A Dozen Ways to Say Thank You
Thanking your elected officials when they do something right is an important step towards building a long-term relationship you can call on time and again. If your members of Congress are on the list of easement incentive co-sponsors, please find a way to say thank you today!
While these ideas and templates specificly reference Congress and the enhanced easement incentive, they're great ideas for thanking any public official who lends you a hand!
- Call. It sounds old fashioned, but this is still the best way to reach staff on Capitol Hill and convey your message. Reach your Senators or Representative through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the staffer handling environmental issues. Thank them for co-sponsoring H.R. 1964 or S. 339, tell them how important the incentive is for your work, tell them a majority of the House has now co-sponsored and urge them to find a way to enact the Conservation Easement Incentive Act this year.
- Send out a Press Release praising your Representative's leadership on this issue and informing landowners about the expiring incentive. (Be sure to send your Rep. a copy too.) View a template.
- Submit a letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper. Even if your letter doesn't get published, send a copy to your Representative so they know you’re trying. View a template.
- Co-author an op-ed with your representative. View a great example that Sherri Evans-Stanton of Brandywine Conservancy did with Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) last year.
- Run an article in your newsletter about the incentive and thanking your Representative. View a template.
- Draft an article for your Representative's constituent newsletter. Call your Rep.'s press secretary and urge them to take credit for the incentive by running a story about it in the newsletter they send to constituents. This is a win-win since they get credit for helping landowners and you get free publicity to every mailbox in the district. You can offer to draft the story and send photos of conserved properties in their district.
- Invite your Rep. to visit a conserved property. No other thank-you can compare to the one they hear from a landowner who benefited from the incentive. Invite your representative to see the incentive in action. View our guide to hosting such an event and see recent examples.
- Say thank you in person. Even if you can't get your Rep. to attend an event of your own, they're back in the district almost every weekend. Call their district office and arrange an in-district meeting for a quick thank you photo-op. You can also ask about public events like town halls or pancake breakfasts where your supporters can say thank you in person.
- Host a media event. With or without your Representative in attendance, a media event is a great opportunity to praise their leadership. Our guide to hosting a public education event has templates useful for inviting media to anything from a landowner forum to a tour of conserved properties and see some great recent examples from Pennsylvania.
- Present an award to your Representative. A simple award, like a framed print of a conserved property, is a great way to thank your Representative for their support. Moreover, the promise of an award may help your event or meeting get on their schedule.
- Get your easement donors to send thank you letters. Ask a few of your easement donors who benefited from the incentive to send thank you letters to their Representative. View a template.
- Send a thank you letter from your organization. Letters are a great way to organize your ideas and present them persuasively, but they're often ignored unless you follow-up. Please fax your letter and follow-up to staff by phone in a day or two. View a template.
Please send examples and pictures to email@example.com when you put these ideas to good use. Thanks for helping!