Support from organizational stakeholders—from the staff members and volunteers responsible for program implementation on up to members of organizational leadership who are in decision making roles—is crucial to your organization’s readiness to implement EBPs. Generally, senior leadership will only assign personnel to the project if they are supportive of it. Additionally, the support of organizational leadership may influence the amount of funding provided for a program. If the staff members or volunteers responsible for implementing a program are opposed to it, they may campaign against its implementation. If they are asked to implement it despite their objections, they may implement it poorly. Support from organizational stakeholders can often be obtained by discussing with them the benefits of EBPs (see Advantages of Evidence-Based Programs for more information).
Program champions are individuals who strongly believe in a program and advocate for it. They may or may not be in positions of leadership. In fact, a champion may be a low-ranking staff member or even a volunteer within an organization. Champions actively promote a program, build support, overcome resistance, and persist until the program is implemented. Champions bolster an organization’s readiness to implement EBPs because their relentless advocacy promotes the program and gathers support for it.