Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of services do you offer congressional offices?

  1. CMF provides a very popular series of free management training programs throughout the year for Chiefs of Staff, Staff Directors, and Legislative Directors. We have also offered courses on intern orientation, staff assistant orientation, and writing constituent mail to House staff under contract through the CAO.
  2. CMF has collected the insights and practices of the best-managed congressional offices in our comprehensive management book, Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide. This book covers topics such as Strategic Planning, Budgeting, Hiring & Supervising Staff, Running an Efficient Mail System, Managing District/State Offices, and Managing Ethics. Each congressional office receives a free copy of Setting Course. If you would like to order additional copies, please contact us or visit our Publications section where you can also read about CMF’s other reports.
  3. CMF provides confidential management services to individual House and Senate offices. If you would like to meet with a CMF staff member to discuss a management question or problem, please contact us.
  4. Congressional staff can call or e-mail us to receive answers to virtually any question related to the management of a House or Senate office. A CMF staff member will research and respond to all questions within 24 hours. If we cannot fully answer your question, we will try to refer you to someone who can.

Are CMF’s management training programs open to all congressional staff?

CMF's management training programs are designed to meet the needs of senior management staff such as Chiefs of Staff, Staff Directors, and Legislative Directors. These programs are conducted on timely topics and usually include problem-solving exercises that require work with peers, so attendance is restricted to staff in specific management positions.

However, CMF does occasionally offer training programs to non-management staff (such as training on Web sites and managing constituent mail). For these programs, our training flyers and invitations will note who can attend.

All CMF programs are offered free of charge. For more information, please visit the Training section.

How can I sign up for an upcoming training program?

For Chief of Staff/Staff Director and Legislative Director (senior management) training programs, please contact us via phone or e-mail, whatever is most convenient for you. If possible, include your title, office, phone, and email address for confirmation notices.

Does CMF meet with individual House and Senate staff to discuss office problems or ways of improving office performance? Are these meetings confidential?

Yes. Many congressional offices arrange meetings with CMF staff to discuss and receive advice on management issues in their office. All of these meetings are strictly confidential. A list of our services for individual congressional offices can be found in the Management Services section of our website.

If you are interested in discussing a management question with CMF or would like to find out more about our management services, please contact us.

Do you offer any services for district and state offices?

Yes. CMF has a range of services for the 44% of House staff and 35% of Senate staff who are not located in Washington, DC, including:

  1. A chapter in our management book Setting Course devoted to “Establishing District and State Offices.”
  2. A publication entitled Keeping It Local: A Guide for Managing Congressional District & State Offices that covers all of the basics of managing district and state offices.
  3. A series of webinars for House district/state staff, under contract with the CAO.
  4. Reference materials and handouts on in our section on district/state resources.
  5. House staff and Senate staff employment studies that summarize the salaries, experience, and demographics of staffers in all of the typical District and State staff positions.
  6. Finally, CMF often conducts confidential management services for House and Senate offices that involve the District or State operation. If you are interested in discussing a management question with CMF or would like to find out more about our services for individual congressional offices, please contact us.

How can I order your publications and what do they cost?

All publications are $25 or under. The specific prices for each book are listed on the Publications page.

How is CMF funded?

CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit. CMF receives its funding from four sources:

  1. grants from corporations, associations, foundations and individuals with an interest in improving the overall effectiveness and management of Congress;
  2. contracts from Congress to provide various management services such as training and studies and reports;
  3. sales of its management publications; and
  4. fees for management services provided to individual House and Senate offices.

Is CMF associated with any political party?

No. CMF is strictly nonpartisan in all of its activities. CMF’s management services are open to all House and Senate offices on an equal basis. CMF takes no position on any policy matters.

Does CMF offer internships?

Yes. To apply,  and for more information, please click here.