1. Advocacy Resource

Virtual Lobbying by Telephone or Videoconference

If you can't do an in-person lobby visit, here's how you can organize a virtual one!

FCNL advocates and lobbyists hold virtual meetings with congressional staff all the time, and they can be incredibly effective. Many staffers and members enjoy well-organized and focused telephone or video meetings.

In fact, with the current COVID-19 emergency, we’re encouraging you to gather your friends virtually so that we can collectively deliver your message to Congress. Here’s a brief version of how your virtual meeting will work:

Prepare and Gather

  • Email and call the scheduler in your local congressional office to request a lobby visit by telephone or video conference.
  • Meet virtually with your lobbying group to plan out your lobby visit using the road map below. Write down the logistical details, assign roles, and time a practice session.
  • Remind everyone of the date and time of your virtual meeting. Remember that there may be a time difference between Washington, D.C. and where you live. Ask the office if they have a conference line, or set up your own conference line for everyone to use.
  • Your delegation should gather on the telephone or video line at least 10 minutes before the call is set to begin. Once your delegation is gathered—whether in the same room or remotely—take attendance and make sure the note taker has the names, cities and states, and email addresses for everyone for the follow-up email.

Make Your Voice Heard: A Road Map for Your Lobby Visit

  • Each person introduces themselves.
  • The group leader presents the “thank you” for the member of Congress.
  • A delegation member presents the ask.
  • A few delegation members will share their stories to express why action on your lobbying issue is important.
  • Ask your questions to the staffer. Listen to and write down their answers.
  • Repeat your ask and thank the staffer again for their time.

Follow-up via email and send FCNL a report on your visit

  • Use the follow-up email template below to send an email to the staffer you met with. Reaffirm the lobby ask and list the contact information of your delegation members.
  • Report your lobby visit to FCNL staff with our lobby report back form.

Lobby Resources

Lobby RoadmapLobby Visit Roadmap
Start by designating a group leader and a note taker. Fill in the boxes on the front and back of the page as you plan your visit, using the spaces provided on the left side to note the amount of time each part of the lobby visit will take. This road map will be your guide during your virtual lobby visit.
FCNL's Lobby Asks: fcnl.org/lobby-asks
Lobby Report Back Form: fcnl.org/reportback
Follow-up Email Template: Download text file