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Certificate in PAC and Grassroots Management

Catapult your career

This certificateis geared toward mid-level public affairs professionals looking to improve their skills in the field. It is designed to strengthen expertise in two key components of any political program: political action committees (PACs) and grassroots advocacy.

More Information

  • Participants must have a minimum of two years’ experience in public affairs.
  • Participants should complete the program requirements within three years of application.
  • Programs attended up to one month prior to the application date will be counted toward the certificate.
  • Candidates must attend the annual conference (National PAC Conference or The Advocacy Conference) related to the area of their specialization.

NOTE: Credit cannot be earned through attendance at non-Public Affairs Council programs.


The Certificate in PAC & Grassroots Management allows three years to meet all requirements, though many graduate sooner.

Specialization: To specialize in either grassroots or PAC management, participants must accrue at least 15 credits from programs related to their area of specialization. Participants may add a second specialization upon completion of their certificate.

Certificate completion requires 25 credits split among several credit areas detailed below:

  • PAC or Grassroots Specialization: 15 Credits
    Participate in webinars, workshops and attend the National PAC Conference or The Advocacy Conference
  • Compliance Management: 5 Credits
    Attend compliance programs to build expertise in legal rules and ethics
  • Community Engagement: 3 Credits
    Engage with peers by posting on Council Connect, providing or creating resources, or speaking at or helping plan events
  • The remaining 2 credits can come from any of the above categories

Additional Credit Information

  • Only registered participation in live webinars is eligible for certificate credit. Purchase of webinar recordings is not applicable.
  • Earning credit as a virtual participant requires logging onto Zoom, or the virtual workshop platform, with your name, job title and organization for the duration of the event. Registration without attendance or early departure from an event will not count toward certificate completion. Participants are encouraged to provide feedback and commentary during discussion periods.

Community Credits

Community credits may be earned for the following activities (achievement of these credits are subject to the discretion of Council staff)

  • Posting on Council Connect (platform is only available to Public Affairs Council members) — 1 Credit for each five posts of substance
    • ex: starting a thread, commenting on an existing thread in a way that forwards the conversation or shares insight, or sharing professional expertise that assists your colleagues
  • Submitting grassroots- and/or PAC-related resources to be shared in the Council’s resource library — 1 credit per five resources submitted, up to a maximum of 2 credits
  • Serving as a speaker at a Council program (at the discretion of Council staff) — 2 credits
  • Serving as an active member of a Conference Advisory Committee, at the discretion of Council staff. Active members participate in advisory committee meetings and calls or connect with staff to submit suggestions, market and promote the conference, and support conference success through active participation. Credit for this will be awarded after the relevant conference occurs – 1 credit
  • Writing an article or tip sheet for use on the Council’s website or in a newsletter (in collaboration with Council staff) — 2 credits

How much does it cost to apply? 

$199 administrative fee will be applied to all applications accepted on or after October 1, 2023. Programs attended up to one month prior to the application date count toward your credits.

How much does the certificate cost?

Cost can vary depending on enrollees’ program choices and membership status, but typically ranges from $4,600 – $6,000. For Council members, the Membership Plus+ program can substantively reduce program costs. Please send questions about cost to [email protected].

A comparison of the cost for nonmembers, members and those who have Membership Plus+ can be found here.

Where can I find a list of past eligible programs to track my progress?

A complete list of past eligible programs can be found here.

For any questions or an update on your progress
Please contact Price Fisher ([email protected]).


Price Fisher
Programs Associate
202.787.5974 | [email protected]

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