If advocacy is important to your association, a Capitol Hill Day event is a great way to generate excitement, unify and engage your members, and promote your association’s legislative priorities. Here are some tips for executing a successful Hill Day event that will take your association’s advocacy to the next level.
- Establish Legislative Priority Goals
Ensure your association has formulated clear legislative priority goals so that members of Congress and their staffers will understand what is most important to your association’s members and why. Create a Legislative Priority Goals infographic or fact sheet that your members can distribute during their meetings with Congressional members and staff. The fact sheet should include information about your association and data that supports your legislative priorities.
- Provide a Hill Day Toolkit
Make sure your members have the resources they need to successfully schedule visits with their members of Congress and convey key legislative priorities. An electronic toolkit including the following items can be sent out to members in advance of the event:
- How to Schedule a Meeting with Members of Congress
- Sample Script for Meeting with Members of Congress
- Legislative Priority Goals
- Map of Capitol Hill
- Things to do in D.C.
- Conduct an Advocacy 101 Webinar
Your members will need to know what to expect and how to convey the message appropriately. A webinar is a great way to educate members who may never have been to Capitol Hill and will likely have a lot of questions.
- Host a Kick-Off Event
Schedule a kick-off event for your members to gather together on the morning of the Hill Day event. This will be an opportunity to generate excitement for the day, ensure that everyone has the resources they need to effectively communicate the legislative priorities and ask any last-minute questions before heading to the Hill.
- Let Everyone Know You’re on the Hill
Provide special Hill Day tees and other association swag so that your members and association brand will stand out. Utilize a unique hashtag for the event and encourage members to post on social media throughout the day. Take lots of photos and send out a press release recapping the event’s success and your association’s legislative priorities.
- Solicit Feedback & Promote Year-round Engagement
Advocacy doesn’t end when Hill Day is over. It’s important to gather feedback from members on how their visits went and any questions or insights they were provided by their Congressional members or staffers. Members will likely be excited to continue their advocacy efforts after the event. Recruit participants to serve on your association’s legislative committee and ask them to share their experience back at home with their chapters and fellow members.