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AFP Texas Lobbying Event a Huge Success

March 25, 2015

AFP chapters from across Texas came together in Austin at the State Capitol building in early March to raise awareness of philanthropic and fundraising policy issues at the second AFP Texas Legislative Action Day.

The event featured 14 separate groups of AFP members involved in more than 45 meetings with staff and legislators, including the Speakers’ Office. Awareness of AFP and its issues was strong, demonstrating the impact of the first AFP Texas Legislative Action Day had and the continuing communications chapters were having with legislative offices.

The day kicked off with remarks by Adrienne Longenecker, president of the AFP Greater Austin Chapter President; Stephanie Chiarello, executive director of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus, led by Sen. Kirk Watson; and Jerry Strickland, director of the Texas Office of State and Federal Relations.

Mike Delzotti, chair of the AFP PAC Board, and Jason Lee, AFP General Counsel, prepared the attendees for their legislative meetings, explaining what they could expect during the visits. Vicki Spriggs, CEO of Texas CASA, provided an additional overview and counsel based upon her vast experience in public policy. Then Erica Ekwurzel, a member of U.S. Government Relations Committee and the author of the AFP State Legislative Day toolkit, provided some overarching tips and advice for the legislative visits.

During the legislative office visits, members discussed the importance of AFP in setting standards for the fundraising profession and the reach of AFP in Texas. They stressed that AFP can be a resource to the Texas Legislature on issues related to philanthropy, fundraising and the nonprofit sector. With a call to action being critical in any legislative meeting, members also raised awareness of the planned Texas Philanthropy Month in November.

“The Greater Austin Chapter was pleased to host AFP members from across Texas for the second Texas Legislative Action Day,” said Adrienne Longenecker. “It was an educational experience in advocating, in this case for philanthropy generally, to our elected officials.  After several months of planning, the day was even better than expected! Education, experience and fun – that’s what the Texas Legislative Day is all about!”

Congratulations to the AFP Texas Chapters—and especially Dr. Robiaun Charles, CFRE, the chair of the  Legislative Action Day; and Dick Sanger, director of legislative affairs for the AFP Greater Austin Chapter—on a very successful event! We hope that other chapters around the country will follow suit. It's a great opportunity to engage legislators and build brand awareness.

For more information about the event—as well as to see a great compendium of resources on lobbying put together by the chapter—click here

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