Engine Manages Legislative Monitoring and Engagement with Quorum

The Challenge: Expanding the Impact of a Small Government Affairs Team

Engine is a nonprofit advocacy organization that represents the voice of over 3,000 young companies across the country by advocating for policies that support startups. When Rachel Wolbers joined the Engine team to head its policy operations on Capitol Hill, she knew she needed a tool to help her expand the reach of the organization.

“Before I came [to Engine] we just didn’t really have anyone who was consistently engaging with the Hill,” Wolbers said. “I know that with a small team, I needed some software to help me do this.” Wolbers was looking for a tool that would organize the team’s contacts at each startup it represents and allow them to track Engine’s engagement with members of Congress.

The Solution: Tools for Every Stage of Legislative Monitoring and Engaging

With Quorum, Wolbers has tools to help at each stage of her communications with Congress—in arranging the meetings with legislators and staff, during the meeting when she needs easily accessible data about Engine’s work in a particular district, and after the meeting when she wants to follow up with newsletters about the work that Engine is doing.

Identify Legislative Champions

Wolbers uses Quorum to make sure her team is meeting with the right members who can move the needle on issues they care about. First, every morning when Wolbers arrives in the office, she reads an email alert of what members of Congress are saying about startups in floor statements, press releases, and social media posts.

“We’re able to find members who are talking about startups and either retweet them or react to that message and what they have said that day,” Wolbers said.

Along with finding members interested in Engine’s policy issues, Wolbers uses Quorum’s staff directory to identify staffers who work on particular legislative issues—namely telecommunications and technology—and reaches out to schedule meetings with those offices using Quorum’s Outbox tool.

Demonstrate Your Organization's Footprint

When Wolbers is on the Hill traveling between meetings, she uses Quorum’s mobile app to have notes at her fingertips for each meeting. Specifically, Wolbers can click into each member’s profile to identify the startups Engine represents in that particular member’s district. This way she is able to personalize each meeting based on the office and the startups she is there representing.

“We can easily tell them which startups we know in their state, which constituents are in their state, and have a record of when and how they’ve engaged with us,” Wolbers said.

Along with knowing which organizations are in a particular district, Quorum’s mobile app also allows Wolbers to view notes on past correspondence with the office before she heads into a meeting, such as whether an office was sent an advocacy letter from Engine or if Wolbers invited an office to an event the team was holding.

Communicate Your Message to Policymakers

After holding face-to-face meetings with officials and staffers, Wolbers and Engine continue to share relevant Engine updates and announcements through a weekly newsletter to staffers. By sending updates through Quorum’s Outbox tool, Wolbers can be sure she is targeting the exact group of legislators she is interested in rather than blasting to the full chamber.

“From my advocacy perspective I really only want the digest going to telecommunications and tech staffers who work on the Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means Committees and their Senate counterparts,” Wolbers said. “We have a specific group of people that we want to keep informed and not necessarily just blasting to everyone.”

By sending through Outbox, Wolbers can personalize each message to that particular staffer. For example, when net neutrality hit the chamber as a significant issue, Engine built an advocacy page on their website that highlighted personal stories from startups across the country that illuminated how each of them would be affected by net neutrality.

“The subject line could be like: “See New York on the Map”,” Wolbers said. “Having that subject line be specific, you say “Oh I care about New York, my member works in New York, I’m going to open this” and we have much higher return and open rates.”

The Impact: Monitor, Communicate, and Engage

With the policy team in DC separated from the rest of the Engine organization in San Francisco, Wolbers knew it was important for the team to have a tool that expands their reach on Capitol Hill. Engine’s database includes over 8,000 contacts at 3,000 startups nationwide, and with Quorum the organization has the tools to effectively monitor, communicate, and engage legislators on the issues their community cares about.

Being able to easily monitor dialogue in Congress has saved Wolbers and her team valuable time. While the Engine team is hard at work engaging with lawmakers or working on other tasks, they can count on Quorum tools to capture the conversations they care about. With Quorum Outbox, communicating their impact to legislators is now more strategic and targeted than ever — ensuring their messages are hitting the inboxes of the staffers they want to engage with, and improving open rates in the process.

Finally, taking all this information on the go with Quorum Mobile has improved Engine’s ability to access and maintain institutional knowledge about its relationships in Congress. With the information at their fingertips, Wolbers and her team are able to quickly engage issues they care about and make the most of their meetings with lawmakers.

Learn more about using Quorum for legislative monitoring. Request a demo.

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