Thriving Philanthropy Makes Thriving Communities
There are several proposals being considered in Congress that have significant implications for philanthropy and its effectiveness in addressing some of our most pressing challenges. In addition to educating lawmakers in Washington, D.C., communicating the impact locally is just as important! Here are some ways your organization can spread the word about the correlation between philanthropy and thriving communities.
Letter to the Editor
Send a brief letter (typically 200 to 250 words) to the editorial page editor of your local newspaper in response to relevant news coverage or editorials, and raise awareness about your efforts to strengthen your local community.
Inform local media outlets that you support a strong philanthropic sector, and emphasize the potential consequences in the community if lawmakers enact tax policies that could hurt philanthropy’s effectiveness. By sharing key data or issuing a public statement about policy debates in Washington, you can convey to Congressional members that your organization is fully engaged in conversations on The Hill. Download a template press release. 
Submit an op-ed (typically 550 to 700 words) to the editorial page/op-ed editor encourage your community and lawmakers in Washington to protect incentives that stimulate charitable giving. Download a template op-ed. 
Editorial Board Meeting
Arrange a meeting with members of the editorial board from your local paper to highlight the impact of philanthropy, and the consequences of policies that do not incentivize giving. Editorial support can have a significant impact in shaping opinions and prompting action.
One-on-one Reporter Meetings
By connecting with influential reporters for one-on-ones, you can help raise awareness in your community on decisions made in Washington regarding charitable giving. Most importantly, you can position your organizations as a go-to resource on relevant issues.
Facebook and Twitter
Through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can drive conversation and direct stakeholders to useful resources on charitable giving. Posts can include relevant news articles, op-eds, new reports or research. Consider using the following hashtags: #ProtectGiving and #PhilanTHRIVE.
You can inform and engage your network through your organization’s blog. Moreover, you can share your blog on social media with elected officials and opinion leaders to alert them on the importance of protecting and enhancing incentives that encourage charitable giving.
Community Town Hall on Philanthropy and the Economy
Create a venue for local residents and community leaders to discuss the role of philanthropy, and localize the impact of Congressional decisions in your community.
Request individual meetings with key staffers and/or congressional members in district offices to reinforce the local impact of tax policy changes. Be sure to include other nonprofit, foundation or community leaders who share your perspective. Download a template letter to send to elected officials. 
By inviting elected officials on site visits, you can demonstrate the local impact of charitable giving. Moreover, it will provide elected officials a better understanding of how local programs and services are helping their constituents. Be sure to include key community leaders and advocates, as well as beneficiaries and donors. Site visits can also be promoted to the local media if appropriate.