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How to Structure Your Association Lobbying Process& Run a Successful Lobby Day Gene G. Veno & Associates
How to Structure Your Association Lobbying Process & Run a Successful Lobby Day As of June 2009: 258 House Bills passed 186 Senate Bills passed 77 Total laws passed
Gene’s Three KEY Strategies Know your association’s issue inside and out. Bill number, PN, Sponsors and so much more Know your legislator and why he/she may be against or for your legislative issue Know that you are not the only association calling on your legislators that day
Lobby Day Goals & Objectives How to know if your Lobby Day at the Capital was a Success/Failure? The Purpose of an Association Lobby Day Lobby Day Do’s and Don’ts Lobby Day Advanced Planning Lobby Day Wrap-up No gifts, just your Association and the Issues Time is not the Driver Host an after Lobby Day Gathering The above may seem Trite and common sense, but knowing in advance what to do and what not to do is planning at your best!
Top Ten Reasons To Lobby YOUR Government
1. YOU Can Make a Difference! It takes one person to initiate change Gerry Jensen, a single mother who founded the Association for Child Support Enforcement
2. People Working TOGETHER Can Make a Difference! Families of Alzheimer’s patients convinced government to invest in more research Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mother’s Love Foundation Founder Linda Ann Veno Linda in 1994 having a discussion with President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office at the White House
3. PEOPLE Can CHANGE Laws! It is hard to change laws and policies, but it can be done Women given the right to vote Child labor laws
Mother’s Love FoundationFounder, Linda Veno speaking at a press conference in 1994 which took place in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Supporting her are Bill and Hillary Clinton
4. Lobbying is a DEMOCRATIC Tradition! Telling our policymakers how to write and change our laws is at the very heart of our democratic system Has helped democracy evolve over more than two centuries
5. Lobbying HELPS Real Solutions! New laws to enable caterers and restaurants to donate excess food New laws helping abused children to be placed into safe homes faster
6. Lobbying is EASY! You can learn how to lobby- whom to call, when, what to say- in minutes Lobbying is easier and more effective when people work together
7. Policymakers Need YOUR Expertise! You see problems first hand You know the needs You know what works and what doesn’t
8. Lobbying HELPS People! Everything that goes into a lobbying campaign can be helpful: The research The strategy planning The phone calls and visits
9. The Views of Local Nonprofits are IMPORTANT! The federal government has been allowing local governments to decide how to spend federal money This gives local nonprofits even more responsibility to tell local policymakers what is needed
10. Lobbying Advances Your Cause & Builds Public Trust! Building public trust is essential to nonprofit organizations Lobbying increases your organization’s visibility Think about relationships with local, state, and federal government
When the opposition has a large Political Action Committee and your organization has very little in their Political Action Committee? Can you still be effective? Absolutely you CAN!
Does YOUR Legislative Agenda Meet YOUR Association/Organization’s Needs? MOST DON’T! You know why? Agreement of rank and file Politics as usual We want more than we can get
Associations/Organizations were initially formed to ensure their members’license, certification, was protectedor in many cases become Law! At least that was the thinking in the 50’s Membership was easy Loyalty was rampant No one questioned your legislative positions
Today’s Associations face many Challenges – and as the Music Man sang “You Gotta Know the Territory” It is no longer a service to just protect a members license… you now need to advance it! Members want you to get it done and now Sure I will join when I get better reimbursements, etc. Why do I need to join or contribute to PAC… the association is serving me regardless Are you kidding me?
I always represented those associations whohad multiple groups opposing their agenda(s) LET’S REVIEW… Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist Pharmacists vs. Pharmaceuticals Nutritional vs. Dietitians Public Insurance Agents vs. Insurance Lobby Podiatrists vs. Orthopedic Chiropractors vs. Chiropractors vs. Chiropractors vs. Chiropractors, and then vs. Physical Therapist vs. Medical Profession - all specialties And we still accomplished many legislative Victories over the years as far back as 1991 and up to today!
THREE Keys Know the issues inside and out Know your legislator Know that you are not the only association
Why is it Important to be PRESENT? “If you are not on the Hill meeting with legislators regularly to inform them about your profession, guess what? Someone else is meeting with legislators/regulators and they are not informing them about what you do, but how they can do it better!” - Gene G. Veno
Being Seen is BETTER than Being Heard! Let me explain: If you have a relationship with legislators/staff and are available for consultation when the need arises, it is much better than running to the legislator/staff when you only have a problem Being seen, you do not always need to be heard!
How Many THANK YOU Notes did you Send THIS WEEK? Compliments, appreciation, condolences, thank you notes really work! If you are sincere in your note, it will serve you better than anything else! Does your organization send Holiday Cards? I DON’T! They are rarely ever read by the legislator – come on, do you read the US Senator Cards with wife and children laminated? Where do they end up – in the basket on the wall for what and for who to see?Status maybe?
Why not if you must send something send a “Thanksgiving Card” Wow! What an impactful way to be noticed and appreciated and show your true core belief!
Do Gimmicks Work? Sometimes and Sometimes not Be Careful, Be Professional, Be Aware of what you are attempting!
Groups Turn to Comment: Willing to share a recent success story? Willing to share a recent unsuccessful story? Willing to share a new idea?
Let’s Recap… Lobbying is truly an art Lobbying is not about you Lobbying is a process Lobbying is selling the abstract Lobbying is not easy!
Question 1 Least Effective 2 3 Moderately Effective 4 5 Most Effective Mean Member Receptions 22% 33% 33% 11% 0% 2.33 Party & Group Receptions 50% 13% 38.% 0% 0% 1.88 Selective Receptions 0% 11% 56% 22% 11% 3.33 Member & Staff Lunches 0% 10% 0% 50% 40% 4.20 Individual Member Lunches 10% 0% 0% 20% 70% 4.60 Night Patrol 33% 33% 22% 11% 0% 2.11 Speaking Invitations 20% 0% 0% 70% 10% 3.90 Giving Awards 0% 11% 22% 44% 22% 3.78 PAC Contributions 0% 0% 22% 44% 33% 4.11 General Grassroots Campaigns 0% 20% 30% 20% 30% 3.60 Targeted Grassroots Campaigns 0% 0% 20% 40% 40% 4.20 Member Day at The Capitol 0% 10% 40% 40% 10% 3.50 Small Groups W/Advocate 3.75 Effectiveness of Advocacy Practices
Question 1 Least Effective 2 3 Moderately Effective 4 5 Most Effective Mean Professional Hardcopy 0% 20% 20% 40% 20% 3.60 In House Hardcopy 0% 10% 10% 70% 10% 3.80 Multimedia Presentations 0% 25% 25% 50% 0% 3.25 Newspaper Advertisements 11% 22% 67% 0% 0% 2.56 Editorial Board Tours 13% 25% 13% 50% 0% 3.00 Faxing a Message 50% 25% 25% 0% 0% 1.75 Emailing a Message 40% 10% 30% 0% 20% 2.50 Hand Delivery to Members Office 0% 20% 20% 20% 40% 3.80 Verbal Communication W/Staff 10% 0% 10% 50% 30% 3.90 Verbal Communication W/Member 0% 0% 20% 20% 60% 4.40 Effectiveness of Traditional Communication Methods
Effectiveness of Communication through Multimedia Presentations