May 1, 2012
Information and Resources for the chapter Government Relations Chair
This is a general job description of the duties of the role of chapter Government Relations Chair. Chapters are encouraged to customize chapter leader job descriptions for their particular needs.
The chapter Government Relations Chair is responsible for keeping chapter members informed of important public policy issues related to philanthropy and fundraising. The Chair acts as a liaison between his/her chapter, other AFP chapters, and the Government Relations Committee. Each Government Relations Chair automatically receives AFP’s monthly Public Policy Update, which informs members of new legislative and regulatory developments affecting fundraising and philanthropy.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
- Report to the Chapter President, Board of Directors, and membership at regular intervals on issues related to government relations
- Use the Government Relations Manual located in Section XIV of this manual titled Program Materials & Manuals
- Alert Chapter President and membership, as well as AFP International Headquarters, to issues or situations that must be addressed immediately
- Encourage member involvement in government relations at the local, state/provincial, and federal levels
- Coordinate local government relations programs with legislative and executive officials and staff
- Participate in state/provincial chapter legislative coalitions coordinated through AFP’s International Headquarters
- Develop initiatives that educate officials on the role and importance of the nonprofit sector
- Coordinate visits to elected officials at the local and state/provincial levels, and work with International Headquarters on federal visits
- Work with the Education/Program Development Chair to ensure that at least one chapter meeting annually is devoted to legislative issues
- Maintain records of chapter involvement in government relations programs
- Prepare lists of names, addresses, telephone/fax numbers and email addresses for legislators; distribute to chapter members for their use in making contact with government officials
- Work with the Newsletter Editor to place articles on government relations in monthly publication
- Turn over to the successor all chapter records and/or property immediately upon completion of term or resignation prior to completion of term
The functions of the chair are as follows:
- Monitor local issues and report any developments to AFP’s Public Affairs Department. Once AFP’s International Headquarters is aware of the issue/development, the Public Affairs Department will notify other chapters and assist in developing an appropriate response.
- Inform members of important developments and distribute appropriate materials in a timely manner . From time to time, AFP will send out alerts to its Government Relations Chairs and Activists that require immediate action. These Alerts should be copied and distributed to chapter members. Chapters are encouraged to have an e-mail tree or other system of streamlined communication in place.
- Ensure material related to government relations is included in the chapter newsletter . It is strongly suggested that Chairs write a column or article for their newsletter. Chairs can use the information provided in the monthly Public Policy Update, or contact the Public Affairs Department for ideas and information on appropriate topics.
- Encourage members to write letters on public policy issues . Chairs should encourage members to write letters on pressing issues, especially if a legislative alert has been issued. All alerts will come with a sample letter, which members can use as a base for their own letter. On state/provincial issues, chairs should consider sending a letter to key officials from the chapter signed by the President and other chapter leaders. AFP’s Public Affairs Department can assist in these activities.
- Act as an advocate and key contact for the AFP Political Action Committee. Contributions to the PAC allow AFP to support members of the Senate and House of Representatives who, in turn, support legislation favorable to charitable fundraising and philanthropy. Chairs should be familiar with the PAC and how it works and encourage chapter members to contribute to AFP PAC. By federal law, only U.S. members can give to AFP PAC.
AFP has developed a Chapter Government Relations Manual to assist chapter government relations chairs in their duties. There is a version for both U.S. and Canadian chapters. The manual is available on the AFP website at http://www.afpnet.org/public_policy/public_policy_updates.
Public Policy News and Updates
AFP Political Action Committee
Chairs are always welcome to contact the AFP Public Affairs Department at 800/666-3863, ext. 484, or firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions or for any sort of assistance!