June 18, 2008
Official proclamations by your city’s or state/province’s government leaders are very effective for generating local interest in your event. AFP is asking chapters to be especially pro-active in obtaining as many proclamations as possible recognizing NPD. These proclamations will be used in AFP’s national and international advocacy efforts to show how strong local support is for NPD and for philanthropy overall.
Sample proclamations and language can be found below in the Attachments section.
In smaller communities, or when your organization has an existing relationship with elected officials, you may be able to request a proclamation with a single phone call or letter. In larger cities and states/provinces, you might have to conduct a phone or letter-writing campaign. If you don’t know how the process works, call the appropriate official’s office and ask to speak to the staff person who handles proclamations.
In addition to generating local support and interest for your event, a proclamation provides you an opportunity for you to establish contact with elected officials in a positive way, and can help you gain entry at other times when you have other important issues to raise.
This process can be more successful than you might expect. In past years, some chapters have received gubernatorial proclamations and awards for each local honoree. All it takes is a phone call and perhaps a short letter of request.
Lobbying for a Proclamation
The most effective way to get a proclamation is to generate grassroots support. Ask your chapter members and local charities to write to the appropriate official and encourage him/her to issue a proclamation. Emails are not as effective in this type of lobbying, so members should mail or ideally fax a letter to the official’s office.
To make your letters effective:
- Be brief.
- Include your return address on the letter.
- Make your letters hand-written.
- Use personal or business stationery (postcards should not be used, if possible)
Your letter can be as simple as:
National Philanthropy Day® is scheduled for November 15, and I would like it to be recognized on a city/state/provincial level. As a resident of [city/state/province], I urge you to issue an official proclamation recognizing November 15 as National Philanthropy Day®.
Members should also be encouraged to add a line or two about their own organization and how it impacts the local community. Adding that such a proclamation will increase awareness of charitable giving and the positive contributions charities make to the community. NPD committees should use the chapter newsletter, fax, or email to notify members of the need to contact the mayor, governor or other official.
Don't forget that your state/provincial legislature or City Council can also pass a bill or resolution recognizing November 15 as NPD. Using the above guidelines, contact a legislator or council member and ask him or her to introduce a bill or resolution designating November 15 as NPD.
SAMPLE LETTER: NPD PROCLAMATIONS
The Honorable ___________
I am writing to request that a (mayoral, gubernatorial, etc.) proclamation or letter of recognition be issued for National Philanthropy Day®, the day set aside to remember and pay tribute to those people active in the philanthropic community. From donors to volunteers, from large, international nonprofits to the community center in the local neighborhood, each has made an indelible contribution to our communities, our nation, and our world.
National Philanthropy Day® is November 15. This year, the _______ chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is holding an awards luncheon to honor several local philanthropists, donors, and volunteers, including several projects developed by the youth of our community. A proclamation for National Philanthropy Day® from you would help to memorialize the occasion and bring attention to the important causes that charitable organizations champion.
AFP represents more than 30,000 professional fundraisers in 200 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs. The Association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. AFP's members are required to abide by and sign annually its Code of Ethical Principles and Standards. AFP was also instrumental in developing A Donor Bill of Rights and other documents that increase public awareness and confidence in nonprofit, charitable organizations.
(Chapters should also consider inserting a short paragraph about their work in the local community and the impact of fundraising and giving in the community.)
Thank you for consideration of this request, and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. If you have any questions, please contact (name of chapter contact).