking Google/Snopes to see if there are any articles questioning the facts you want to use–become familiar with the controversy so you can explain it with more diligence.
4.) Use accurate phrasing to express questionable facts, such as “some sources claim x number while others use x to describe . . .” or “13 is considered by most authorities to be the average age of entry to prostitution, which leads to trafficking–even though this number is debatable.”
5.) Focus on the story. From what I’ve read, potential donors/volunteers usually respond better to faces than numbers, anyway. Also, numbers are hard to use as a designation of worth. Ex. Does your number mean the issue is better or worse? If 200,000 people have a disease, are you pointing out a lot of people have it, or just a few do? Or should I compare a number to the whole global population?
6.) When possible, go out of your way to bring people hope with your imagery. Avoid sensational graphics. Example–as the majority of trafficking victims are not chained, maybe chains aren’t the best graphic to use to highlight the situation.