Case Studies

Be the Match: Securing Congressional Support to Help Save Lives

Type: Case Studies
Topic: PR and Media Relations
By Catherine Scott
26 October 2014

gq-logoFederal support and funding for nonprofit Be The Match is a matter of life and death for thousands of patients needing bone marrow transplants. Be The Match manages a registry of marrow donors and helps match patients to them.

These patients faced a major setback on March 1, 2013, when automatic, across-the-board federal budget cuts threatened the organization’s stability and growth potential. Under sequestration, the program stands to lose up to US$3 million. This means that as many as 20,000 volunteers and 1,000 umbilical cord blood units would not be added to the Be The Match Registry.

As a nonprofit with limited funding to lobby Congress, Be The Match had to act fast and it had to act smart. To emphasize the life-threatening consequence of such cuts, Be The Match organized an annual, day-long event in Washington, D.C., where patients and donors could convince legislators of the life-saving impact marrow donation has on their constituents.

Be The Match enlisted assistance from PadillaCRT to plan and execute 2013 Legislative Day. While the potential impact of sequestration is still unfolding, Legislative Day gained the unprecedented attention of lawmakers. In just one day, patient and donor advocates, alongside Be The Match leaders, participated in more than 60 meetings with legislators and staffers – double the number of meetings secured over the previous year. In addition, nearly 100 people on Capitol Hill joined the national registry that

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Catherine Scott

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