Humanities Advocacy Day

On Humanities Advocacy Day, state-based delegations meet with Members of Congress and their staff to make the case for federal funding for the humanities. These meetings have been essential to our broader efforts to build support for the humanities on Capitol Hill.

New and seasoned advocates are welcome! NHA organizes the state-based delegations, schedules all of your Hill-based meetings, and provides training sessions and resources to support your advocacy.

For First Time Advocates

In the lead up to Humanities Advocacy Day, we provide specific training for first time advocates, which offers an overview of what we are advocating for and how to conduct a successful Hill meeting.

In addition, we always pair new advocates with seasoned advocates to support you as you prepare for and take Hill meetings.

Top Tips for Nervous Advocates

[Video of new advocates talking about their experience]

 

[sample meeting script or video, with an appropriator non-appropriator]

Advocacy Resources

What does a meeting look like?

Hill meetings are most successful when treated like conversations. Often you will meet with a Member of Congress’ staffer, though you may also get a chance to speak with the Members themselves. The documents below can help you prepare for your meetings. Most are updated on a yearly basis.

The Advocacy Guide offers an overview of how to prepare for, conduct, and follow up after meetings on the Hill. It also offers a brief overview of each of our funding priorities. 


What are we advocating for?

We ask our advocates to discuss federal funding for several key humanities agencies and programs. You can find more information about each of these priorities below. While our priorities stay the same from year to year, our funding asks change with each fiscal year. These documents are updated on a yearly basis to reflect those changes.

Our Humanities Policy Priority booklet offers detailed information about our funding priorities. It is also intended as a handout for congressional offices—we encourage you to share the link provided here using the chat function during your meetings.

Our Member Profiles offer detailed information about many Members of Congress—biographical information, relevant committees and caucuses, indicators of past support, and talking points—related to the policy priorities detailed above. If you do not see your Member included, please contact Alex Klein ([email protected]) for more information.

How do I make the case?

One of the keys to a successful meeting is ensuring you have prepared ahead of time by learning about the impact of our policy priorities in your state and congressional district. Below you will find tools to help you prepare.

We’ve developed NEHforAll.org to aggregate information on NEH’s national impacts, the geographic reach of NEH programs and initiatives, and individual profiles that highlight how NEH funding affects local communities.

The databases of NEH and Title VI grants, meanwhile, will help you bolster your argument with examples from your district.

Following Up After The Meeting

Post on Social Media

After the meeting, post on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram tagging the Member and thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. If possible, ask to take a picture with the Member or staffer you met with to post as well.

 

Follow up Email

After the meeting, we encourage advocates to follow up with the staffers to thank them and to reiterate the requests you’ve made. We provide template messages to support this follow up and will update the template messages in the days leading up to Humanities advocacy Day.

 

Appropriations request form

Offices will often ask you to complete an appropriator request form. We’ve developed tips for filling those out and are also happy to help.

[Appropriations request guidelines]