Climb the Ladder of Engagement


Climb the Ladder of Engagement to build a relationship with your member of Congress

Step One: Lobby by Phone, Email or Fax

These forms of lobbying can be effective, especially if you include personal details about why you care about the issue you're discussing.

You can lobby by emailright here on FCNL's website. See our suggested actions, find out contact information for your members of Congress, and more.

  • Lobbying by email
  • Lobbying by phone
  • Writing letters to Congress
  • Step Two: Speak Through the Media

    A letter to the editor or op-ed not only educates others in your community, but if you mention your member of Congress by name it will wind up on his or her desk.

    Contact the media through our website

  • Talk to local media
  • Write letters to the editor
  • Publish op-eds
  • Influence editorial boards
  • Write press releases
  • Call radio talk shows
  • Step Three: Build Community Action

    Are you a member of a Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, local peace group, meeting or church, or interfaith group? Organize an event that encourages action, or bring people together around a shared issue of concern.

  • Reach out to your community
  • Organize letter-writing events
  • See FCNL's latest letter writing materials
  • Share FCNL's work with your community using 'FCNL in a Box'
  • Step Four: Lobby Members of Congress at Home

    You don't have to travel all the way to Washington to meet with your members of Congress or their staff. It's often easier to get an appointment in the district office, and you'll have just as much influence.

  • How to schedule a lobby visit
  • Tips for meeting with members of Congress and their staff
  • Step Five: Come to Washington, DC to Lobby

    See the list above for tips on scheduling and conducting a lobby visit.Be sure to stop by FCNL's green building and say hello while you're in town!

  • Contact info for DC offices
  • View the House and Senate calendars to see when members of Congress are in Washington
  • Report back! Let us know how your lobby visit went.
  • Step Six: Invite a Member or Staff Member to Your Community

    Members of Congress like to get out in the community and see what their constituents are doing. It's a chance for you to get some time with the member or a staff member.

    Step Seven: Promote Discussion in an Election Year

    Elections are an opportunity to have open and constructive dialogue with the candidates running for office. Political candidates—whether incumbent or new—"listen louder" during campaigns than at any other times in their careers.

  • See FCNL's suggested questions for candidates
  • Friends in North Carolina held a candidate forum in 2008--read about their experience
  • What's Next?

    Congratulations - You are already an experienced 'lobbyist'! Please consider sharing FCNL's resources with others in your community, contributing to our conversation with people all across the country with your lobbying tips, or even expanding our circle by giving the gift of FCNL's Washington Newsletter to your friends and family

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