Roles and Responsibilities of a Chapter Government Relations Chair
Each AFP chapter should appoint a Government Relations Chair who is responsible for keeping chapter members informed of important public policy issues related to philanthropy and fundraising. The Chair acts as a liaison between the chapter and the Public Affairs Department at the AFP International Headquarters.
The responsibilities of the chair are as follows:
- Monitor local issues and report any developments to AFP’s Public Affairs Department. Once AFP’s International Headquarters is aware of the issue, the Public Affairs Department will notify the appropriate committee and other chapters as necessary, and assist in developing a strategy and response.
- Inform members of important developments and distribute appropriate materials in a timely manner. From time to time, AFP will send out alerts to Chapter Government Relations Chairs that require immediate action. These Alerts should be copied and distributed to chapter members. Chapters are encouraged to have an e-mail tree or other system of streamlined communication in place.
- Publish articles related to government relations in the chapter newsletter. It is strongly suggested that Chairs write a column or article for their newsletter. Chairs can use the information provided in the AFP Public Policy Updates, AFP’s eWire Newsletter, or from the AFP website, or contact the Public Affairs Department for ideas and information on appropriate topics.
- Encourage members to write letters on public policy issues. Chairs should encourage members to write letters on pressing issues, especially if a legislative alert has been issued. All alerts will come with a sample letter, which members can use as a base for their own letter. On state issues, chairs should consider sending a letter to key officials from the chapter signed by the President and other chapter leaders.
- Ensure at least one chapter meeting per year focuses on government relations. Chairs should work with other chapter leaders to see that at least one of the chapter’s regular meetings focuses on government relations and public policy. Such a meeting can feature a presentation by a local elected official, a panel discussion of current issues, or any other related activity. Contact the Public Affairs Department for more ideas.
These are the basic functions of a chapter government relations chair.