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Challenge: Expand the Advocacy Impact of Government Relations Team of One

The Houston Food Bank is a non-profit organization that distributes food and essentials to 18 counties in the Houston area, serving around 150 million nutritious meals annually. As an affiliate organization under Feeding America, the Houston Food Bank advocates for a world that doesn’t need food banks by addressing the systemic issues that cause food insecurity — including poverty, housing, healthcare, and food access issues. To advance the Houston Food Bank’s mission, Government Relations Officer Katherine Byers needed a way to track key bills at the federal, state, and local levels and report on her advocacy progress to internal and external stakeholders. Before Byers found Quorum, the Houston Food Bank’s government relations tracking and reporting were siloed in two different spreadsheet systems — neither of which fully conveyed the breadth of her advocacy efforts as a one-person team. Byers needed an automated way to report on all aspects of her engagement with board members, the Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, and legislators to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Government Relations Department.

Solution: An All-in-One System to Map, Connect, and Report on Advocacy Efforts and Stakeholder Engagement

Byers started using Quorum to map, track, and report on the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts to prove ROI better internally and to donors. "When I first started at the Houston Food Bank, our government relations tracking basically only involved tracking food distributions we were doing with elected officials, so I really had to build the system from the ground up," Byers said. "When I learned of the reporting capabilities Quorum had I instantly started to see how we could replace what we had been doing manually with Quorum."

Map Legislative Relationships to Identify Legislative Champions

With a large Texas congressional delegation and a state legislature’s worth of policymakers to maintain relationships with, Byers needed a way to identify legislative champions she had within her network. Within each legislator’s profile in Quorum, there is a relationships tab that visually illustrates the relationships a legislator has with other lawmakers in their chamber based on data such as shared votes, shared committees, or mentions of each other on social media. Byers relies on these relationship maps to discover which legislators within her existing network are connected, allowing her to find new potential legislative champions. For example, when looking to grow the cosponsor list on 2021 Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills, Byers looked at the relationships of existing cosponsors. “I use Quorum’s relationship map to see which other legislators have relationships with the legislators I work with. It’s especially useful when you're trying to get them to sign on to bills and you can say, ‘Your colleague that you often sign bills with has signed on to this,’” Byers said. “Without Quorum, this would take countless hours to research, whereas with the relationship map we’re able to see which legislators vote most often together,  who they co-sponsor most often with, and that’s been very helpful.” Along with finding members of Congress with interest in the Houston Food Bank's policy issues, Byers uses Quorum’s staff directory to find Congressional staffers whose issue portfolios contain the food bank’s legislative priorities — namely food insecurity.[callout align="right" heading="Find the right staffers and officials working on the issues you care about using Quorum Federal's up-to-date directory of over 100,000 legislators, staffers, executive, and agency officials" button_text="Learn more about Quorum Federal" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/products/federal/"] “Being able to look up a specific staffer’s information is super helpful,” Byers said. “It's weird how challenging it can sometimes be to find that information. It’s incredibly important to know who to go to — especially when the members of Congress we work with have multiple district offices and we cover an 18 county area — I don't want to be chasing my tail going to one person, when in fact they're not covering a certain issue area so that's been incredibly helpful.”

Track Key Legislative and Stakeholder Relationships Side-by-Side with Quorum Sheets

Byers uses Sheets, Quorum’s integrated spreadsheet tool, to track the key bills she advocates for. When advocating for Child Nutrition Reauthorization stand-alone bills, which fund free and reduced lunch programs in public schools, summer feeding, and other important programs, Byers needed to know which members of Congress had signed on to co-sponsor the bill and which still had yet to sign on. To quickly find this information, Byers created a Sheet that listed the co-sponsors. With this Sheet, Byers discovered very few of the Texas congressional delegation had signed on to co-sponsor the bills. Identifying this gap allowed Byers to act fast to book time with Texas delegation members to increase the number of Texas legislators who were cosponsoring the reauthorization bills.

Leverage Preexisting Relationships to Connect with Targeted Legislators

“With Quorum, I can easily bring in a board member — who's a respected member of the business community — and ask them to have a phone conversation with their member of Congress to help us get our foot in the door,” Byers said. Even if a board member doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with a member, Byers can track which district they live in and invite them to join meetings so that the legislator is hearing from a constituent. She used Sheets to create one central location that lists each board member alongside their respective representatives. “It's just saved us hours upon hours,” Byers said. “Our sheet listing our board members and their congressional delegation makes things so much easier — I click on it and I can see who's with who or who's done what which is very helpful to our advocacy.”

Automatically Gather Engagement Metrics Using Quorum Dashboards

Each year, Feeding America evaluates each of their affiliate food banks’ performance against an advocacy index and ranks them based on effectiveness. This makes Byers’ reporting crucial to demonstrate its work and possibly secure funding the Houston Food Bank needs to run and grow its government relations operations. Byers set up Quorum Dashboards to automatically track metrics to more closely report on her advocacy efforts. These dashboards will help her more easily and comprehensively report on her engagement with government officials, community partners, and internal team members to prove the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy impact to Feeding America and other stakeholders.[callout align="left" heading="Dashboards help automatically collect metrics on your engagement with government officials, community partners, and team members - see how Quorum Stakeholder can help you more fully report on your impact" button_text="Learn more about Quorum Stakeholder" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/solutions/stakeholder-engagement/"] Byers' Dashboards show the number of interactions she has with elected officials, Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, internal stakeholders, and board members. Every time she logs a new meeting with one of those stakeholders, the Dashboard auto-updates. She uses these metrics to gauge her effectiveness at achieving the Houston Food Bank’s legislative goals. Byers' use of Quorum has not only made reporting on her usual metrics easier, but has expanded what she is able to track and share with stakeholders. “Our leadership at the food bank is more accustomed to reading reports on the programmatic side of Houston Food Bank — where there is a daily output such as number of people served,” Byers said. “Now that we’re tracking our advocacy engagement more closely we can present our output in ways that people didn’t realize, all of the work we are doing or how long it takes to pass a bill and quantifying how much work that takes.”

Impact: Paint a Fuller Picture of Your Areas of Influence and Influence Them More Effectively

By incorporating Quorum into every aspect of the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts, Byers has been able to save time and more easily communicate Houston Food Bank’s impact on the policy landscape. “From manually using two different systems to using one, no joke saved me countless hours,” Byers said. “Before Quorum, I struggled to create meaningful graphs to illustrate our advocacy work to Houston Food Bank’s leadership. Now with the dashboards, I’m able to paint a much fuller picture of all the areas we’re influencing.” Byers has not only been able to better show off the impact she had been having before Quorum, she’s been able to create more legislative change with Quorum. By using her new relationship mapping strategies, Byers scheduled more meetings with members of the Texas Congressional delegation, which resulted in two members of Congress signing onto co-sponsor several of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills in under a year — a huge win for the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts. “Since we've started using Quorum we've had several wins around getting members of our congressional delegation signed onto nutrition reauthorization bills,” Byers said. “Being able to figure out who signed on to what, who do I still need to go after, who have I talked to already, was really made possible by having Quorum integrated into our workflow.” As Byers’ team grows and her use of Quorum deepens, she looks to continue to increase the number of legislators signed on to key bills. [post_title] => Houston Food Bank Uses Quorum to Increase Texas Congressional Delegation’s Sign-On to Key Bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => houston-food-bank-uses-quorum-increase-sign-on-key-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-30 17:54:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-30 17:54:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=6545 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 6545 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'houston-food-bank-uses-quorum-increase-sign-on-key-bill' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6545 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2022-03-28 18:15:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-03-28 18:15:10 [post_content] =>

Challenge: Expand the Advocacy Impact of Government Relations Team of One

The Houston Food Bank is a non-profit organization that distributes food and essentials to 18 counties in the Houston area, serving around 150 million nutritious meals annually. As an affiliate organization under Feeding America, the Houston Food Bank advocates for a world that doesn’t need food banks by addressing the systemic issues that cause food insecurity — including poverty, housing, healthcare, and food access issues. To advance the Houston Food Bank’s mission, Government Relations Officer Katherine Byers needed a way to track key bills at the federal, state, and local levels and report on her advocacy progress to internal and external stakeholders. Before Byers found Quorum, the Houston Food Bank’s government relations tracking and reporting were siloed in two different spreadsheet systems — neither of which fully conveyed the breadth of her advocacy efforts as a one-person team. Byers needed an automated way to report on all aspects of her engagement with board members, the Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, and legislators to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Government Relations Department.

Solution: An All-in-One System to Map, Connect, and Report on Advocacy Efforts and Stakeholder Engagement

Byers started using Quorum to map, track, and report on the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts to prove ROI better internally and to donors. "When I first started at the Houston Food Bank, our government relations tracking basically only involved tracking food distributions we were doing with elected officials, so I really had to build the system from the ground up," Byers said. "When I learned of the reporting capabilities Quorum had I instantly started to see how we could replace what we had been doing manually with Quorum."

Map Legislative Relationships to Identify Legislative Champions

With a large Texas congressional delegation and a state legislature’s worth of policymakers to maintain relationships with, Byers needed a way to identify legislative champions she had within her network. Within each legislator’s profile in Quorum, there is a relationships tab that visually illustrates the relationships a legislator has with other lawmakers in their chamber based on data such as shared votes, shared committees, or mentions of each other on social media. Byers relies on these relationship maps to discover which legislators within her existing network are connected, allowing her to find new potential legislative champions. For example, when looking to grow the cosponsor list on 2021 Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills, Byers looked at the relationships of existing cosponsors. “I use Quorum’s relationship map to see which other legislators have relationships with the legislators I work with. It’s especially useful when you're trying to get them to sign on to bills and you can say, ‘Your colleague that you often sign bills with has signed on to this,’” Byers said. “Without Quorum, this would take countless hours to research, whereas with the relationship map we’re able to see which legislators vote most often together,  who they co-sponsor most often with, and that’s been very helpful.” Along with finding members of Congress with interest in the Houston Food Bank's policy issues, Byers uses Quorum’s staff directory to find Congressional staffers whose issue portfolios contain the food bank’s legislative priorities — namely food insecurity.[callout align="right" heading="Find the right staffers and officials working on the issues you care about using Quorum Federal's up-to-date directory of over 100,000 legislators, staffers, executive, and agency officials" button_text="Learn more about Quorum Federal" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/products/federal/"] “Being able to look up a specific staffer’s information is super helpful,” Byers said. “It's weird how challenging it can sometimes be to find that information. It’s incredibly important to know who to go to — especially when the members of Congress we work with have multiple district offices and we cover an 18 county area — I don't want to be chasing my tail going to one person, when in fact they're not covering a certain issue area so that's been incredibly helpful.”

Track Key Legislative and Stakeholder Relationships Side-by-Side with Quorum Sheets

Byers uses Sheets, Quorum’s integrated spreadsheet tool, to track the key bills she advocates for. When advocating for Child Nutrition Reauthorization stand-alone bills, which fund free and reduced lunch programs in public schools, summer feeding, and other important programs, Byers needed to know which members of Congress had signed on to co-sponsor the bill and which still had yet to sign on. To quickly find this information, Byers created a Sheet that listed the co-sponsors. With this Sheet, Byers discovered very few of the Texas congressional delegation had signed on to co-sponsor the bills. Identifying this gap allowed Byers to act fast to book time with Texas delegation members to increase the number of Texas legislators who were cosponsoring the reauthorization bills.

Leverage Preexisting Relationships to Connect with Targeted Legislators

“With Quorum, I can easily bring in a board member — who's a respected member of the business community — and ask them to have a phone conversation with their member of Congress to help us get our foot in the door,” Byers said. Even if a board member doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with a member, Byers can track which district they live in and invite them to join meetings so that the legislator is hearing from a constituent. She used Sheets to create one central location that lists each board member alongside their respective representatives. “It's just saved us hours upon hours,” Byers said. “Our sheet listing our board members and their congressional delegation makes things so much easier — I click on it and I can see who's with who or who's done what which is very helpful to our advocacy.”

Automatically Gather Engagement Metrics Using Quorum Dashboards

Each year, Feeding America evaluates each of their affiliate food banks’ performance against an advocacy index and ranks them based on effectiveness. This makes Byers’ reporting crucial to demonstrate its work and possibly secure funding the Houston Food Bank needs to run and grow its government relations operations. Byers set up Quorum Dashboards to automatically track metrics to more closely report on her advocacy efforts. These dashboards will help her more easily and comprehensively report on her engagement with government officials, community partners, and internal team members to prove the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy impact to Feeding America and other stakeholders.[callout align="left" heading="Dashboards help automatically collect metrics on your engagement with government officials, community partners, and team members - see how Quorum Stakeholder can help you more fully report on your impact" button_text="Learn more about Quorum Stakeholder" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/solutions/stakeholder-engagement/"] Byers' Dashboards show the number of interactions she has with elected officials, Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, internal stakeholders, and board members. Every time she logs a new meeting with one of those stakeholders, the Dashboard auto-updates. She uses these metrics to gauge her effectiveness at achieving the Houston Food Bank’s legislative goals. Byers' use of Quorum has not only made reporting on her usual metrics easier, but has expanded what she is able to track and share with stakeholders. “Our leadership at the food bank is more accustomed to reading reports on the programmatic side of Houston Food Bank — where there is a daily output such as number of people served,” Byers said. “Now that we’re tracking our advocacy engagement more closely we can present our output in ways that people didn’t realize, all of the work we are doing or how long it takes to pass a bill and quantifying how much work that takes.”

Impact: Paint a Fuller Picture of Your Areas of Influence and Influence Them More Effectively

By incorporating Quorum into every aspect of the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts, Byers has been able to save time and more easily communicate Houston Food Bank’s impact on the policy landscape. “From manually using two different systems to using one, no joke saved me countless hours,” Byers said. “Before Quorum, I struggled to create meaningful graphs to illustrate our advocacy work to Houston Food Bank’s leadership. Now with the dashboards, I’m able to paint a much fuller picture of all the areas we’re influencing.” Byers has not only been able to better show off the impact she had been having before Quorum, she’s been able to create more legislative change with Quorum. By using her new relationship mapping strategies, Byers scheduled more meetings with members of the Texas Congressional delegation, which resulted in two members of Congress signing onto co-sponsor several of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills in under a year — a huge win for the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts. “Since we've started using Quorum we've had several wins around getting members of our congressional delegation signed onto nutrition reauthorization bills,” Byers said. “Being able to figure out who signed on to what, who do I still need to go after, who have I talked to already, was really made possible by having Quorum integrated into our workflow.” As Byers’ team grows and her use of Quorum deepens, she looks to continue to increase the number of legislators signed on to key bills. [post_title] => Houston Food Bank Uses Quorum to Increase Texas Congressional Delegation’s Sign-On to Key Bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => houston-food-bank-uses-quorum-increase-sign-on-key-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-30 17:54:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-30 17:54:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=6545 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6545 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2022-03-28 18:15:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-03-28 18:15:10 [post_content] =>

Challenge: Expand the Advocacy Impact of Government Relations Team of One

The Houston Food Bank is a non-profit organization that distributes food and essentials to 18 counties in the Houston area, serving around 150 million nutritious meals annually. As an affiliate organization under Feeding America, the Houston Food Bank advocates for a world that doesn’t need food banks by addressing the systemic issues that cause food insecurity — including poverty, housing, healthcare, and food access issues. To advance the Houston Food Bank’s mission, Government Relations Officer Katherine Byers needed a way to track key bills at the federal, state, and local levels and report on her advocacy progress to internal and external stakeholders. Before Byers found Quorum, the Houston Food Bank’s government relations tracking and reporting were siloed in two different spreadsheet systems — neither of which fully conveyed the breadth of her advocacy efforts as a one-person team. Byers needed an automated way to report on all aspects of her engagement with board members, the Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, and legislators to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Government Relations Department.

Solution: An All-in-One System to Map, Connect, and Report on Advocacy Efforts and Stakeholder Engagement

Byers started using Quorum to map, track, and report on the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts to prove ROI better internally and to donors. "When I first started at the Houston Food Bank, our government relations tracking basically only involved tracking food distributions we were doing with elected officials, so I really had to build the system from the ground up," Byers said. "When I learned of the reporting capabilities Quorum had I instantly started to see how we could replace what we had been doing manually with Quorum."

Map Legislative Relationships to Identify Legislative Champions

With a large Texas congressional delegation and a state legislature’s worth of policymakers to maintain relationships with, Byers needed a way to identify legislative champions she had within her network. Within each legislator’s profile in Quorum, there is a relationships tab that visually illustrates the relationships a legislator has with other lawmakers in their chamber based on data such as shared votes, shared committees, or mentions of each other on social media. Byers relies on these relationship maps to discover which legislators within her existing network are connected, allowing her to find new potential legislative champions. For example, when looking to grow the cosponsor list on 2021 Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills, Byers looked at the relationships of existing cosponsors. “I use Quorum’s relationship map to see which other legislators have relationships with the legislators I work with. It’s especially useful when you're trying to get them to sign on to bills and you can say, ‘Your colleague that you often sign bills with has signed on to this,’” Byers said. “Without Quorum, this would take countless hours to research, whereas with the relationship map we’re able to see which legislators vote most often together,  who they co-sponsor most often with, and that’s been very helpful.” Along with finding members of Congress with interest in the Houston Food Bank's policy issues, Byers uses Quorum’s staff directory to find Congressional staffers whose issue portfolios contain the food bank’s legislative priorities — namely food insecurity.[callout align="right" heading="Find the right staffers and officials working on the issues you care about using Quorum Federal's up-to-date directory of over 100,000 legislators, staffers, executive, and agency officials" button_text="Learn more about Quorum Federal" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/products/federal/"] “Being able to look up a specific staffer’s information is super helpful,” Byers said. “It's weird how challenging it can sometimes be to find that information. It’s incredibly important to know who to go to — especially when the members of Congress we work with have multiple district offices and we cover an 18 county area — I don't want to be chasing my tail going to one person, when in fact they're not covering a certain issue area so that's been incredibly helpful.”

Track Key Legislative and Stakeholder Relationships Side-by-Side with Quorum Sheets

Byers uses Sheets, Quorum’s integrated spreadsheet tool, to track the key bills she advocates for. When advocating for Child Nutrition Reauthorization stand-alone bills, which fund free and reduced lunch programs in public schools, summer feeding, and other important programs, Byers needed to know which members of Congress had signed on to co-sponsor the bill and which still had yet to sign on. To quickly find this information, Byers created a Sheet that listed the co-sponsors. With this Sheet, Byers discovered very few of the Texas congressional delegation had signed on to co-sponsor the bills. Identifying this gap allowed Byers to act fast to book time with Texas delegation members to increase the number of Texas legislators who were cosponsoring the reauthorization bills.

Leverage Preexisting Relationships to Connect with Targeted Legislators

“With Quorum, I can easily bring in a board member — who's a respected member of the business community — and ask them to have a phone conversation with their member of Congress to help us get our foot in the door,” Byers said. Even if a board member doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with a member, Byers can track which district they live in and invite them to join meetings so that the legislator is hearing from a constituent. She used Sheets to create one central location that lists each board member alongside their respective representatives. “It's just saved us hours upon hours,” Byers said. “Our sheet listing our board members and their congressional delegation makes things so much easier — I click on it and I can see who's with who or who's done what which is very helpful to our advocacy.”

Automatically Gather Engagement Metrics Using Quorum Dashboards

Each year, Feeding America evaluates each of their affiliate food banks’ performance against an advocacy index and ranks them based on effectiveness. This makes Byers’ reporting crucial to demonstrate its work and possibly secure funding the Houston Food Bank needs to run and grow its government relations operations. Byers set up Quorum Dashboards to automatically track metrics to more closely report on her advocacy efforts. These dashboards will help her more easily and comprehensively report on her engagement with government officials, community partners, and internal team members to prove the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy impact to Feeding America and other stakeholders.[callout align="left" heading="Dashboards help automatically collect metrics on your engagement with government officials, community partners, and team members - see how Quorum Stakeholder can help you more fully report on your impact" button_text="Learn more about Quorum Stakeholder" button_link="https://www.quorum.us/solutions/stakeholder-engagement/"] Byers' Dashboards show the number of interactions she has with elected officials, Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, internal stakeholders, and board members. Every time she logs a new meeting with one of those stakeholders, the Dashboard auto-updates. She uses these metrics to gauge her effectiveness at achieving the Houston Food Bank’s legislative goals. Byers' use of Quorum has not only made reporting on her usual metrics easier, but has expanded what she is able to track and share with stakeholders. “Our leadership at the food bank is more accustomed to reading reports on the programmatic side of Houston Food Bank — where there is a daily output such as number of people served,” Byers said. “Now that we’re tracking our advocacy engagement more closely we can present our output in ways that people didn’t realize, all of the work we are doing or how long it takes to pass a bill and quantifying how much work that takes.”

Impact: Paint a Fuller Picture of Your Areas of Influence and Influence Them More Effectively

By incorporating Quorum into every aspect of the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts, Byers has been able to save time and more easily communicate Houston Food Bank’s impact on the policy landscape. “From manually using two different systems to using one, no joke saved me countless hours,” Byers said. “Before Quorum, I struggled to create meaningful graphs to illustrate our advocacy work to Houston Food Bank’s leadership. Now with the dashboards, I’m able to paint a much fuller picture of all the areas we’re influencing.” Byers has not only been able to better show off the impact she had been having before Quorum, she’s been able to create more legislative change with Quorum. By using her new relationship mapping strategies, Byers scheduled more meetings with members of the Texas Congressional delegation, which resulted in two members of Congress signing onto co-sponsor several of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills in under a year — a huge win for the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts. “Since we've started using Quorum we've had several wins around getting members of our congressional delegation signed onto nutrition reauthorization bills,” Byers said. “Being able to figure out who signed on to what, who do I still need to go after, who have I talked to already, was really made possible by having Quorum integrated into our workflow.” As Byers’ team grows and her use of Quorum deepens, she looks to continue to increase the number of legislators signed on to key bills. [post_title] => Houston Food Bank Uses Quorum to Increase Texas Congressional Delegation’s Sign-On to Key Bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => houston-food-bank-uses-quorum-increase-sign-on-key-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-03-30 17:54:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-03-30 17:54:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=6545 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 8a980516d99cdb6d6e80ed770d49e680 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
!!! 6545
Case Study

Houston Food Bank Uses Quorum to Increase Texas Congressional Delegation’s Sign-On to Key Bill

Houston Food Bank Uses Quorum to Increase Texas Congressional Delegation’s Sign-On to Key Bill

Challenge: Expand the Advocacy Impact of Government Relations Team of One

The Houston Food Bank is a non-profit organization that distributes food and essentials to 18 counties in the Houston area, serving around 150 million nutritious meals annually. As an affiliate organization under Feeding America, the Houston Food Bank advocates for a world that doesn’t need food banks by addressing the systemic issues that cause food insecurity — including poverty, housing, healthcare, and food access issues.

To advance the Houston Food Bank’s mission, Government Relations Officer Katherine Byers needed a way to track key bills at the federal, state, and local levels and report on her advocacy progress to internal and external stakeholders.

Before Byers found Quorum, the Houston Food Bank’s government relations tracking and reporting were siloed in two different spreadsheet systems — neither of which fully conveyed the breadth of her advocacy efforts as a one-person team. Byers needed an automated way to report on all aspects of her engagement with board members, the Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, and legislators to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Government Relations Department.

Solution: An All-in-One System to Map, Connect, and Report on Advocacy Efforts and Stakeholder Engagement

Byers started using Quorum to map, track, and report on the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts to prove ROI better internally and to donors.

“When I first started at the Houston Food Bank, our government relations tracking basically only involved tracking food distributions we were doing with elected officials, so I really had to build the system from the ground up,” Byers said. “When I learned of the reporting capabilities Quorum had I instantly started to see how we could replace what we had been doing manually with Quorum.”

Map Legislative Relationships to Identify Legislative Champions

With a large Texas congressional delegation and a state legislature’s worth of policymakers to maintain relationships with, Byers needed a way to identify legislative champions she had within her network. Within each legislator’s profile in Quorum, there is a relationships tab that visually illustrates the relationships a legislator has with other lawmakers in their chamber based on data such as shared votes, shared committees, or mentions of each other on social media. Byers relies on these relationship maps to discover which legislators within her existing network are connected, allowing her to find new potential legislative champions.

For example, when looking to grow the cosponsor list on 2021 Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills, Byers looked at the relationships of existing cosponsors.

“I use Quorum’s relationship map to see which other legislators have relationships with the legislators I work with. It’s especially useful when you’re trying to get them to sign on to bills and you can say, ‘Your colleague that you often sign bills with has signed on to this,’” Byers said. “Without Quorum, this would take countless hours to research, whereas with the relationship map we’re able to see which legislators vote most often together,  who they co-sponsor most often with, and that’s been very helpful.”

Along with finding members of Congress with interest in the Houston Food Bank’s policy issues, Byers uses Quorum’s staff directory to find Congressional staffers whose issue portfolios contain the food bank’s legislative priorities — namely food insecurity.

“Being able to look up a specific staffer’s information is super helpful,” Byers said. “It’s weird how challenging it can sometimes be to find that information. It’s incredibly important to know who to go to — especially when the members of Congress we work with have multiple district offices and we cover an 18 county area — I don’t want to be chasing my tail going to one person, when in fact they’re not covering a certain issue area so that’s been incredibly helpful.”

Track Key Legislative and Stakeholder Relationships Side-by-Side with Quorum Sheets

Byers uses Sheets, Quorum’s integrated spreadsheet tool, to track the key bills she advocates for. When advocating for Child Nutrition Reauthorization stand-alone bills, which fund free and reduced lunch programs in public schools, summer feeding, and other important programs, Byers needed to know which members of Congress had signed on to co-sponsor the bill and which still had yet to sign on. To quickly find this information, Byers created a Sheet that listed the co-sponsors. With this Sheet, Byers discovered very few of the Texas congressional delegation had signed on to co-sponsor the bills. Identifying this gap allowed Byers to act fast to book time with Texas delegation members to increase the number of Texas legislators who were cosponsoring the reauthorization bills.

Leverage Preexisting Relationships to Connect with Targeted Legislators

“With Quorum, I can easily bring in a board member — who’s a respected member of the business community — and ask them to have a phone conversation with their member of Congress to help us get our foot in the door,” Byers said.

Even if a board member doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with a member, Byers can track which district they live in and invite them to join meetings so that the legislator is hearing from a constituent. She used Sheets to create one central location that lists each board member alongside their respective representatives.

“It’s just saved us hours upon hours,” Byers said. “Our sheet listing our board members and their congressional delegation makes things so much easier — I click on it and I can see who’s with who or who’s done what which is very helpful to our advocacy.”

Automatically Gather Engagement Metrics Using Quorum Dashboards

Each year, Feeding America evaluates each of their affiliate food banks’ performance against an advocacy index and ranks them based on effectiveness. This makes Byers’ reporting crucial to demonstrate its work and possibly secure funding the Houston Food Bank needs to run and grow its government relations operations.

Byers set up Quorum Dashboards to automatically track metrics to more closely report on her advocacy efforts. These dashboards will help her more easily and comprehensively report on her engagement with government officials, community partners, and internal team members to prove the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy impact to Feeding America and other stakeholders.

Byers’ Dashboards show the number of interactions she has with elected officials, Houston Food Bank’s 1600 community partners, internal stakeholders, and board members. Every time she logs a new meeting with one of those stakeholders, the Dashboard auto-updates. She uses these metrics to gauge her effectiveness at achieving the Houston Food Bank’s legislative goals.

Byers’ use of Quorum has not only made reporting on her usual metrics easier, but has expanded what she is able to track and share with stakeholders.

“Our leadership at the food bank is more accustomed to reading reports on the programmatic side of Houston Food Bank — where there is a daily output such as number of people served,” Byers said. “Now that we’re tracking our advocacy engagement more closely we can present our output in ways that people didn’t realize, all of the work we are doing or how long it takes to pass a bill and quantifying how much work that takes.”

Impact: Paint a Fuller Picture of Your Areas of Influence and Influence Them More Effectively

By incorporating Quorum into every aspect of the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts, Byers has been able to save time and more easily communicate Houston Food Bank’s impact on the policy landscape.

“From manually using two different systems to using one, no joke saved me countless hours,” Byers said. “Before Quorum, I struggled to create meaningful graphs to illustrate our advocacy work to Houston Food Bank’s leadership. Now with the dashboards, I’m able to paint a much fuller picture of all the areas we’re influencing.”

Byers has not only been able to better show off the impact she had been having before Quorum, she’s been able to create more legislative change with Quorum. By using her new relationship mapping strategies, Byers scheduled more meetings with members of the Texas Congressional delegation, which resulted in two members of Congress signing onto co-sponsor several of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bills in under a year — a huge win for the Houston Food Bank’s advocacy efforts.

“Since we’ve started using Quorum we’ve had several wins around getting members of our congressional delegation signed onto nutrition reauthorization bills,” Byers said. “Being able to figure out who signed on to what, who do I still need to go after, who have I talked to already, was really made possible by having Quorum integrated into our workflow.”

As Byers’ team grows and her use of Quorum deepens, she looks to continue to increase the number of legislators signed on to key bills.

See how Quorum can help you influence policy and comprehensively report on impact