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Elected legislators rely on their constituents to tell them what issues matter to them and how federally funded programs impact the communities they represent. The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) monitors issues important to children’s museums and updates members about how their organizations may be affected. Often, advocacy alerts include steps individuals may take to share their opinions with legislators.
Your most effective tool in your advocacy work is your passion. You have stories to share about how your museum's exhibits, programs, and outreach affect the people in your community. When making a request of a policymaker, you want to convey how your ask for funding, a new policy, etc. will influence your ability to make positive change in your community. Consider calling your Senators and Representative at their Washington DC office to educate them on the issues that matter to your children's museum. Now is the time to make your voice heard on the issues that matter to your work and your community.
ACM works closely with other museum associations so that we speak with one voice in support of museums. The American Alliance of Museums offers a variety of materials to support museum advocacy.
If you want to learn more about the issues that affect the charitable sector, follow the Voices for Good podcast. Produced by Independent Sector, the podcast shares what nonprofits, foundations, and anyone committed to the common good needs to know about what's happening in Washington.
To be an effective advocate for your museum and for the children's museum field, develop relationships with your local, state, and federal legislators. Invest your organization's time and effort into these relationships year-round.