U.S. Poverty Weekly Update April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014

It’s time to make poverty a priority. Where there is no hope for the future, there is no power in the present.

— NPR and PBS talk show host and anti-poverty activist Tavis Smiley

New and Urgent in This Week's Update (Two-Ten-Twenty Actions)

Latest from Washington, DC

Organizational Updates

Dial-in Information for the RESULTS National Town Hall with Tavis Smiley

To participate in tonight’s National Town Hall with Tavis Smiley at 8:00 pm ET, please dial (888) 409-6709, conference ID: 30892577.

Got Two Minutes? Confirm Attendees for Tonight’s National Town Hall with Tavis Smiley (April Action)

Tonight’s the big night! At 8:00 pm ET this evening, RESULTS will host a National Town Hall with NPR’s and PBS’ Tavis Smiley. Joining him on the call will be RESULTS Board Member Marianne Williamson, Angela "Nike" Sutton from Witnesses to Hunger, and RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter. This is going to be great event and we thank everyone who has signed up to participate.

For those of you who are hosting events/house parties for the call, please take time today to call and remind attendees about your event. Call everyone who said they would or might attend. People forget and get distracted so a reminder call is both essential and appreciated. It only takes a few minutes but it will help your event be more successful.

TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to remind people to come to your event. Go through your list of confirmed attendees and “maybes” and give them a quick call reminding them when and where to come. If able, offer to help them get there if they need a ride. We want this event to be successful for you and for RESULTS and your reminder calls will help make that happen.

It’s also not too late to invite people. Use Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, to invite people to register for the Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page and dial in. Include the registration link in your messages: https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=3826&seid=12.

To participate in tonight’s national town hall, please call (888) 409-6709, conference ID: 30892577.

Got Ten Minutes? Do One Last Run-Through of Your Tavis Smiley Event Details (April Action)

As you prepare for your successful outreach event around tonight’s National Town Hall Event with Tavis Smiley, it is a good idea to do one last run-through of the details of your event. You want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before people starting showing up. That way, when your event gets going, your only task will be having a good time.

TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to do one final review of the details of tonight’s event. The April Action has information to help you have a good event, as does our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page. In addition, here are a few small things to include in your final checklist:

  • Write down the call-in information. The conference call numbers is (888) 409-6709, conference ID: 30892577. The call begins at 8:00 pm ET. Because we expect a large crowd, please call in no later than 7:55 pm to get connected before the call begins.
  • Check your phone line. There’s nothing like a faulty phone line to ruin the mood. Confirm that your phone line works and have a backup available (cell phone with speaker), if possible.
  • Review your agenda. Whether you’re doing an elaborate outreach event or a small house party tonight, review your agenda one last time. Confirm that everyone speaking is ready to go. If you still need ideas to include in your agenda, our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page has sample agendas you can use along with the necessary materials to make your event a success.
  • Have all your materials. Make sure you have copies of brochures, the “What is RESULTS” PowerPoint, Action Sheets, Participation Forms, or any other materials you plan to use at your event. You can find these and other materials on our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page.
  • Have a sign-in sheet. This allows you to get contact information for all the attendees so you can follow up. Use the RESULTS Sign-in Sheet if you don’t have one.
  • Invite them to your next meeting. Be sure to invite the new people who attend your event to your next local RESULTS meeting. If you’re able to have handouts with the date and time on them, all the better.
  • Have a follow up plan. Set aside time before or after your meeting to assign responsibilities for following up with new people. See more below.

We look forward to a great event tonight. Thank you again for all your hard work to help make this a success. Please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) if you have questions or need help before tonight’s call.

Got Twenty Minutes? Follow Up with People from the RESULTS Tavis Smiley Town Hall (April Action)

Once tonight’s RESULTS National Town Hall with Tavis Smiley is over, it won’t be over. To ensure that all your hard work pays off, make a plan now to follow up with people who came to your event. It’s not enough to invite people to your event and have them get inspired – you have to follow up with them if you want them to turn their inspiration into action. Without that critical follow-up, these promising leads will turn cold… and quick. Here are some tips to help transform attendees to new volunteers through follow-up:

  • Divide it up. If you are in a group, each person in the group should take a new person (or persons) to follow up with. Don’t put it all on one or two people in the group to do all the work.
  • Follow up with everyone. Be sure to follow up with everyone who came or planned to come to your meeting, even if they did not show up. Also follow up with those who wanted to come but couldn’t.
  • Follow up quickly. Follow up with each person this week. Even if you cannot meet with someone until later, at least contact them this week with a personal thank you. When it comes to successful outreach, time is not on your side.
  • Be personal. Like your invitations, follow up should be personal. Ideally, try to meet with each person face-to-face (lunch, coffee, or the like). If that won’t work, call them on the phone to talk to them. Conversations are the best way to recruit new volunteers. People feel valued when you take the time to address their individual questions. Note: if you have to use e-mail, make it personal and use it to set up a meeting or phone call.
  • Thank them. Good follow-up always starts with a “thank you.” People are more open to new possibilities when they feel appreciated.
  • Invite them to the next meeting. Never leave one meeting/conversation without your next meeting scheduled. In your personal conversations with new people who came to your event, have a next step for them. Invite them to your next local RESULTS meeting. If that’s more than two weeks away, invite them to join our next RESULTS Introductory Call on May 14. They can sign up at: https://results.org/take_action/become_a_results_activist/.
  • Invite them to take an action. The reason people get involved with RESULTS is that they want to make a difference. You do that by taking action. Taking action is also a great way to introduce new people to RESULTS and “get their feet wet” with our advocacy work. When following up, encourage newcomers to take an action. You can use our Outreach Action Sheets on Asset Building or EITC/CTC or have them take an action through our website.
  • Sign them up for RESULTS updates. If people filled out participation forms at your event wanting to join our RESULTS Action Network, be sure to sign them up. You can do it through the RESULTS website at: http://capwiz.com/results/mlm/signup/. If you have questions or problems, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]). Note: if someone signs up to join your group, you should also sign them up for the Action Network.

TAKE ACTION: Take twenty minutes to do follow-up with the new people who attend your event tonight. Follow-up is an essential component of good outreach so please take the time do it and do it well. Use the tips above to help you execute an effective follow-up plan. You and your groups will be much stronger for doing so. If you have questions or need coaching to do your follow-up, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].  

Send the RESULTS Tavis Smiley Media Advisory to Local News Outlets

With tonight’s RESULTS Tavis Smiley Virtual Town Hall event only a few hours away, do one last promotion of your event by sending our media advisory (PDF) to your local newspapers, radio, and TV stations. You can find local media contacts at in the RESULTS Media Guide. Also check out the list of stations where Tavis Smiley’s show airs and get in touch with the most relevant producer. Forward a copy of the media advisory with a short note, saying:


As an avid listener of [YOUR LOCAL STATION] and the Tavis Smiley Show, I wanted to make sure you saw that a group of us here in [YOUR CITY] will be joining a live conversation with Mr. Smiley on April 29. Together with the national anti-poverty organization RESULTS, we’re working with Mr. Smiley on tackling the root causes of poverty here in the United States. We’d love to have you join us for this special event.

If you’re ever interested in covering local poverty issues, I’d be delighted to stay in touch, and I’d be happy to provide resources or background information.



If you need help in your media outreach, please contact RESULTS Deputy Director of Communications Colin Smith at [email protected].

Continue the Conversation with Tavis Smiley at the RESULTS International Conference

We are all very excited about tonight’s RESULTS National Town Hall Event with Tavis Smiley event. And fortunately, the conversation won’t stop there. Tavis Smiley will be a keynote speaker at the opening of the 2014 RESULTS International Conference this June in Washington, DC. What better way is there to follow up from tonight’s inspiring message than joining hundreds of advocates in DC this summer in pushing our nation’s leaders to make ending poverty a priority. See the updated conference agenda on our website to get a preview of what an exciting event we have planned.

If you haven’t done so yet, register for the Conference today!

Urge Others to Come to DC. As highlighted in last week’s U.S. Poverty Weekly Update, the RESULTS Conference is a unique and inspiring event. Many volunteers have considered their conference experiences life-changing. If you’ve had a moving experience at a RESULTS conference in the past, or if you are looking forward to one this year, why not share that experience by inviting people you know to come too? Urge people you know to join you in DC this summer!

Submit Nominations for the Cameron Duncan Media Award. Please submit your nominations for this year’s Cameron Duncan Media Award this week. This award, which will be presented at the International Conference in Washington, D.C., is given each year to a journalist who has demonstrated outstanding reporting of issues related to poverty. Along with a one to two paragraph nomination letter/email, please submit relevant clips from the past 12 months that demonstrate the journalist's dedication to our issues. If you have any questions, please contact Colin Smith at [email protected]. The deadline to submit nominations is this Sunday, May 4.

Reserve Your Hotel Room Now. If you are coming to the conference, please be sure to reserve your room at the DoubleTree Crystal City today. There is no cost to reserve your room now; you will not be charged until you get to DC. We have a block of rooms available at a discounted room rate through May 17. After that, we cannot guarantee the discounted rate nor can we guarantee you’ll have a room. Go to our International Conference page for information on how to reserve your room today.

Need Financial Assistance? RESULTS has limited scholarship funds available for current RESULTS volunteers to attend this year’s conference. Contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) by May 15 for details. In addition, we have a few volunteer slots available — by volunteering at least eight hours to help with conference logistics, we will waive the conference registration fee — see the volunteer application for details. 

Quick News

Listen to RESULTS on Sean Astin’s Show This Thursday. Actor and advocate Sean Astin will be highlighting RESULTS on his internet radio show Vox Populi. He will highlight the work of RESULTS with RESULTS Director of Global Grassroots Advocacy Ken Patterson and RESULTS volunteers Mark Campbell and Vanessa Garcia. This will be a great way to publicly highlight RESULTS and the work we do. Plan to listen and tell your friends to listen in as well. The show is this Thursday, May 1 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm PT. You can listen at the Vox Populi website. Mr. Astin will also be at the RESULTS International Conference this June.

New Data Shows that Poverty Shortens Your Life. Think Progress has created some very sobering graphs about the impact of poverty on life expectancy. Using new data from the Brookings Institution, the data shows that income has a direct correlation to how long you live. Men in the richest ten percent of Americans who are born in 1940 live an average of 35 years past age 55, while men in the bottom ten percent born only live 24 years past age 55. That’s an eleven year gap! For women, the gap is nine years (35 years longer for wealthy women v. 26 years for low-income women). When talking to members of Congress about the need to address poverty in America, use this data to remind them that this issue is literally one of life and death.

Tavis Smiley to Promote Tonight’s Call on His Show. We’ve learned that Tavis Smiley plans to talk about RESULTS and tonight’s National Town Hall on his radio show. We don’t know what day he will do this but we expect it to be later this week. Here is a list of stations that carry his show so you can listen in. Be sure to urge other people you know to listen as well.

For updates on all our U.S. Poverty Campaigns, see our U.S. Poverty Campaigns Summary page on the RESULTS website.

Fundraising Update – giveBIG on May 6!

Tell the world to giveBIG on May 6! Don’t forget that for one day only – Tuesday, May 6, midnight-midnight (Pacific Time) – donations to RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) are stretched on “giveBIG” Day hosted by The Seattle Foundation. Your gift that day will be multiplied by a prorated portion of matching funds from foundations and sponsors. It’s easy! Just visit our official giveBIG site on May 6 and click "donate now!" Watch for our social media posts about giveBig and share them widely with your networks. By donating, you could even win a “Golden Ticket” to receive an additional $1,000 donated to REF; a round-trip airline ticket donated to REF; and a $100 gift card for you to spend at Starbucks.

So mark your calendars – giveBIG next Tuesday!


Thanks to Volunteers in Southern California and the Northeast. This weekend, RESULTS volunteers from southern California and the Northeast U.S. gathered together for regional conferences in Los Angeles and New Jersey. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped plan such great events and to all those who attended – you made them inspiring, informative, and fun.

Give Feedback to Grassroots Board Members. The four RESULTS Grassroots Board Members (Heide Craig, Lydia Pendley, Ginnie Vogts, and Beth Wilson) would like to hear from you if you have questions or ideas about RESULTS and our work. Send your questions or suggestions to Heide at: [email protected].

RESULTS Activity Calendar

(See a complete calendar on the RESULTS website)

Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: May 12-16, 23-27; Senate: May 26-30. Request face-to-face meetings.

Tuesday, April 29: RESULTS National Outreach Event with Tavis Smiley, 8:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar here. Find out more at our Tavis Smiley Outreach Event page.

Saturday, May 10: RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Conference Call, 12:30 pm ET. Listen to previous conference calls online.

Tuesday, May 20: RESULTS Media Support Call, 8:00 pm ET. (712) 775-7399, passcode 954747#.

Tuesday, May 20: RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, 1:00 pm ET and 9:00 pm ET. (443) 453-0034, passcode 703096.

Saturday, June 21 – Tuesday, June 24: RESULTS International Conference, Washington, DC. REGISTER TODAY!

RESULTS Contact Information

Main Office: (p) (202) 783-7100, (f) (202) 466-1397, 1101 15th St NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005. If mailing a donation to our DC office, please address the envelope to the attention of Cynthia Stancil.

RESULTS U.S. Poverty Legislative and Grassroots Support Staff:

The RESULTS U.S. Poverty Update is sent out every Tuesday via email to RESULTS volunteers and allies all over the country. The purpose of these updates is to inform and activate RESULTS activists to take action on our U.S. poverty campaigns.

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