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Constituent contact with politicians is the most effective means to increase support for a program or cause. Your members of Congress and their staff need to be educated by you about what the Fulbright Program is and what economic, political and social effects it has in order to make informed decision about supporting and funding the Program.

This toolkit provides an introduction to the appropriations process and key lawmakers who decide on Fulbright Program funding. You will also find ideas and best practices for Fulbright Association chapters and individual members and effectively advocate for Fulbright.

Remember, legislators are public servants and they are in government to represent you. Make sure they know what is important to you!


Advocacy Strategies & Best Practices

Effective Communication

Key Lawmakers

The Appropriations Process & Timeline

“The simple, basic purpose of the exchange program… is to erode the culturally rooted mistrust that sets nations against one another. Its essential aim is to encourage people in all countries, and especially their political leaders, to stop denying others the right to their own view of reality and to develop a new manner of thinking about how to avoid war rather than to wage it. The exchange program is not a panacea by an avenue of hope — possibly our best hope and conceivably out only hope — for the survival and future process of humanity.”

– Senator J. William Fulbright

“It’s better and cheaper to send scholars and students abroad rather than battalions.”

– Congressmen Tom Cole (R-OK 4) & John Sarbanes (D-MD 3), both Fulbright alumni

“In this century, the ability of nations to communicate and work with each other across borders will determine the fate of billions of people. The effectiveness of our response to pandemics, nuclear proliferation, environmental disasters, energy and food insecurity, and threats of conflict will depend foremost on the investments we have made in knowledge, relationships, and communications.”

– Senator Richard G. Lugar, speech to the Fulbright Association on the occasion of his acceptance of the 2016 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding