FULBRIGHT FUNDING UPDATE

We are pleased to report to you that our “Stand for Fulbright” campaigns continue to ensure strong funding for the Fulbright Program. Standing together, and with many other stakeholders, we have resisted two years of proposed budget cuts. Congress recently voted for $271.5 million in spending, though the increase from $240 million is largely due to moving another Fulbright program (for Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan) into one account, so there was no net significant gain. We want funding to remain at $271.5 million for FY 20, so please participate in our local outreach, our national petition/contact Congress campaign, and join our Advocacy Day on October 24—connected to our annual conference.

Our Role

The Fulbright Association serves as the unified voice of the Fulbright community in advocating for the program to the U.S. Congress. We pursue a strategic and non-partisan approach to advocacy at the local, national, and global levels.

Local

Through our chapters, we maintain an ongoing grassroots campaign that builds relationships with district and state offices for the House and Senate, respectively. This outreach includes visits to those offices as well as the extension of invitations for members to attend local events. Chapters also raise the profile of Fulbright locally through international education programs and outreach to regional media outlets.

National

Through the Fulbright Association’s national office, we build and sustain strong working relationships with Congressional offices and stakeholders in Washington, D.C. With a focus on key appropriations and authorizing committees, we educate members and their staffs on the impact of the Fulbright Program through regular visits and designated Advocacy Days that bring large delegations to Capitol Hill. The national office sets the overarching strategy and messaging for advocacy efforts, leads campaigns, and coordinates with partner organizations.

Global

While international alumni are not political constituents of the U.S. Congress, they have a powerful voice in sharing the impact of the Fulbright program. The national office works with Fulbright Commissions and alumni associations worldwide to magnify that voice by coordinating international participation in Advocacy Days, organizing petitions when needed, and gathering testimonials.

Strategy

The primary source of funding (approximately 65%) for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

Please return to this site regularly for updates and advocacy campaigns. Become a member or join our mailing list to receive updates directly. Your donations provide needed resources for our advocacy work, and we appreciate your continued support.

Act Now

Share our message, tell your story.

Write to Your Representative

Write to your members of the House and Senate to urge full funding of the Fulbright Program. Refer to the Fulbright Association's messaging guide and advocacy resources (below) for a framework for your letter, and focus on conveying the lasting impact of your Fulbright experience. Facebook Town Hall, House.gov, and Senate.gov can help you locate your representatives. International alumni can write to those representing their U.S. university by entering the zip code of that university.

Call Congress

In addition to writing, call your members of the House and Senate to urge full funding of the Fulbright Program. Be sure to provide your name and address so it can be verified that you reside in their district. Refer to our Advocacy Toolkit for a sample script to use when calling your Congressman.

Write to Your Local Newspaper

Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to explain the value of the Fulbright Program. If your letter is published, share the link with us, forward the article to your members of the House and Senate, and post it to your social media accounts using the hashtag #StandForFulbright.

#StandForFulbright

Share your Fulbright story on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media with the hashtag #StandForFulbright. Follow the hashtag to read and react to the experiences of fellow Fulbright alumni, and continue to use our trademark #Fulbright hashtag on your posts, as well.

Tell Us Your Story

Our voice as advocates is strongest when we can share the collective and powerful experiences of Fulbright alumni with Congressional representatives. We invite you to write about your Fulbright experience and the meaning of international exchange in your life, and to share your story with our team. Fill out this form to participate in our storytelling campaign.

For international alumni:

Contact Your Ambassador

Contact the U.S. ambassador in your country, as well as your country's ambassador in Washington, D.C. Share your Fulbright experience, and educate them on the bilateral funding model of the Fulbright Program and the importance of international exchange programs.

Contact Your U.S. University President

Write to the president of the U.S. university with which you were affiliated during your Fulbright, urging them to advocate for full funding of the Fulbright Program with their state's representatives in Congress. Reflect on your experiences at their university and the lasting impact of international exchange and higher education.

Tell Us Your Story

We also welcome stories from international Fulbright alumni about the impact of their educational experience in the United States. We invite you to share your Fulbright story with our team by filling out this form.

Our Message

Direct outreach to Congressional representatives is a critical part of our advocacy strategy, and it is important to remain positive and non-partisan in all advocacy communications. We wish to focus on the positive impact of the Fulbright Program, using your stories rather than criticism of proposed budget cuts, and we strive to retain strong support from both parties. We ask that you share our message and tell your story in your letters and phone calls to elected officials, making use of our Congressional letter template and the resources on this page.

Thank you for supporting the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international exchange program. The Fulbright Program is now funded for FY19 at $271.5 million, and we are grateful for your support.

For more than 70 years, Fulbrighters have…

  • Spread understanding and respect for American culture and values
  • Built networks of friends that anchor American national security
  • Brought expertise and critical language skills to every state in America

Please support funding for the Fulbright Program at the same level of funding, $271.5 million, for FY20. The Fulbright is a bold investment in leadership worldwide. Thank you for your help and support.

Resources

The resources compiled here are available to assist in your chapter and individual advocacy efforts on behalf of Fulbright.

For additional advocacy materials, or with any questions, please reach out to the Fulbright Association at advocacy@fulbright.org.

Fulbright Advocacy Days
Chapter Advocacy Webinar
Advocacy Toolkit

Our Role

The Fulbright Association serves as the unified voice of the Fulbright community in advocating for the program to the U.S. Congress.

We pursue a strategic and non-partisan approach to advocacy at the local, national, and global levels.

Strategy

The primary source of funding (approximately 65%) for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

The Administration’s “skinny” budget, released March 16, 2017, outlined the principle that the Fulbright Program, as a “flagship,” should be “sustained,” even if at the expense of other exchange programs. Yet sources say that the Administration may propose deep cuts to Fulbright as part of the full budget scheduled for release on May 15. These contradictions suggest a strategy of caution and preparation.

Out of caution, we are continuing our routine advocacy work, reaching out to congressional offices with a confident, non-partisan message that asks for full funding at $236 million. You can take action now by reaching out to your representatives using our messaging and resources, which are outlined on this page.

We are also preparing for a variety of outcomes once the budget is released on May 15. Please return to this site then for updates and possible campaigns. Become a member or join our mailing list to receive updates directly. Your donations provide needed resources for our advocacy work, and we appreciate your continued support.

Act Now

Share our message, tell your story.

Write to Your Representative

Write to your members of the House and Senate to urge full funding of the Fulbright Program. Refer to the Fulbright Association’s messaging guide and advocacy resources (below) for a framework for your letter, and focus on conveying the lasting impact of your Fulbright experience. Facebook Town Hall, House.gov, and Senate.gov can help you locate your representatives. International alumni can write to those representing their U.S. university by entering the zip code of that university.

Call Congress

In addition to writing, call your members of the House and Senate to urge full funding of the Fulbright Program. Be sure to provide your name and address so it can be verified that you reside in their district. Refer to our Advocacy Toolkit for a sample script to use when calling your Congressman.

Write to Your Local Newspaper

Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper to explain the value of the Fulbright Program. If your letter is published, share the link with us, forward the article to your members of the House and Senate, and post it to your social media accounts using the hashtag #StandForFulbright.

#StandForFulbright

Share your Fulbright story on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media with the hashtag #StandForFulbright. Follow the hashtag to read and react to the experiences of fellow Fulbright alumni, and continue to use our standard #Fulbright hashtag on your posts, as well.

For international alumni:

Contact Your Ambassador

Contact the U.S. ambassador in your country, as well as your country’s ambassador in Washington, D.C. Share your Fulbright experience, and educate them on the bilateral funding model of the Fulbright Program and the importance of international exchange programs.

Contact Your U.S. University President

Write to the president of the U.S. university with which you were affiliated during your Fulbright, urging them to advocate for full funding of the Fulbright Program with their state’s representatives in Congress. Reflect on your experiences at their university and the lasting impact of international exchange and higher education.

Our Message

Direct outreach to Congressional representatives is a critical part of our advocacy strategy, and it is important to remain positive and non-partisan in all advocacy communications. We wish to focus on the positive impact of the Fulbright Program, using your stories rather than criticism of proposed budget cuts, and we strive to retain strong support from both parties. We ask that you share our message and tell your story in your letters and phone calls to elected officials, making use of the template below and the resources on this page.

Sample Messaging for Congressional Communications

Thank you for supporting the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international exchange program. The Fulbright Program is now funded for FY19 at $271.5 million, and we are grateful for your support.

For more than 70 years, Fulbrighters have…

  • Spread understanding and respect for American culture and values
  • Built networks of friends that anchor American national security
  • Brought expertise and critical language skills to every state in America

Please support funding for the Fulbright Program at the same level of funding, $271.5 million, for FY20. The Fulbright is a bold investment in leadership worldwide. Thank you for your help and support.

Resources

The resources compiled here are available to assist in your chapter and individual advocacy efforts on behalf of Fulbright.

For additional advocacy materials, or with any questions, please reach out to the Fulbright Association at advocacy@fulbright.org.

Advocacy Toolkit
Chapter Advocacy Training Webinar
Fulbright Advocacy Days