Incentives that help overcome collective action problems include material, solidary, and purposive benefits. These are often offered by group leaders. Sometimes, political, economic, or social disturbances help overcome collective action problems by mobilizing groups.
By joining interest groups, individuals can participate in ways that go beyond simple voting. They can interact with others with similar views. They can become civically engaged by becoming more connected to their communities, they can participate in protests and letter-writing campaigns, and they can inform others about the issues.
Numerous barriers prevent people from participating in politics. Some people lack time or other resources to participate. Lower-income individuals and groups may lack the necessary civic skills to participate effectively. Institutional barriers like voter identification laws may disproportionately affect some people more than others.
Interest groups and lobbyists often attempt to gain access by first supporting candidates when they run for office. Since incumbents have an advantage, lobbyists often contribute to them. Second, once legislative members are in office, interest groups and their lobbyists try to encourage them to sponsor legislation the groups wants. They may target sympathetic lawmakers, legislative leaders, and members of important committees.