Integrating Your PAC at Your Fly-In

22 Sep, 2015

Fly-in attendees, if eligible for the PAC, are a key audience to reach about your PAC. They are in Washington or your state capital because they understand the power of advocacy. The Council's Hannah Wesolowski suggests two paths toward fly-in/PAC integration: recognition and fundraising.

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Measuring and Communicating the Value of Grassroots

17 Jul, 2015

Do your key internal stakeholders have a clear understanding of the value grassroots brings to your organization and advocacy? Being able to answer that question with an emphatic "yes" requires three steps, says the Council's Rikki Amos.

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What Are the Best Methods for Engaging Senior Executives in Grassroots?

16 Jun, 2014

Engaging your company's top executives is key to your grassroots efforts' success. Senior leaders have a holistic view of your organization that makes them powerful messengers and prime motivators. But how can you convince them to invest their valuable time in engaging? This guide offers six tips for doing...

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Doing More with Less: Advocacy & Government Relations Innovation on a Budget

13 May, 2014

Tony Kudner, program manager of grassroots advocacy at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, provides tips for using low-cost, effective web tools to educate and communicate with your community.

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General Mills Gears Up Its GOTV Campaign

02 May, 2014

In 2014, General Mills' get-out-the-vote program has taken center stage in its grassroots efforts.

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Promoting ‘Get Out the Vote’ Efforts in Your Organization

31 Mar, 2014

Now is the best time to start planning your "get out the vote" strategy. This members-only resource provides ideas on how to incorporate GOTV in your election-year efforts.

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Promoting ‘Get Out the Vote’ Efforts in Your Organization

28 Mar, 2014

Now is the best time to start planning your "get out the vote" strategy. This members-only resource provides ideas on how to incorporate GOTV in your election-year efforts.

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Best Practices for Creating an Effective Brand To Boost Your PAC and Grassroots Programs

02 Dec, 2013

Does your PAC or grassroots program have a recognizable brand identity? What is it? How can you develop it further and use it more effectively?

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Association Member Engagement

14 Nov, 2013

Every association public affairs professional asks, “How do I get my members to engage more?” Here are some strategies to keep in mind when asking for member involvement and support.

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Maximizing Your Impact: Grassroots Goes Retro

13 Nov, 2013

In many cases, the pen and the person are mightier than the tweet or the "like." This is true when it comes to activating grassroots advocates.

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What Is a Key Grassroots Strategy?

13 Nov, 2013

Appealing to both the head and the heart is vital to grassroots success, says the Council’s Rikki Amos.

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AEM Shines Spotlight on ‘Real’ People

30 Sep, 2013

While CEOs can be effective spokespeople, research suggests that "those who are most influential with members of Congress and their staffs are the 'real' people — real constituents and real voters," says the Association of Equipment Manufacturers' Anne Forristall Luke. That's why AEM and others are putting these folks...

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How to Prioritize Targets for Grassroots Outreach

05 Apr, 2013

Which policymakers should you target most aggressively with your grassroots? This resource offers guidance on how to prioritize.

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Trust Me: The Key to Grassroots Advocacy

25 Feb, 2013

If I were to pick the single most important factor behind a successful grassroots and advocacy strategy, I’d say it’s trust. Every component of grassroots advocacy, particularly those that pose the biggest challenges, can improve by building trust.

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Helpful Resource Organizations and Websites

30 Nov, 2012

  Federal Voting Assistance Program Provides assistance for all types of voters. http://www.fvap.gov/ The League of Women Voters Specializes in political education and get-out-the-vote information. http://www.lwv.org/ Make the Difference… Vote! The National Association of Manufacturers guide to taking action. http://www.bipac.net/alert.asp?g=nam Meetup.com An advanced technology platform and global network of...

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Surveys: Sample Resources Available

28 Nov, 2012

Manage Your Surveys Online: Survey Monkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/ Zoomerang: http://info.zoomerang.com/ Additional Resources on File at the Council: Surveys in Recruitment Brochures Sample Online Surveys Key Contact Surveys Review of Existing or Pending Surveys

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Surveys: Sample Grassroots Employee Questions

28 Nov, 2012

These questions were compiled from several different grassroots surveys as a sample of additional good questions to ask. 1. Are you familiar with Apex Corporation’s grassroots program? 2. Would you contact your legislator, congressperson, or county official in support of Apex Corporation’s position on an issue? Yes No 3....

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Surveys: Organizing Your Political Inventory Survey

28 Nov, 2012

In thinking of your activities over the past 12 months, please indicate by using the corresponding number the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements (5 – Strongly Agree, 4 – Agree, 3 – Neutral/Undecided, 2 – Disagree, 1 – Strongly Disagree). Attitudes toward government...

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Surveys: Assessing Political IQ and Interest

28 Nov, 2012

Survey What do our advocates like about our program? What could we do better? Who do they know? Where do we start with a new program? Do our advocates really believe that politics and government have a significant impact on the future of our organization? The answers to your...

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Measurement: Perform an Annual Grassroots Review

28 Nov, 2012

Before you charge ahead with your new agenda, be sure to stop and evaluate all of the pieces of the puzzle to ensure maximum efficiency and a strong foundation. Foundation/Structure Mission Statement Dust off your mission statement. Does it reflect the current goals of your program? Is it reflective of...

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Grassroots Pop Quiz

28 Nov, 2012

This is not a quiz like the one your daughter takes each month in her Cosmopolitan magazine. Nor is it like the surprise biology quiz for which we all wish we had prepared. Instead, it’s an exercise to help you determine how successfully you are tackling several core grassroots...

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Follow Up: Maintaining Effective Contact with Legislators

28 Nov, 2012

The purpose of a facility tour is to set the stage for mutual understanding between you and your legislators on a continuing basis. The tour tells legislators that your company is a part of the “back-home” constituency. To make certain the legislator continues to remember that, follow-up reminders are...

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Vendor Selection Tool

28 Nov, 2012

The following is a suggested outline of steps to take when choosing an outside vendor for your government relations needs. Step One: Your Goals The first step is to outline the goals and expectations for your organization’s partnership with an outside vendor. Below are some thoughts and ideas on...

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State by State Lobbying Disclosure Laws

28 Nov, 2012

Legal: Survey of State Grassroots Lobbying Laws Every state has different laws regarding lobbying. To download a chart of the most updated laws, please click here.

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Grassroots Definitions

28 Nov, 2012

The common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file. — Random House Unabridged Dictionary Society at the local level as distinguished from the centers of political leadership. — Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary Historically, the...

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Examples of Job Titles for Grassroots Practitioners

28 Nov, 2012

Manager, Director, Coordinator, etc. of: Constituent Relations Constituent Development Constituent Programs Strategic Alliances Political Alliances Ally Development Ally Relations Political Affairs Political Partnerships Strategic Partnerships Civic Involvement Stakeholder Relations Stakeholder Development Third Party Development Third Party Relationships Political Mobilization Constituency Mobilization Political Advocacy External Advocacy Coalition Development Coalition Relations...

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Students Make Great Volunteers

28 Nov, 2012

Just Make Sure You Know What You’re Doing Here’s a challenge: Find bar and restaurant employees who’ll talk publicly about the health hazards posed by their places of employment. Think about it. Most people aren’t eager to badmouth their bosses. Bartenders and waiters, moreover, are a notoriously transient part...

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Top 10 Ways to Get Politically Active

28 Nov, 2012

“Health care is a highly regulated and legislated business,” says Patrick Johnston, senior consultant, Government Relations. “And the regulations and legislation that affect Health Net have an impact on Health Net associates. That’s why it’s so important for us to be aware of issues that our business and to...

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Say Thanks with a Small Token

28 Nov, 2012

For Your Advocates Baseball hats Free Food (ice cream, coffee, popcorn) Calendars Candy/food Clothing Coasters Congressional directories Crystal – Eagles, Capitol Dome, etc. Desk clocks Dinners/Receptions Flags flown over the Capitol Framed photos of DC monuments Holiday hams Key chains Letter from CEO Letter openers Mouse pads Mugs Name...

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Rewards and Recognition Items for Every Budget

28 Nov, 2012

What are the best PAC and grassroots gifts you can give? Which of the many possibilities will be clever enough, useful enough, or tempting enough to help convince people that yours is just the kind of political group they really should join? Which gifts may encourage members to be...

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Political Involvement Quotes

28 Nov, 2012

This was compiled in response to inquiries the Public Affairs Council has received for quotations that can be used in a “get-out-the-vote” or “good citizenship” campaign or for grassroots and political action committee materials. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do...

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Motivating Your Employees

28 Nov, 2012

To design grassroots programs for optimal employee involvement, grassroots managers need to learn which potential benefits have the greatest expected utility for employees and to what degree employee expectations are influenced by perceptions of the environment, the corporation and the program. A manager may initially persuade an employee that...

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Close Elections in History

28 Nov, 2012

Six presidential elections have been decided by less than one percent of the vote: 1880, 1884, 1888, 1960, 1968, 2000. After the general election in 2008 the Democrats held the presidency and 57 seats in the U.S. Senate, with three elections too close to call.          -In Alaska Mark...

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U.S. Flag Code

28 Nov, 2012

Pledge of Allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it...

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Training Your Advocates to Write Persuasive Letters

28 Nov, 2012

In today’s fast-paced, 24/7 world, your advocates are all familiar with emails. But is that the most effective way to communicate with elected officials? Not always. A personal, hand-written letter from a constituent still makes a big impact. Sample letters are a helpful addition to your training manual. Below...

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Training Programs: Sample Resources Available

28 Nov, 2012

The Council’s Resource Library has many resources to help you train your advocates: Politics 101 The Legislative Process The Regulatory Process How a Bill Becomes a Law Political Quotes Trivia Issue Backgrounders Communicating with Elected Officials Best Practices for Scheduling Appointments Best Practices for In-Person Meetings How to Work...

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Training Advocates Through Effective Handbooks

28 Nov, 2012

Manuals are a very effective way to train your advocates. They’re substantive, affordable and easy to create. Most likely, you will be compiling things you’ve already written. The Council also has plenty of resources to get you started. Remember that your advocates are volunteers and it’s your job to...

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Seven Strategies for Grassroots in the Regulatory Process

28 Nov, 2012

Public affairs professionals are increasingly engaged in the regulatory process. During the 2011 National Grassroots Conference, John Funderburk, director of advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association, and Elise Brooks, communications manager for the Financial Services Roundtable, shared these key tips for leveraging grassroots advocates when navigating regulatory waters.  1)      Understand your subject and your...

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Political Trivia

28 Nov, 2012

Looking for a fun way to educate your advocates about politics? How about having a trivia contest in your next newsletter, including interesting factoids in your email messages, or posting bits of information throughout your Web site for reader interest? Those are just a couple of ways to engage...

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Handling Tough Issues at Townhall Meetings

28 Nov, 2012

Question: I have a townhall in the works and our CEO is scheduled to moderate the session. The participating Member of Congress is with us on “issue X” but against us on “issue Y”. What are some suggestions for keeping the event positive but still discussing all the issues of...

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Forums for Training Your Advocates

28 Nov, 2012

The success of a grassroots program hinges on the effectiveness of its advocates. Training is a great way to provide the resources advocates need to feel informed and motivated. The one thing advocates have in common is that they want to be involved, and they are looking to you to guide...

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Creative Grassroots Engagement Ideas for Associations

28 Nov, 2012

See the creative side of your fellow grassroots practitioners. Below are suggestions shared by association participants at a recent National Grassroots Conference when they joined a round-robin exchange on the innovative ways they’ve gotten advocates to respond to a call to action, attend an event, register to vote, visit a legislator,...

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Can You Pass a U.S. Citizenship Test?

28 Nov, 2012

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, administers a test to all immigrants applying for citizenship. The redesigned test is meant to evaluate not only the knowledge of applicants but also their understanding. Many organizations use these questions to add...

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Seven Strategies for Grassroots in the Regulatory Process

28 Nov, 2012

Public affairs professionals are increasingly engaged in the regulatory process. During the 2011 National Grassroots Conference, John Funderburk, director of advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association, and Elise Brooks, communications manager for the Financial Services Roundtable, shared these key tips for leveraging grassroots advocates when navigating regulatory waters.  1)      Understand your subject and your...

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PAC: Talking Points to Support PAC and Grassroots Coordination

28 Nov, 2012

Many of the most successful politically involved organizations get that way because of their continued dedication to strategically linking their various political involvement programs. Below are several talking points to support your efforts to “synergize.” What do grassroots advocacy networks have in common with PACs? 1. Both rely on political...

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PAC: Coordinating a PAC With a Grassroots Program

28 Nov, 2012

To sustain an effective PAC and grassroots program simultaneously, the program administrator(s) must explore opportunities for coordinating their organization’s PAC with the organization’s formalized “key contact” program, broadbased grassroots effort and/or general political education/civic involvement endeavors. Why? Because political education is the common denominator for generating employee interest in...

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PAC: Challenges of Coordinating PAC and Grassroots

28 Nov, 2012

Many of the most successful politically involved organizations get that way because of their continued dedication to strategically linking their various political involvement programs. Below are several talking points to point out challenges and possible solutions you might face when attempting to coordinate your programs. What challenges do some...

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Meal or Local Transportation for a Federal Legislator Incident to a Visit to a Business Site

28 Nov, 2012

The Standards Committee has recognized that at times in the course of performing one’s official duties at House expense, a Member or staff person will be offered a de minimis amount of food or transportation as a courtesy. For example, one might be offered a meal in the company...

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Coalitions: Seven Essential Steps to Building a Coalition

28 Nov, 2012

Once your organization has decided to form a coalition it is important to advance the coalition in a strategic manner. This fundamentals guide is a great place to start when planning to build a coalition. 1. Define Objectives and Environment Define the issue and your organization’s objectives. What is the...

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Coalitions: Benefits and Challenges

28 Nov, 2012

In today’s polarized political climate coalitions are becoming a more frequently used tool to demonstrate broader support on issues of concern. However, there are benefits and challenges to working with coalitions and both should be weighed carefully before deciding to enter or establish a coalition. Benefits to Coalitions You...

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