Action Center

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Action Center: Resources and Tools

As millions of our sisters and brothers around the world suffer from poverty, hunger, violence and other injustices, we are called to respond through love and action. By advocating, giving and mobilizing our communities, we can work together to meet the needs of our global family and end world poverty.

Find resources and tools to advocate effectively, fundraise to provide lifesaving support for people in greatest need, and develop your leadership skills to mobilize your community to join a powerful movement to transform the world.

Advocate

Advocacy is one of the most effective ways to ease human suffering and build a more just world. When an unjust policy or system is changed because of our collective advocacy actions, millions of people, families and communities have the opportunity to thrive.

Your advocacy actions are more effective when they are addressed to your members of Congress. Enter your address below and find out who your U.S. Senators and Representatives are and how to contact them.

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Building relationships with members of Congress and their staff is key to effective advocacy and influencing Congress.

We have the power to influence policy and make things happen. In fact, research shows that the voices and actions of constituents like you have the greatest impact on members of Congress and their decision making.

There are many ways to lift your voice on the issues you care about.

Download this PDF to learn about six key actions you and your community can take to advocate for a more just world.

Use the Champion Scale to analyze where your congressional member stands in their level of support for the issues that matter most to you. Determining their position will help you decide what methods you will use to strengthen their collaboration.

Download the PDF to learn more about the Champion Scale.

Research shows that nothing is more impactful than in-person meetings with your member of Congress.

Constituent meetings offer a valuable opportunity to develop relationships with members of Congress and their staff. Meetings are a powerful way for staff and members of Congress to hear why you care about the issue and how you and your community are organizing on the issue. Meetings also give you the opportunity to ask your member of Congress to support your position.

For more tips on how to take this action, download the how-to PDF guide below or watch the training video.

Emails and letters on an issue can influence your members of Congress, but it’s best to make them personal. Share who you are and why you care about the issue—it will make your message 10 times more effective.

Key Tips

  1. Identify yourself as a constituent and list the organization that you represent or are a supporter of.
  2. Limit your letter to one page if possible and be sure to state why this issue matters to you.
  3. Be clear and specific about what you want your legislator to do.

For more tips on how to take this action, download the how-to PDF guide below or watch the training video.

Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, the social media platforms you use can be powerful tools to contact Congress. In fact, research shows that just 30 posts or comments from constituents on an issue will help get the attention of congressional offices.

For more tips on how to take this action, download the how-to PDF guide below.

Attending town halls sponsored by your member of Congress—whether in-person or virtual—is an opportunity to hear from your member, learn about their focus areas and raise your voice on issues that matter to you.

For more tips on how to take this action, download the how-to PDF guide below.

Op-ed pieces and letters to the editor in your local press amplify the issues you care about and promote support in your community. Congressional offices monitor local media, so it's an effective way to put your issue in front of your members of Congress.

For more tips on how to take this action as part of our current campaign issues, download the how-to guide below or watch the training video.

August recess is a key moment to meet with your members of Congress while they are out of session. Join the movement of CRS supporters to advocate on the 2023 Farm Bill this summer. To prepare for visits, explore the following resources:

Meeting Lead Checklist

Participant Resource List

Congressional Meeting Roles Worksheet

Farm Bill Send Ahead

Tell us about your advocacy work using the Advocacy Reporting Tool.

Fundraise

Your financial support—through a direct donation or by organizing a community fundraiser—helps provide basic necessities like food, clean water and shelter to people most in need and empowers communities to overcome the impacts of poverty.

Your fundraiser can create lasting change. Use your skills, talents and fundraising passion to make a real difference in the lives of people around the world, all while having fun and building relationships within your community. CRS’ Community Giving Toolkit offers easy-to-follow guidance, clear examples of successful fundraisers and answers to frequently asked questions. Join in the life-saving mission of CRS by mobilizing your community through giving.

Download in English Download in Spanish

Lead the way to a more just world by fundraising as a community! Bring together your community with opportunities for encounter, prayer and giving that changes lives.

Explore three CRS fundraising options by following the link below to discover ways you and your community can make a difference. Each option contains a toolkit to support your fundraiser and resources for engaging your community.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER YOUR FUNDRAISER HERE

Mobilize

Our impact is multiplied when our families, friends and communities get involved. And to transform our world, everyone is needed. Invite your community to join the movement to end global poverty and participate in this lifesaving work.

Learn more about the movement to end global poverty and how you and your community can get involved.

Take action with your community year-round to raise awareness on hunger, climate change and other global issues.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Use these background resources to expand your knowledge of the U.S. Congress, key pieces of legislation and issues related to global poverty.

The U.S. Congress organizes and conducts its work through a committee structure. Congressional committees oversee particular issue-areas related to policy and legislation.  

Download the PDF below to learn about the core congressional committees that work on international policy and legislation. 

The Farm Bill is a multiyear package of legislation that oversees a variety of domestic and international food and agricultural programs. While the overwhelming majority of the Farm Bill covers programs in the United States, CRS focuses its advocacy on the international food aid programs, including Food for Peace, Food for Progress, McGovern-Dole Food for Education and the Farmer-to-Farmer Program. Ahead of the 2023 Farm Bill, CRS will engage Congress to reauthorize each of these international programs and advocate to continue to strengthen and amend provisions that improve program effectiveness and flexibility. 
 

Use the following resources below to learn more about this piece of legislation.

Congress has been quickly passing legislation to respond to the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Congress continues to prioritize U.S. domestic needs in the next supplemental package, Congress and the Administration recognize that to address COVID-19 we need to resolve the pandemic everywhere, which includes U.S. global leadership in providing additional funds for poverty-reducing humanitarian and development assistance.

This document is designed to provide background information and talking points about how this supplemental funding can help address malnutrition and forced displacement. Use it to help you take action and communicate with the offices of your members of Congress.

Download the PDF below to learn more about this piece of legislation.

The Global Child Thrive Act passed into law in January 2021. This law directs the administration over the next year to integrate Early Childhood Development activities into current international programs supporting vulnerable children and their families and to report to Congress annually on its progress.

This document is designed to provide background information and talking points about how the Global Child Thrive Law will helps address malnutrition and forced displacement. Use it to help you share this exciting update, express gratitude and inform your members of Congress on the implementation phase.

Download the PDF below to learn more about this piece of legislation.

Each year, Congress negotiates how to spend U.S. taxpayer dollars through a process called appropriations. Of the $4 trillion U.S. federal budget, about 1% is appropriated, or allocated for spending by Congress, to foreign assistance. Half of that 1% is directed toward poverty-reducing humanitarian and development aid. The House and Senate ultimately decide on funding levels for our budget. Following the Administration’s budget release, Congress develops and negotiates their proposals, and it is important for interested stakeholders to share their priorities.

This document is designed to provide background information to help you communicate with the offices of your members of Congress about the Appropriations process and its connections to global poverty.

Reference the annual chart of budget accounts for congressional offices that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and CRS advocate for to address global poverty and share it in your communications with Congress.

Read examples of the impact of U.S. funding in programs CRS has implemented or continues to program by each key account with this document. This document  can be shared in English with Congress either before or after a congressional visit on appropriations.

Download the PDF below to learn more.

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