Lisa Hazirjian, Ph.D., Win Together Consulting
The post-election period is an excellent time for nonprofit leaders to build their relationships with newly-elected members of Congress and the NC General Assembly by sending emails to congratulate them on their recent victories. Whether you send a succinct note or add a bit more about your organization and your policy priorities, be sure to avoid making statements that might be interpreted as partisan in nature (e.g., references to political parties).
We’ve put together a few fictional examples to help you craft your own notes to the people elected to represent the communities you serve. You can find email addresses for everyone who ran in 2022 by searching our 2022 Candidate Questionnaire responses map. While you’re there, be sure to click through to read what policy priorities they listed!
BASIC: A basic note is better than none at all. It puts you and your organization on the legislator’s radar, gets you into their contact database, and lays the foundation for future correspondence. For example:
Dear Congressperson-Elect Davis,
Congratulations on being elected to serve the 1st Congressional district! We are delighted to send a champion for nonprofits to Congress, and look forward to working with your office to address issues of shared concern.
BETTER: Add an additional sentence or two to educate the lawmaker about the issues within your areas of expertise and encourage them to support policy initiatives that matter to you. For example:
Dear Senator Galey,
On behalf of all of us at Ready for College Alamance, please accept our congratulations on your re-election to the NC Senate. As an organization dedicated to helping our local students prepare for college, we are especially interested in sharing our perspectives on ways to improve the quality of K-12 education in our public schools. We look forward to meeting with you in the coming months to discuss these issues in greater detail.
Harold S. Diploma
Ready for College Alamance
BEST: Add a sentence or two that engages with their responses to our candidate questionnaire.
Dear Senator Corbin,
As the Executive Director of WNC Connections, a nonprofit working to strengthen community ties in the westernmost counties of North Carolina, I want to extend my congratulations on your re-election to the NC Senate. We were particularly pleased to see you list rural broadband among your priorities in response to the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits 2022 Candidate Questionnaire. Our members consistently rate this as one of their top priorities. We would be delighted to connect you with individuals in the community who desperately need rural broadband improvements and to help you in any other way with achieving this urgent policy goal. Will you be holding local office hours again this calendar year?
Best wishes for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and congratulations again on your victory,
Iris T. Hughes
Lisa Hazirjian, PhD, founded Win Together Consulting to help nonprofits, campaigns, and social justice organizations develop strategy, build power, engage supporters, and leverage strengths to achieve their goals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies, Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, and Ph.D. in U.S. History from Duke University, and is working toward a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School.