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The local REALTOR® association representing three counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore was aware that Worcester County was looking to overhaul its outdated rental code, but was expecting the effort to focus on clarity and uniformity of language. What was presented was a set of severe restrictions on short-term rentals, which is naturally a major issue in coastal communities. When some of the County Commissioners proved unreceptive to the REALTORS®’ initial advocacy, it was time to call on the Land Use Initiative and Advocacy Everywhere programs. The County Commission heard the message loud and clear, and sent its proposal back to the drawing board.
Sarah Rayne, Government and Public Affairs Director of the 1,000+ member Coastal Association of REALTORS® of Maryland, recalls the list of restrictions the County Commission was proposing: “They wanted to limit the number of ‘unrelated’ people in a short-term rental unit to five; to require all short-term rental units to install an extra parking space; to define ‘short-term’ as under twenty-eight days; and even to prohibit birthday parties, showers, and other special events. The REALTORS®’ position is that a short-term rental is still residential, and so all these restrictions were simply unfair.” The ordinance also sought to create a rental license requirement, which Rayne notes that the REALTORS® do not oppose, as long as the fee is not exorbitant.
While the REALTORS® have strong relationships with most of the Worcester County Commissioners, it was clear that their first efforts at direct advocacy were not getting through to some. So, Rayne commissioned a Land Use Initiative review of the proposed ordinance to analyze land use and zoning legislation. “I’ve worked with them a number of times, and they’re always great – they seem to thrive on tight deadlines,” she says. “This time, they sent us sixteen pages of very useful information, which we condensed into a brief position statement and sent to our members, the media, and the County Commissioners.”
Just a few days prior to the vote, some of the Commissioners were still resistant to the REALTORS®’ reasoning. “That’s when we realized, ‘Ok – we need to get our members involved!’” says Rayne. “We’re a small association, but our members are great, and very supportive of our Government Affairs efforts and advocacy.” Rayne called on Susan Mitchell, Director of Government Affairs for the Maryland REALTORS®, who activated an Advocacy Everywhere effort using REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. “It’s such an effective program,” says Rayne, “it was very easy for our members to respond.” And respond they did: the alert went out on a Friday, and over the course of the weekend, the seven Worcester County Commissioners were bombarded by more than 630 emails from 90 unique addresses.
At the next meeting of the County Commission, several members of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® of Maryland were present and testified on behalf of property owners.
The Commission voted to approve the creation of a rental license and sent the rest of the proposed ordinance back to staff for re-drafting. “They’ll be addressing many of the REALTORS®’ concerns in the re-write,” explains Rayne, adding, “It was a definite win for property owners and our members. I’m certain that our call for action made a big difference.” Although the association is small, she says, REALTOR® Party resources help it achieve results that are relatively major. “I’m a big fan of all these tools that allow us to create such an impact!”
To learn more about how the Coastal Association of REALTORS® of Maryland is protecting the rights of homeowners in Worcester County and beyond, contact Government and Public Affairs Director Sarah Rayne at 410-641-4409.
San Diego’s East County communities had more than 1,000 homeless residents in early 2019, according to the best estimate of an annual homeless count, a number that will only be increasing, given the lack of new housing construction and the escalating cost of housing in the region. Looking for a way to connect this population with the local food, shelter, health, and veterans’ resources available, the area’s REALTORS® discovered that, according to additional studies, the majority of people experiencing homelessness in the area have cell phones. An increasing number of these publicly funded phones now have internet access. A $5,000 Housing Opportunity Grant enabled the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® (PSAR) to partner with the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation and The East County Homeless Task Force in developing ECAssist.org, a website serving as a one-stop resource for those experiencing homelessness.
PSAR Government Affairs Director Tracy Morgan Hollingworth explains that the initial idea was to create an app, similar to the City of San Diego’s “Getting it Done” app, but she learned from colleagues that app stores like Google and Apple are notoriously selective about the programs they’ll market. So, they decided to create a website, instead.
The East County Homeless Task Force is a collaborative grassroots organization determined to reduce homelessness in the area; its Access to Services Solutions group and its Communications and Marketing Committee worked together to develop the website. Hollingworth credits Past Chair of the PSAR Government Affairs Committee, Kay LeMenager, with providing the tireless dedication that really got the project off the ground. Grants don’t have to be large to be effective, she notes, as long as there are enough dedicated people willing to do the work. “It was a slow, methodical process – three years – collecting all that information from all those resources, but Kay and her Committee members saw it through.” Now that it’s up and running, the Task Force has a commitment from the El Cajon Collaborative, who developed the website navigation and serves one of the poorest communities of East County, to maintain and update the site over the next two years. The site is well organized and user-friendly, allowing visitors to locate food pantries, various hotlines, medical care and shelter information in just a few clicks. The site translates into 15 languages, and also has a function that accepts donations.
PSAR is now helping with marketing ECAssist.org: press releases have gone out to the media and relevant publications; the East County Homeless Task Force and has asked other municipal entities to feature it on their own websites; and Hollingworth is working with LeMenager and her Committee to create a speakers bureau to spread the word at local civic and business clubs. Last April, honoring the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, representatives of PSAR officially presented the $5,000 check to the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, at a meeting of the El Cajon City Council.
“We made a great effort to try to reduce homelessness in Eastern San Diego County through the development of ECAssist.org, and we’re so grateful for the support of the REALTOR® Party that allowed us to do so,” says Hollingworth.
To learn more about how Pacific Southwest REALTORS® is working to connect area residents experiencing homelessness with available resources, contact Government Affairs Director Tracy Morgan Hollingworth at 619-618-5986.
In the last three years, more than 45 municipalities across Florida have modified their vacation rental ordinances to be more restrictive. In Cape Coral, a seasonal residence for many homeowners, REALTORS® aided by a Land Use Initiative led a successful charge to keep additional restrictions off the books.
The rush to update ordinances covering vacation rental issues is explained by Chris Lopez, Public Policy Director of the 7,300-member Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association, which serves two counties along the Gulf Coast: “It became evident several years ago that there was a big gap in ordinances dealing with the technology that brought us all the on-line booking platforms. The instinct seems to be to create a whole raft of new ordinances addressing the perceived ‘threat,’ rather than investigating the suitability of what already exists in local code. City Councils also reflexively jump on the ‘gap’ as a funding opportunity, where they could impose registration fees, fines for violations, and collect business and rental taxes on these properties. Our goal has been to minimize this excessive government involvement.”
Faced with a proposed new set of such ordinances, the Royal Palm Coast REALTORS® applied for a Land Use Initiative review by NAR consultants. “It’s always my first step, in cases like this,” says Lopez, noting that, “if we can use this legal expertise in early conversations with city leaders, we may be able to head-off expensive efforts for both sides down the road. Having the national and state framework that NAR consultants provided was extremely persuasive in these meetings, and in workshop settings when we seek to re-draft legislation, and in support of our testimony during public hearings. It’s a powerful ace-up-the-sleeve.”
The REALTORS®’ strongest objection to the Cape Coral proposal was that most of the concerns it attempted to address were already covered by existing city ordinances. “We have regulations regarding noise. We have rules about parking, and trash collection, and property upkeep. All these issues can be effectively managed with a call to the police. There is simply no need to duplicate the legislation by adding a redundant layer just for vacation homes.” Beyond that, the economic burden that the new rules would impose on affected property owners and businesses could be onerous. After a good faith effort at workshopping the proposed Cape Coral ordinance with city staff and a like-minded coalition of organizations, including Airbnb and the Florida Vacation Rental Managers Association, the REALTORS® found that they still could not support the resulting compromise language.
At that point, reports Lopez, they mobilized REALTOR® members and the general public with a mailing. “At the second public hearing on the ordinance, we filled the room with business people, REALTORS®, and homeowners, many of whom voiced their fears that these overly restrictive measures would affect their ability to live and do business in Cape Coral.” There was no one to speak in favor of the proposed ordinance, and the City Council was forced to concede that the protections in place were adequate, if no one wanted them changed. “It was a pretty great victory,” admits Lopez: “going in to the hearing, the outcome was a toss-up. After our people had their say, all seven Council members and the Mayor had come around to our way of thinking.”
“I can’t speak highly enough about the service that Robinson & Cole provides,” he adds. “These collective resources of the REALTOR® Party that can be called into play when high stakes are on the table are so important, and form a critical part of our ongoing advocacy. We keep a constant eye on local municipal agendas, and work hard at maintaining strong relationships with our civic leaders, so we’re able to be fully engaged and keep finding good solutions for our communities.
To learn more about how the Royal Palm Coast REALTOR® Association is keeping a vigilant eye on short-term rental ordinances and other legislation of concern to Southwest Florida property owners, contact Public Policy Director Chris Lopez at 239-936-3537.
Purpose Of Grants
Issues Mobilization Grants provide financial support to state and local REALTOR® Associations to enable them to organize and manage effective campaigns to promote positions on public policies (government laws, regulations, and funding priorities) that affect REALTOR® interests.
Issue Areas and Activities Outside Scope of Issues Mobilization Program
The following issues and activities are NOT eligible for an Issues Mobilization Grant:
- Candidate Elections. Activities include, but are not limited to: research; polling; phone banks; voter contact; public relations; use of media; other activities undertaken in connection with or otherwise related to the support of, or opposition to, any candidate for elected office. An Issues Mobilization Grant may be given to a 501(c)(4) organization provided the organization is not established for the purpose of supporting candidates or influencing candidate
- Electoral Mechanics. Activities include, but are not limited to: redistricting; voter ID or voter fraud laws; dates for state and local elections; term limits; the design and scheduling of primary and general elections; how members of local legislative bodies are elected (e.g., by district or at- large).
- Public Employees. Activities include, but are not limited to: public employee collective bargaining; negotiations over public employee
- Legal Action. Litigation involving legal issues of significance generally to state and local associations, real estate practitioners or the real estate business, or real property rights or related issues.
- Federal Action. Activities related to federal legislative or regulatory policies (e.g., flood hazard mapping process, designation and management of national monuments) that involve advocacy to the executive or legislative branches of the federal
- General Research. Research or analysis that is not part of a public policy advocacy
- Completed Activities. Activities related to a public policy advocacy campaign that is
Methods of Promoting REALTOR® Positions on Public Policy Issues
- Legislation (state)
- Ordinance (local)
- Regulation (state or local)
- Ballot Initiative (state or local)
- Referendum (state or local)
- Constitutional Amendment (state)
Types Of Campaign Tools Funded By An Issues Mobilization Grant
- Direct Mail
- Public Opinion Surveys/Polls
- Phone Banks/Automated Calls
- Social Media/Websites
- Advertising (television, radio, print, online)
- Grassroots Mobilization
- Bill Drafting
- Billboards, brochures, banners, etc.
The Issues Mobilization Program is funded through two sources: 1) REALTOR® Party budgeted funds; 2) the Corporate Ally Program. The following procedures apply to the use of Corporate Ally Program funds by the Issues Mobilization Program:
- Funds provided for Corporate Ally Program issue investments will be allocated for use in the state chosen by the investor. Investors can choose for the entirety of their investment to go to one state, or they can designate any portion of their investment to go to multiple states. Each investment for any state will be divided equally between the state REALTOR® Association for use on state issues and all of the local REALTOR® Associations within the state for use on local issues.
EXAMPLE 1: ABC MLS, INC. only has members in the state of Maryland. ABC wants the state-specific portion of their investment to be used in Maryland and gives $10,000 to the Corporate Ally Program. Of that $10,000, $5,000 is provided to the NAR State and Local Issues Mobilization Program. One-hundred percent (100%) of the state-specific portion of ABC’s Corporate Ally Program investment ($5,000) will be allocated for use in Maryland state and local REALTOR® issue campaign activity. The $5,000 investment will be split equally with 50% ($2,500) available to the state association for issues and 50% ($2,500) available for the local associations in Maryland to use for local issues.
EXAMPLE 2: ABC MLS, INC. has members in Maryland and Virginia and wants the state specific portion of their investment split equally between the two states. Fifty percent (50%) of ABC’s Corporate Ally Program investment will be allocated for use in Maryland state and local REALTOR® activity and the other 50% will be used for Virginia state and local REALTOR® activity. Each state would then split the remaining investment between the state and local associations within the state for use in issue activities.
- Funds provided by Corporate Ally Program issue investments will be maintained by NAR and allocated to the states as directed by Only funds specifically invested through the NAR Corporate Ally Program will be allocated for state use. No other funding that is part of the NAR Issues Mobilization Program, besides NAR Corporate Ally Program investment funds specifically designated to a state or states, will be allocated as part of the Issues Mobilization Program.
- Funds allocated to a state or local REALTOR® Association by a Corporate Ally Program investment can be used by an association to wholly or partly cover their “skin in the game” contribution on an Issues Mobilization grant application. Corporate Ally Program allocated funds can be used by an association to cover a maximum of one-hundred percent (100%) of their “skin in the game”
EXAMPLE: Maryland has a $50,000 state allocation available from a Corporate Ally Program investment in the NAR Issues Mobilization Program. The Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) applies to the NAR Issues Mobilization Program for a $100,000 grant to assist with a $125,000 advocacy campaign. The NAR Issues Mobilization Program requires associations requesting this level of funding to provide a minimum 25% contribution. MAR would need to provide a minimum of $25,000 to qualify for the $100,000 issues mobilization grant from NAR.
MAR can use Corporate Ally Program allocated funds for up to a maximum of one-hundred percent (100%) of their “skin in the game” contribution on an Issues Mobilization grant application. In this example, MAR needs to provide a minimum of $25,000 to meet their “skin in the game” requirement. MAR could use a maximum of $25,000 (100% of their “skin in the game”) from the Corporate Ally Program allocation as their “skin in the game” for their NAR Issues Mobilization grant application. MAR would have a $25,000 balance in their allocation after this Issues Mobilization request is granted that they can apply to future Issues Mobilization grant applications.
- Funds allocated for use in state and local issue campaigns are available for a two (2) year Funds that are unused by September 30 of the second year of the two-year period will roll over into the Issues Mobilization Program grants budget and be used to fund grant requests regardless of allocation. Any funds unused by December 31 of that year will roll over into the REALTOR® Party budget.
EXAMPLE: Maryland has a $50,000 state allocation available from a 2016 Corporate Ally Program investment in the NAR Issues Mobilization Program. In 2017, the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) applies to the NAR Issues Mobilization Program for a $100,000 grant to assist with a $125,000 advocacy campaign. The NAR Issues Mobilization Program requires associations requesting this level of funding to provide a minimum 25% “skin in the game” contribution, so MAR would need to provide a minimum of $25,000 to qualify for the $100,000 Issues Mobilization grant. NAR awards the $100,000 grant and applies Corporate Ally Program funds to cover MAR’s $25,000 contribution. The remaining $25,000 from the $50,000 Maryland state allocation goes unused through the remainder of 2017 and through September 2018. On October 1, 2018, the remaining $25,000 rolls over into the Issues Mobilization Program grants budget and is used to fund grant requests regardless of allocation.
Grant Application Process
Applications are submitted by REALTOR® Associations, reviewed by NAR staff, and then considered by the State and Local Issues Mobilization Support Committee (Committee).
An Issues Mobilization Grant application must be submitted via the web-based application form located on the REALTORParty.com website. All questions must be answered, including those relating to strategy, timeline, budget and funding sources.
Point of Contact. An appropriate association staff person (EO, GAD, or other designated staff person) must complete and submit the application, be identified on the application as the contact person, and serve as the primary point of contact on communications between the association and NAR (staff and consultants).
Required Signatures. A complete application must be signed by both the applicant association’s “Chief Elected Officer” (a REALTOR®) and “Chief Staff Officer.”
State Association Acknowledgment of Local Association Application. If a local association is submitting the grant application, the state association must either: indicate its support with the signature of the association’s “Chief Elected Officer”; or submit a statement explaining its lack of support.
Deadlines for Grant Application Submission. For Committee consideration at a scheduled monthly meeting…a Draft application must be submitted no later than sixteen (16) days prior to the Committee meeting, by 5 pm Eastern Time and a Final signed application must be submitted no later than seven (7) days prior to the Committee meeting, by 5 pm Eastern Time. For Advisory Group consideration…a Final application must be submitted by Monday at 5 pm Eastern Time. A Final application for funding assistance on a ballot initiative campaign must be submitted no later than 45 days prior to the date on which the first vote can be cast. The Committee may, on a case-by-case basis and in its sole discretion, waive this requirement and consider an application that does not meet the 45-day deadline due to exigent circumstances.
NAR Staff Review
Upon receipt of a draft application, NAR staff and consultants will review the draft to determine if it requires supplemental information or is otherwise incomplete for proper review by the Committee. If so, a revised draft application addressing the identified incompleteness must be submitted for final NAR staff review.
NAR staff and consultants, when reviewing a draft application and campaign plan that involve coalition partner funding, shall assist the applicant association in establishing clear fundraising benchmarks as well as a tiered campaign plan that reflects a strategy for winning the campaign with a budget that falls short of the projected fundraising goal. Based on their application/campaign plan review and coordination with the association, staff and consultants may recommend that the Committee approve the full grant request but make the funds available in increments based on the percentage of committed coalition partner funding.
EXAMPLE: A coalition campaign has a $1 million budget. An applicant association requests $400,000 from NAR and contributes $100,000 as their required minimum skin-in-the-game contribution. The remaining $500,000 of the campaign budget is dependent on coalition partner funding. At the time that the grant request is made to NAR, only $100,000 of the coalition partner funding has been committed, with the $400,000 balance being uncommitted. Staff may recommend that the Committee approve the $400,000 grant request but condition their approval as follows: $100,000 will be made available to the applicant association immediately, $150,000 will be made available when an additional $200,000 in coalition partner funding is committed, and the remaining $150,000 will be made available when the final $200,000 of coalition partner funding is committed.
Committee Consideration of Application
Once staff determines an application is complete, it will be considered by the State and Local Issues Mobilization Support Committee during one of their scheduled meetings (link to URL) or by the Committee’s Advisory Group (see “Applications for Funding Requests of $50,000 or Less”). Monthly Committee meetings are held in-person during the two annual NAR governance meetings and the REALTOR® Party Training Conference, and otherwise via teleconference. Applicants requesting $1 million or more must present their requests in-person before the Committee at one of the two annual NAR governance meetings or the REALTOR® Party Training Conference. Applicants must make a presentation and answer questions from the Committee during the meeting. Grant applications of greater than $500,000 approved by the Committee must also be reviewed and approved by: NAR’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, when the application is considered at a Committee meeting during one of the two annual NAR governance meetings; NAR’s Leadership Team, when the application is considered at a Committee teleconference meeting or at the REALTOR® Party Training Conference meeting.
NOTE: Applications that fail to comply with the above standard requirements will not be considered for review by the Committee.
Applications for Funding Requests of $50,000 or Less
Advisory Group Consideration
The State and Local Issues Mobilization Support Committee (the Committee) appoints seven (7) members of the Committee to serve on the “Advisory Group for Issues Mobilization Grant Request Review” (the Advisory Group). The Advisory Group consists of: Committee Chair; Committee Vice Chair; Committee Immediate Past Chair; three (3) Committee members who agree to serve for a one (1) month period; one (1) Executive Officer/Government Affairs Director member of the Committee who agrees to serve for a one (1) month period. The Committee authorizes the Advisory Group to review submitted grant applications requesting $50,000 or less on a weekly basis. Applications for Advisory Group review must be submitted by Monday at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Applications will be considered that week by both the Advisory Group and the Committee. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered the following week. The Committee authorizes the Advisory Group to recommend approval of submitted applications to the Committee as part of a Consent Agenda. If a member of the Advisory Group objects to the recommended approval of any application in the Consent Agenda, the application will be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered by the Committee at the next scheduled monthly meeting.
The Consent Agenda approved by the Advisory Group will be sent to the Committee for their consideration. Each member of the Committee may:
- Approve the entire Consent
- Approve an application included in the Consent
- Remove an application from the Consent
- Reject the entire Consent
Applications that are rejected or are removed from a Consent Agenda will be considered by the Committee at the next scheduled monthly meeting. All other Consent Agenda applications will be considered approved by the Committee.
Notification of Decision
Staff will notify the applicant immediately following the Committee’s decision.
Applications for Funding Requests Greater than $50,000 but Less than or Equal to $500,000
The Committee will evaluate the funding request in executive session and take action in the form of a motion, which may propose that the Committee:
- Approve the funding request in full, with or without special
- Approve a portion of the funding request, with or without special
- Deny the
- Postpone any action until the Committee receives and reviews additional
Notification of Decision
Staff will notify the applicant of the Committee’s decision immediately following the NAR business meeting or teleconference, as the case may be.
Applications for Funding Requests of Greater than $500,000
The Committee will evaluate the funding request in executive session and take action in the form of a motion, which may propose that the Committee:
- Approve the funding request in an amount of $500,000 or less, with or without special
- Recommend to the NAR Leadership Team (applications considered at teleconference meetings or at the REALTOR® Party Training Conference meeting) or Executive Committee and Board of Directors (applications considered at meetings during the two annual NAR governance meetings) approval of the funding request in the full amount, with or without special
- Recommend to the NAR Leadership Team (applications considered at teleconference meetings or at the REALTOR® Party Training Conference meeting) or Executive Committee and the Board of Directors (applications considered at meetings during the two annual NAR governance meetings) approval of an amount greater than $500,000, but less than the full amount, with or without special
- Deny the
- Postpone any action until the Committee receives and reviews additional
A motion that the Committee recommend to the NAR Leadership Team or Executive Committee/Board of Directors approval of greater than $500,000 must be approved by two thirds (2/3) of Committee members present and voting.
NOTE: A review of the Committee’s recommendation by NAR’s Leadership Team may take several weeks to schedule.
Notification of Decision
Staff will notify the applicant of the Committee’s decision immediately following the NAR business meeting or teleconference, as the case may be, and again following the Leadership Team or Board of Directors decision.
Grant Application Requirements
On funding requests of $100,000 or more, NAR’s Campaign Services contract pollster must conduct or review polling in advance of Committee consideration of the request. The Committee may, on a case-by- case basis and in its sole discretion, consider funding requests that have no advance polling due to exigent circumstances.
All funding requests must meet the following contribution standards that equate to a percentage of the amount requested from NAR:
- For requests of $25,000 or under, a minimum 10% association contribution;
[Example: If an association requests $20,000 from NAR, the association must contribute at least $2,000]
- For requests between $25,000 and $1 million, a minimum 25% association contribution;
- For requests more than $1 million, a minimum 50% association
An association’s “contribution” includes: financial contributions, including committed funding from other state and/or local REALTOR® Associations; in-kind, non-financial contributions (e.g., staff time and volunteer activities). Coalition partner contributions do not count toward the required minimum contribution. “Committed funding” means that the funding has been officially approved as evidenced by written documentation which authorizes the funding. “In-kind, non-financial contributions” means activities or resources provided without charge that would otherwise require payment from the campaign
budget. Examples include: member volunteers staffing phone banks instead of hiring others to do it; using association office space as a campaign office rather than renting space; GAD serving as campaign manager in lieu of hiring one, on a campaign so large and/or complex that it requires a full-time campaign manager. On a large multi-phase request, the percentage contribution requirement of the requesting association is based on the overall grant amount requested. “Large multi-phase request” means a grant request exceeding $1 million that is split into phases for strategic purposes.
The Committee may, on a case-by-case basis and in its sole discretion, waive the percentage contribution standards on a 2/3 majority Committee vote. All funding requests that do not meet the above standards but are approved by a 2/3 majority Committee vote are subject to review and approval by the NAR Leadership Team.
Consumer Advocacy Outreach Program
Applicants interested in utilizing the Consumer Advocacy Outreach Database to email consumers in their state/local jurisdiction or create a micro-site to educate and engage consumers and capture new consumer data (names and email addresses) must sign and abide by the terms of the Consumer Advocacy Outreach agreement.
NAR’s contract campaign services vendor will develop a comparable campaign plan on all grant requests to fund services provided by an outside vendor that can be provided by NAR’s vendor. If the NAR vendor can provide the same service(s) at a lower cost, the plan will be presented to the applicant association with 3 options: 1) use the NAR vendor and their plan on the campaign; 2) get a revised plan from their outside vendor for a cost that is the same as or less than the NAR vendor’s plan; 3) use their outside vendor and the original plan. If the association chooses Option #3 and submits a grant application with a plan provided by an outside vendor that is more costly than the comparable plan from the NAR vendor, the less costly campaign plan from the NAR vendor will be presented to the Committee for their consideration along with the campaign plan from the outside vendor.
Decision Making Criteria
The Committee will consider the following criteria in making its decision on applications. In applying these criteria to a particular application, the Committee will engage in a balancing process with the objective of approving applications that satisfy one or more of the criteria under each of the following categories.
Importance of Public Policy Issue
- The application concerns a state or local public policy issue on which NAR has adopted a position.
- The application concerns a state or local public policy issue on which NAR is developing a position.
- The state or local REALTOR® Association has demonstrated that the state or local public policy issue is of high importance to REALTORS®.
- The issue is best addressed through public policy (i.e., government laws, regulations and/or funding) rather than through actions by the private
Scope of Impact of Public Policy Issue
- The outcome of the issue will have an economic impact at the state, regional or local
- The outcome of the issue will have a non-economic impact at the state, regional or local
REALTOR® Involvement in Public Policy Issue
- The application demonstrates that REALTORS® are actively involved in the issue
- The application demonstrates REALTORS® commitment to the issue (i.e., evidence of volunteer time; participation in coalition meetings; contribution of funds toward issue campaign).
- The applicant association has taken an official position on the
Winnability of Public Policy Issue
- The information in the application (recent polling data, news analysis, media editorials, interviews with opinion leaders/elected officials, etc.) demonstrates that the REALTOR® position on the issue is “winnable.”
- The application reveals a viable strategy for dealing with opposition groups and/or
- Assistance to REALTORS® through the Issues Mobilization Grant is likely to make a significant difference to the outcome of the public policy
- Coalition members have made a significant commitment (financial support, meeting participation, devotion of staff time, ).
- There has been a reasonable degree of success in previous efforts or activities on the
Extent of Community Support for REALTOR® Position on Public Policy Issue
- There is broad-based community support for the REALTOR® position on the public policy issue that extends beyond those in the housing industry.
- There is evidence of strong REALTOR® coalition building with diverse interest
Approved funding requests are subject to the following conditions:
Deadline on Availability of Funds. Approved grant funds are available through the earlier of: 1) the campaign end date, or 2) December 15 of the calendar year in which the funds are granted. On a ballot initiative campaign, the campaign end date is 30 days after the Election Day on which the measure appears on the ballot. For all other campaigns, the campaign end date is 30 days after the earlier of: 1) the date on which the issue is officially approved/disapproved by a policymaking body, or 2) the date on which the current legislative session officially adjourns. After the applicable deadline has passed, grant funds are no longer available for invoice payments.
Return of Unused Funds. Any unused funds shall be returned to the Committee staff executive.
Reports. The applicant must submit a campaign Progress Report to the Committee staff executive within thirty (30) days following the receipt of funds. A Final Report containing an accounting of the funds, and accompanied by any unused funds, must be submitted to the Committee staff executive within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the issue campaign. For accounting purposes, acceptable documentation includes: invoices, receipts, and cancelled checks. The report must include a written narrative of the issue campaign as well as examples of campaign materials for posting on the REALTORParty.com website. (See the Post-Campaign Report form). NOTE: Completing a Post-Campaign Report for each issue campaign funded with an Issues Mobilization Grant is a requirement for consideration of future grant funding.
Incremental Funding. If the Committee provides funding in increments, a campaign Progress Report including an accounting of the funds must be received by the Committee staff executive at least twenty
(20) days prior to each subsequent increment of funding. Unused funds must be included in the request for the subsequent increment of funding. The Committee may, in its discretion, request return of any unused funds. A Final Report including an accounting of the funds, and accompanied by any unused funds, must be submitted to the Committee staff executive within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the issue campaign. For accounting purposes, acceptable documentation includes: invoices, receipts, and cancelled checks. The Committee at its discretion may require the applicant to provide additional reports.
Resubmittal of Funding Requests
An applicant for funding whose application is denied because it does not meet the Issues Mobilization Grant criteria may not re-submit the same application as a new funding request. However, the Committee will consider a new funding request based upon the original application if Committee staff, upon review, determines that the application has been appropriately modified to meet the Issues Mobilization Grant criteria.