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Nice to meet you!

by Mary Erin Casale

Tomorrow, newly elected members of the legislature will be sworn in and the 128th session of the legislature will officially begin. Right now you have a unique opportunity to strengthen your relationship with legislators and elevate the voice of your nonprofit at the State House by simply making a phone call. Taking the time to reach out and introduce yourself and your organization to your elected officials can be a critical step in your advocacy work.

Before the flurry of bill submission and the wrangling over the budget begins in earnest, take the time to reach out and introduce yourself and your nonprofit. We cannot overstate  the importance of relationship-building in advocacy and public policy work. Connecting with your local legislators now is a great way to strengthen those relationships.

Nonprofits are uniquely qualified to serve as a resource to our elected officials. We are in every corner of this state and are essential community infrastructure. Through our daily contact with clients, staff, volunteers, board members, and other community leaders, nonprofits are connected with large numbers of Mainers – exactly who our legislators need to hear from!

And a phone call is just the beginning of your advocacy work! There are many ways for nonprofits to engage in advocacy. The key is understanding the rules governing your participation and becoming confident in your ability to advocate effectively. While all lobbying is part of your advocacy work, not all advocacy is lobbying! For a more detailed look at the laws surrounding nonprofit lobbying, check out our Raise Your Voice toolkit.

Let us know how your outreach goes!

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