Invite your Senators and Representatives to visit a project
Having a politician make an on-site visit to an NMTC-financed project is one of the most powerful things you can do to build a relationship and advocate for the Credit. By showing your Senators and Representatives first-hand the work that you do, how you serve your community, and how this federal programs supports your efforts, you can make a lasting impression. This is your opportunity to shine.
Showcase Your Organization
- Always try to organize your event in such a way that your Senators and Representatives can speak to, and meet with, a significant number of constituents.
- Some ideas include inviting your Senators and Representatives to:
- Meet your staff and members of the community that you serve.
- Celebrate your organization or project’s success at a ceremony and say a few words in support of your organization.
- Receive an award from your organization for the good work that they have done in support of your cause.
- Connect the Dots. You are not only showcasing your organization, but the federal programs that support your work. This can help turn your Representative or Senator into a champion for the federal programs you rely on.
Make it About the Member of Congress
- If your Senator or Representative responds strongly to business interests, be sure to have it business focused and give the business owners a prominent role.
- Ensure the business owner will speak to the necessity of the credit to make these projects possible.
- If your Senator or Representative is on a committee that addresses the needs of a special population, such as veterans, be sure that they are featured prominently on the agenda. In short, match your program to the interest areas of your Member of Congress.
- Personalize the experience by inviting a constituent who has benefited from the project can share a personal story of how your organization impacted their life.
- Individual clients or local government leaders can put a human face on the work you do.
Things to Remember Before and During the Visit
- What two or three points do you want to drive home with your elected officials? Make sure flyers, handouts, and remarks reflect those points.
- Make a sign that says the business is financed by the NMTC. This is a great way to ensure the NMTC is on full-display and will help community members realize this too. It is a great tool for projects that are under construction too. If you need help with a template, contact us.
- Determine what day is the busiest at the site where you have chosen to hold the event? This is when you will want to try to hold the visit, since it will confirm the success of the project.
- Invite your Senators and Representatives as far in advance as possible—they receive many invites every day, so make your invitation stand out. Let them know you are flexible and willing to accommodate the Member’s schedule. An invitation template is included on page 12.
- When scheduling a meeting in the district or state, begin by calling that district or state office, as each office has a different system for scheduling. Tell them you live or work in the Member of Congress’ district, and ask them how to submit a formal meeting request. Some members require meeting and event requests to be in writing and submitted via fax or e-mail. Others require a web form be filled out, while some are fine with phone requests.
- Maximize the value of the visit by inviting media to attend the event. Make sure the Member knows about the media’s involvement in advance and offer to coordinate with the Communications Director in the D.C. office.
- Be sure to send information on the event to the NMTC Coalition and Rapoza Associates—we can provide assistance with invitations and planning as needed, as well as help promote the visit.
- During the visit, volunteer your organization to serve as a resource for their offices.
Things to Remember After the Visit
- Send thank you letters, including any press releases, news articles, and photos from the event.
- Share photos and articles via email and through social media.
- Make sure that you provide the name, email address, and direct phone number of a person in your organization to serve as a constituent services liaison for the Congressional office.
View our sample invitation for guidance on what information to include in your request to your Member of Congress.