The Borgen Project’s Week of Action


As you know, our work as advocates is needed now more than ever. Luckily, there’s so much we can do to continue advocating for the cause while we adapt to working from home and staying inside.

With your help, we’ll be working to save millions of lives by advocating for global health funding and the obligation to provide essential tools and resources to developing countries in need.

The Week of Action includes completing one action item per day. Each action item involves advocating for global health funding in the midst of COVID-19.

Day One: Create a Virtual Swarm

Swarms are when multiple people email or call a congressional leader about the same issue. Your goal is to mobilize 10 (or more) people to email Congress about global health investments.
Creating a virtual swarm is easy! Follow the instructions below to get the word out:
1. Create a text or email template that you can personalize and send individually to your contacts. Don’t send a generic “Dear Friends and Family” email that goes out to everyone at once, those rarely result in anyone taking action. Instead, email or text each person individually either all in one sitting or throughout your day.
2. Use this template for your swarm:
Hey Tammy, can you do me a quick favor? I’m trying to mobilize 10 people today to email their congressional leaders in response to the spread of COVID-19. All you have to do is fill this out. It takes about 25-seconds. Or if you’re busy right now I can do it for you. Just let me know what works for you!
Thank you!
  • If you have interactions with other people outside of your swarm today (i.e. a text from a friend, dinner with your family, an online class or Zoom meeting), be sure to include them and send them the email form as well.
  • Do it for them. Is it silly that most people won’t take 25-seconds to contact their leaders in support of a bill that will help millions of people? Yes, yes it is. However, that is the reality that you must work with, so finding ways to make it simple is crucial to your efforts. Many have found success by getting permission to fill in the email form for their friends or family, but again, do make sure you have permission.
  • Make a social media push. For example, create a post or tweet about the importance of emailing Congress about global health investments during this time OR show your followers how to email Congress about the coronavirus response from the Email Congress page on your Instagram Stories.
Although creating a virtual swarm can be easy, the amount of impact a swarm has on your district and state is huge. After as few as 7-10 people email in support of the same issue, your congressional leader will be notified and briefed on that issue. With 10 25-second emails, you can instantly get the importance of global health investments viewed by your leader this week.

Day Two: Write a Letter to the Editor

The Letter to the Editor section of newspapers is often read by thousands of people. However, even more important than its power as a public awareness tool, the Letter to the Editor section is carefully monitored by political leaders and their staffers. Reading letters to the editor helps political leaders gauge public opinion and determine what issues people are concerned about.
How to Write a Letter to the Editor:
1. Read the instructions on this page for writing and sending your letter to the editor.
2. Incorporate some of the points listed here to help you write your letter.
3. At the end of your letter, specifically ask your congressional leaders, by name, to support global health funding and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Example of a specific ask in a letter to the editor: “Therefore, I ask Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell to further the goals of the 2014 Global Health Security Agenda and authorize annual funding for global health security programs.” 
4. Please send us a link to your letter if it gets published!
It’s true! Staffers have brought up letters to the editors written by Borgen Project volunteers in past lobbying meetings. We know for a fact that writing a letter to the editor is a great way to mobilize your community and get your congressional leaders’ attention about the importance of global health funding and COVID-19.

Day Three: Pitch to an Influencer

People who are able to stay home during this time are finding themselves looking for new hobbies or for more causes and groups to get involved in. The same goes for our favorite celebrities and influencers!
Celebrities and influencers have thousands, if not millions, of followers on their various social media channels. Not only do they share the ins and outs of their lives and recommend products and services to their followers, but they also differentiate themselves by backing causes that are important to them.
Pitch a story or call-to-action to your favorite influencers and celebrities to help spread the word about global health funding.
How to Pitch to an Influencer:
1. Click here to read instructions about reaching out to influencers.
2. Send your pitch to your favorite celebrity or influencer.
3. Respond to this email if you hear back!
Example of pitching to an influencer about global health funding and COVID-19:
Hi [influencer name]!
My name is [your name]. I’ve been following you since [the year you started following them] and I really appreciate your content!
I volunteer for The Borgen Project (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending global poverty, and I thought you might be interested in what we do. I was hoping you would help me support global health funding in the midst of COVID-19. As we learn more about how to contain the spread of COVID-19 here at home, we also need to invest in global responses to prevent pandemics in the future. After all, those living in low-income countries are the most at-risk in terms of managing, controlling and preventing pandemics. 
One of the easiest ways to take action right now is to let U.S. Congress know about the importance of addressing COVID-19 at a global level and the need for proactive, preventative U.S. global health security funding. To make it easier, anyone can email their congressional leader about this exact issue using this email template:
If you could make a post to spread awareness about global health funding and The Borgen Project, that would be awesome! Thanks so much and let me know if you need more information.
Celebrities and influencers have the perfect platform for getting the word out. If they want to make a difference, hopefully, their fans and followers will too. We can’t wait to see which celebrities and influencers join in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

Day Four: Join the Borgen Project Hangout

What: Borgen Project Hangout
When: Thursday, March 26th, 2020
Where: Zoom
Who: Everyone is invited!
Inside Scoop: The Leadership Team will begin the session with a brief overview of the importance of global health funding. We’ll then answer any questions you have and, most importantly, check-in with each other to see how everyone’s doing.

Day Five: Write a Letter to Congress

How to Write a Letter to Congress:
1. Find out who your congressional leaders are here.
2. Read the instructions on this page.
3. Handwrite* a letter to your congressional leader. An example of a letter about the importance of global health funding can be found here.
4. Mail your letter to your congressional leader. You can find your leader’s mailing address for their office in Washington, D.C. on their website.
5. Repeat! Mail letters to all three of your leaders!
*Handwriting a letter is much more personalized than a typed letter, especially in 2020. By handwriting your letter, you’re showing your leaders that you care so much about the issue that you’ll take the time to sit down and write them a personal note.
In fact, in a recent survey, 96 percent of congressional aides reported that if the Member of Congress was undecided on an issue, personalized letters would influence his or her position!
Email us! Let us know if you took action or if you have any questions!