Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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Highlighting Online Innovations in the House

As we mentioned last week, our Gold Mouse Award researchers have their jobs cut out for them, reviewing 92 criteria for each of the 538 Member office sites (there were three vacant seats). (Review our detailed methodology here in PDF.) Needless to say, it stands out when an office is doing something online that others are not. That’s why we wanted to highlight these features – they may not seem innovative by some standards, but their novelty on the Hill is worth sharing in the hope that other offices get creative and inspired in their own communications with constituents.

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Adding Value Through Innovation…by Hill Standards

Last summer, as CMF combed through 618 congressional websites to identify the Gold Mouse Award winners, our researchers kept an eye out for innovative features that we weren’t seeing on other congressional sites, or features that were being done particularly well. They don’t guarantee you an award – you must have the underlying content and timeliness we look for – but they certainly don’t hurt.

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Asset Mapping: Quantifying and Qualifying Your Impact, District-by-District

How do you illustrate the myriad ways your organization impacts a particular congressional district? Asset mapping is a hot topic and the subject of our most recent Advocacy Leaders Network workshop. Following are four takeaways about mapping your organization’s assets.

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How to Get Results from Your Virtual Town Hall

One of the fastest growing and potentially empowering technologies for engaging citizens, interacting with elected officials, and building better communications is virtual town hall meetings, such as telephone town halls and online town halls. This post will discuss how you can improve your virtual town hall, whether you are a congressional office or an advocacy organization.

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Op-Ed: What Really Motivates Members of Congress?

In recent months, it seems that a week hasn't gone by when another spate of news stories appears on how Members of Congress are seemingly using public office for personal gain.

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SOPA and PIPA Advocacy Efforts Show the Components of Successful Campaigns

Much ballyhoo has been made about the loosely coordinated mid-January effort to encourage citizens to contact Congress and voice opposition to two pieces of Internet-related legislation. The much-publicized darkening of major websites has been hailed as a wake-up call for Internet advocates. However, the strategies and tactics of those opposed to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) actually just relied on some tried and true elements of advocacy which have existed for the last 50 years.

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Congressional Management Foundation Welcomes New Vice President

CMF announced today that Susie Gorden will be its new Vice President. In this position, Susie will be responsible for the internal management of the organization, oversee special projects, and conduct outreach with congressional offices and key stakeholders. “Having worked with Susie in a previous position, I know her to be energetic, thoughtful, and creative,” said CMF CEO and President Bradford Fitch. "Susie brings to CMF a great combination of experience in Congress, the nonprofit community, and working with key congressional stakeholders."

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Join Us March 9 for Next Advocacy Leaders Network Workshop

The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is pleased to announce that the second Advocacy Leaders Network workshop is open for registration. Please join us March 9 for “Mapping Your Political and Economic Footprint: Identifying Advocacy Assets and the Art of Modern Story Telling.” The ALN series, part of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union, is being produced by the Beekeeper Group.

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New Year's Resolutions in Advocacy...For Other People

The Partnership for a More Perfect Union e-newsletter will be one year old this month. Our goal to improve the value of this newsletter led us to ask ourselves, "What do the subscribers think?"

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CMF Advocacy Leaders Network Launched Today

CMF launched the inaugural Advocacy Leaders Network today in the Washington offices of Bloomberg Government. About 80 advocacy leaders from associations, nonprofits, and corporations came together to learn about the best strategies for educating their supporters to enhance communications, understanding, and the relationship between citizens and Congress. The ALN series, part of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union, is being produced by the Beekeeper Group.

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Inside of Capitol Dome

CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

Read more about CMF


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Communicating with Congress The Internet forever changed how citizens and Congress interacts. The goal of this project is to facilitate a more meaningful democratic dialogue.


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Gold Mouse Project
Congress should effectively communicate with and serve citizens online. CMF assesses congressional websites to identify best and innovative practices that can be more widely adopted by the House and Senate.


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Inside the Hill
Produced by Founding Partner Fleishman-Hillard, this video series allows you to hear directly from Members and staff on how technology is changing the way Congress works.


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Life in Congress
This novel research project by CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management has two goals: identify the factors that motivate congressional staff and shed some light on Congress as a workplace.


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21st Century Town Hall Meetings CMF seeks to continue our innovative work in this area by conducting comparative research on in-person town halls, online town halls, and telephone town halls.