Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How does a virtual Hill Day work?
A: We will be scheduling all of your meetings with the offices of your members of Congress and will email you an initial schedule on Friday, September 17. We are asking each Hill office for your meetings to be held on Thursday, September 23 and you will participate through a video link (through GoToMeeting). A phone option will also be provided as a back up for you and the Congress members/staff you are meeting with. Your schedule will include all the information about your meetings, including whom you are meeting with, other members of your group, and how to join the meeting.
Q: Do I need any special software or equipment to participate in the meetings
A: Because most meetings will be held as video meetings, we suggest that you use a desktop computer or laptop to participate. The meetings will be held via the GoToMeeting platform. If you have not done so already, you will be prompted to install the “GoToHelper” on your computer, but no account is necessary. When it is time for your meeting, you will click on the link in your schedule and the platform will open, letting you into the meeting.
Q: I registered for the virtual Hill Day, but I am no longer able to participate in the virtual meetings. What should I do?
A: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so that we can make sure any meetings that have been scheduled in your name are cancelled.
Q: What training will be provided for participants?
A: We will hold a training webinar on Monday, Sept. 20 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT to provide information on everything you will need to be successful in your meetings. The training will include the current status of congressional activity related to NIH funding, the messaging we will be using for the virtual Hill Day, tips to prepare for your meetings, and important logistics so that you know when and how to access your meetings. We will also have time for Q&A. We ask that ALL participants join the training webinar, regardless of previous Hill Day experience.
Q: Will I be meeting with my elected officials on my own or will I be part of a team?
A: We will group participants from the same or nearby congressional districts or states for the meetings with members of Congress and their staff.
Q: When/how do I meet the other members of my group?
A: We’ve reserved time during the training on Sept. 20 for you to meet with your groups in your virtual “breakout rooms” so that you can plan for your Hill Day meetings and make sure the technology is working for you.
Q: What timeframe are you using for scheduling the meetings on Sept. 23?
A: For participants in the Eastern time zone, meetings will be scheduled between 9:30 am – 5:30 pm EDT. For those in other time zones, meetings will be scheduled starting at 9:30 in your local time and no later than 5:30 pm EDT. For example, those in the Central time zone would have their meetings scheduled between 9:30 am – 4:30 pm CDT; those in the Mountain time zone would have their meetings scheduled between 9:30 am – 3:30 pm MDT; and those in the Pacific time zone would have their meetings scheduled between 9:30 am – 2:30 pm PDT. In some rare cases, an office may only be able to meet outside these times; if so, you will be notified as far in advance as possible. It is very important that you hold the full day for meetings, as schedules will be determined by the availability of congressional offices and will not be finalized until the week of the event.
Q: How do I view my schedule of meetings for Sept. 23?
A: All Rally Hill Day participants will receive a message from Soapbox Consulting with a link and code to access their schedule of meetings in real time via the Soapbox mobile tool. This message will be sent on Friday, Sept. 17.
Q: I’d like to share a photo or video on why I’m participating in the virtual Rally. Any tips or tools you can share?
A: Absolutely! We encourage everyone to share photos and short videos on social media about why it’s important to you to advocate for medical research funding. We encourage you to use the “I Rally for” sign– just print it out and write whom or what you Rally for. We have also created a Rally photo frame you can use for your Facebook profile photo. Be sure to use the hashtags #RallyMedRes and #FundNIH so we can see and share your message! You can also tag your members of Congress.
Q: I’m unable to participate in the virtual meetings on Sept. 23, but I would still like to support the cause by contacting my Members of Congress. Is there a way to do that in coordination with the Rally?
A: Yes! Everyone can join in the online National Day of Action, which will also take place on Sept. 23. Stay tuned to the Rally website for ways to participate via social media and email campaigns.