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The Philanthropic Collaborative Highlighting Philanthropy’s Vital Role in Our Economy The Philanthropic Collaborative.

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Presentation on theme: "The Philanthropic Collaborative Highlighting Philanthropy’s Vital Role in Our Economy The Philanthropic Collaborative."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Philanthropic Collaborative Highlighting Philanthropy’s Vital Role in Our Economy The Philanthropic Collaborative

2 2 ■ Why reach out to Members of Congress? ■ Increasing budgetary pressure means the philanthropic sector is coming under increasing scrutiny ■ Better informed policymakers make better decisions ■ Members of Congress care about their constituents, making you the best voice to share with them data on our sector Congressional Outreach Toolkit

3 Step 1: Scheduling a Meeting The Philanthropic Collaborative 3 Finding your Members of Congress Research your Members Requesting a Meeting What to Expect

4 The Philanthropic Collaborative 4 ■ Will a Member of Congress really listen to what I have to say? ■ Yes- there is a standard process for requesting a meeting with a Member of Congress; our colleagues in the for- profit world use it all the time. ■ Members have capable staff both at home and in DC whose jobs are to meet with constituents- they are there to listen to you. ■ A meeting with staff is not a brush-off, but a great opportunity and gets your foot in the door with the Member. Opening the Door

5 The Philanthropic Collaborative 5 ■ How many Members of Congress represent me on Capitol Hill? ■ Everyone has two Senators that both represent everyone in the state, and one Congressman in the House of Representatives. ■ Generally speaking, Senators represent more constituents than members in the House, so they have larger staffs and can be more influential on Capitol Hill. ■ Every House member represents about 700,000 people. Every 10 years district lines are redrawn to balance population for demographic changes. Finding your Members

6 Finding and Contacting your Senators  Go to, select your state under Find your Senators in the top corner  Click “GO” The Philanthropic Collaborative 6

7 Finding and Contacting your Senators  Click your Senator’s name to go to their webpage. Each Senator’s page is different, and lists all their offices in your State. The Philanthropic Collaborative 7

8 Finding and Contacting your Senators  Find the State office nearest to you, and note the contact information. Look for “Contact Information” or “Office Locations”  Go back to the Senate, repeat for Senator #2 The Philanthropic Collaborative 8

9 Finding and Contacting your Congressman  Go to, enter your ZIP code in the top left corner of the page  Click “GO” The Philanthropic Collaborative 9

10 Finding and Contacting your Congressman  Click your Congressman’s name to go to their webpage. Each Congressman’s page is different, and lists all offices in your State. The Philanthropic Collaborative 10

11 While you’re on their page: Research Your Member  Do your homework: investigate the member and their interest.  Take some time to read your Members’ biographies, recent press releases, and issue positions to help guide your future meeting:  What issues seem to be most important to the Member?  Does anything in their biography mesh well with your organization?  Print out the information; you will need it later for meeting preparation and “Finding the Hook” The Philanthropic Collaborative 11

12 * If you need help tailoring your message to your Members, contact The Philanthropic Collaborative 12 ■ Now that you know how to contact your Senators and Congressman, and a little about their interests and history, it’s time to reach out and request a meeting. ■ Unless you’re planning to travel to DC, you will likely want to first meet with your Members’ ‘Field Representative’ or ‘District Staff’, your Members’ local liaisons. ■ The primary role of the local staff is to relay to your Members’ what’s happening on the ground in the district. Tailor your message to how your work helps the local community.* Requesting a Meeting

13 The Philanthropic Collaborative 13 ■ Local offices are fairly small, sometimes with only one or two staffers. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a call: ■ Mention your title and a little bit about your organization. ■ Feel free to share and take pride in how many employees you have, your investments in the community, etc. ■ Politely ask if they can schedule a time for you to come in a talk a little more with the Member, or someone on staff, about your work. Give ‘em a Call

14 The Philanthropic Collaborative 14 ■ “Hello, my name is John Tyler with the Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the United States, based right here in Kansas City. We have about 70 local employees and spend about $90 million per year on grants to non-profits and our entrepreneurial training programs. I was hoping to schedule a meeting between our President, Carl Schramm, and Congressman Cleaver to introduce him to our work in the district.” Sample Call Script Large Foundations

15 Sample Call Script Small Foundations The Philanthropic Collaborative 15 ■ “Hi, my name is Jan Preble with The Wasie Foundation based in Wayzata, Minnesota. Our foundation is a small, private, independent foundation started in Minneapolis in 1966. There are many private independent and family foundations in Minnesota providing support to public charities of all types. In fact, 85 percent of the grant makers in Minnesota are private foundations. Although our foundation is small, we’ve provided millions of dollars to a wide array of health and human services providers over the years. Our funding has been for the benefit of Minnesota residents, especially those living with life threatening, chronic, or severely disabling conditions or diseases. I was hoping to schedule a meeting with Congressman Paulsen or his staff to discuss the value of philanthropy and our work.”

16 *If you need additional assistance scheduling meetings with your Members, contact The Philanthropic Collaborative 16 ■ There are a number of responses to expect: ■ Meeting Scheduled : Congratulations, you’ve just opened the door! ■ Contact the Scheduler: If the staff gives you the contact information for the office Scheduler, you are close to arranging a meeting with your member! Follow their instructions to get a meeting on the books. ■ Written Request: Some offices are more bureaucratic than others, and may ask for formal letter requesting a meeting. Follow their instructions for submitting a request. For help crafting your letter, please contact us at TPC.* Likely Responses

17 Step 2: Preparing for your Meeting The Philanthropic Collaborative 17 Leave-behind packets Crafting a One-Pager Who should attend? Finding the Hook

18 The Philanthropic Collaborative 18 ■ Members and Staff are always happy to accept a ‘leave-behind’ packet with materials on your organization and TPC Leave-Behind Packets

19 The Philanthropic Collaborative 19 ■ Some ideas of what to include: ■ A “One-Pager” on your Organization (see next slide) ■ Materials you’ve developed about your organization, including a screen shot of your website, annual report, mission statement, etc ■ Recent articles on your organization ■ Business cards and contact information ■ TPC’s Fast Facts on Foundations Leave-Behind Packets

20 *The Philanthropic Collaborative can assist your organization in creating a one-pager 20 ■ Members of Congress and their staff look to one-page summaries of just about everything, including constituent organizations. ■ Your one-pager should include a brief history of your organization, mission statement, list some notable impacts of your work, a look ahead at future objectives, and (optionally) a short list of what the Member can do to help you reach those objectives. ■ Package the information in a one-page document with your logo and organization’s particular design / color scheme.* Crafting a One-Pager

21 21 Sample One-Pagers

22 22 Sample One-Pagers

23 The Philanthropic Collaborative 23 ■ Think about an effective team ■ Don’t limit attendees to just the Trustees or President of your organization. ■ Perhaps include grantees you would like to showcase, exemplifying your work in the district or state. ■ Only bring additional people to the meeting if they can help relay the importance of your work in the district, and in general limit your team to three people. Who should attend?

24 *For additional help finding the hook to your Member, contact The Philanthropic Collaborative 24 ■ Recall your research from the Members’ websites, including issues they care about, their biography, recent press releases, etc. ■ Find connections between your organization and either the most important or most timely issues for your Member. ■ If creating jobs is the most important issue, talking points could be: “ We are a job creator in the community, here’s how… ” or “ Our work retrains the unemployed and helps them find new work ” ■ If your Member is a champion of family values, stress your organization’s importance for kids or parents. Finding the Hook*

25 For additional help finding the hook to your Member, contact The Philanthropic Collaborative 25 ■ Additional examples: ■ If your member is on a Committee dealing with health care, a hook could be work you’ve done to help Americans live healthier lives. ■ If your member is an advocate for small businesses, a hook could be if your organizations provides micro loans to entrepreneurs or business development assistance. ■ If your member does a lot of work for the economically disadvantaged, a hook could be your organization’s support for basic human services. Finding the Hook

26 Step 3: Here We Go! The Philanthropic Collaborative 26 What to Bring and Expect Opening the Meeting Sharing your Story Sharing TPC’s Data

27 The Philanthropic Collaborative 27 ■ Every meeting is different, so be flexible ■ Meetings can vary between casual conversations and formal dialogues- be prepared for both scenarios. ■ If you are meeting with a Member, be very deferential, show up early and be understanding of their busy schedules. ■ Bring a few copies of your leave-behind packets, business cards, a notebook and pens for taking notes. ■ If you are meeting with staff, they will relay your message to the Member. What to Bring and Expect

28 The Philanthropic Collaborative 28 ■ Start off on the right foot ■ Members have busy schedules so don’t be discouraged if they’re late or have to cut the meeting short. ■ Exchange business cards right away. ■ Introduce yourself and your team, give a brief background on each person and your organizations - explain how everyone fits into the picture. ■ Staff and Members want to know how your organizations fits into their district. Opening the Meeting

29 The Philanthropic Collaborative 29 ■ Tell them how you are helping their constituents ■ Start with the hooks you identified before the meeting. ■ Use what you have: if you have a good anecdotal or imperial example use it. ■ Connect relationships: if possible, make the connection with the member or staffer and a person on staff or trustee. ■ Share some of your current or future projects and the most interesting work you are doing. ■ Human impact stories are powerful. ■ React to what most intrigues your audience, and elaborate on projects that spark their interest. ■ Offer what you can to help. Sharing your Story

30 *Supporting documents are available on our website, at 30 ■ After talking about your work, widen the scope to share TPC’s economic data points ■ Once the Member or staff understands how important you are to the district, broaden your conversation to the economic role of foundations and philanthropy in general.* ■ Review TPC’s “Fast Facts on Foundations” to highlight foundations’ return on investment, the beneficiaries of grantmaking, and speed of response.* Sharing TPC’s Data

31 The Philanthropic Collaborative 31 ■ Here are some ways to end your meeting on a high note, encouraging follow-up ■ Invite the Member to a future event or a tour of your offices. ■ Offer to connect the Member with grantees, program directors, colleagues etc who oversee the work they found most interesting. ■ Always offer to keep them up-to-date on your work, leaving the door open for future meetings. End on a High Note

32 Step 4: Follow-Up The Philanthropic Collaborative 32 Thank You Notes Invitations to Events Supporting your Member

33 The Philanthropic Collaborative 33 ■ Follow-up with the staff, Member and thank them for taking the meeting ■ Traditional mail to Congressional offices can take weeks to clear security. It is much quicker to send an email to the address on their business cards. ■ Express your appreciation for the meeting, and feel free to include additional information on topics or projects that interested them. Thank You Notes

34 Building a Relationship ■ Establishing a relationship with a Member of Congress is similar to engaging with donors ■ It is important to build a relationship over time ■ It will be much easier to ask for assistance in the future if you have an existing relationship The Philanthropic Collaborative 34

35 The Philanthropic Collaborative 35 ■ Members are political figures, and like public activities and events ■ If your organization has any upcoming events or roll-outs in your community, invite the staff and Members to attend. ■ Members often tour the offices and facilities of businesses in the district. Open the doors of your non-profit, offer your Member a chance to meet and speak to your employees. Invitations to Events

36 The Philanthropic Collaborative 36 ■ Members also host their own events, and attending builds rapport and shows support ■ Many Members host events to help their constituents, like volunteer service days and career fairs. Attending some of these events is a good way to show support for your Member. ■ Participate in Town Hall meetings, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, etc. These are valuable ways to get to know your Member while promoting your organization. Continued Interaction with your Member of Congress

37 Beyond the Federal Level  The concepts explained in this toolkit can also be used to develop local or state-level relationships Additional Resources  Regional Associations can also assist foundations in contacting and developing relationships with local leaders and Members of Congress The Philanthropic Collaborative 37

38 Using your Regional Association To find your regional association, go to and click the “locate your regional association” link. The Philanthropic Collaborative 38

39 Contacting TPC: We’re here to help you succeed The Philanthropic Collaborative 39

40 The Philanthropic Collaborative 40 ■ TPC’s staff is specialized in Congressional outreach. We can you with: ■ Scheduling meetings ■ Crafting your messages and one-pager ■ Finding hooks with your Members ■ Following-up with DC-based staff ■ Don’t hesitate to contact us: ■ TPC’s Main Line: 202-349-2910 ■ Email: Contacting TPC

41 The Philanthropic Collaborative 1455 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 20004 202-349-2910

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