Frequently Asked Questions about Every Child Matters


  1. What is Every Child Matters; what does it do?
    The Every Child Matters Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to make public investments in children a national political priority. To that end, we are building a movement to close the opportunity gap facing America’s kids. We promote the adoption of smart policies that help kids and working families by raising the visibility of these issues during the election cycle and urging the candidates to support child and family-friendly policies. These include providing affordable quality child care; guaranteeing a living wage, pay equity and paid sick and family leave; expanding early-care and learning opportunities; ensuring college affordability; improving the health care and wellness of all children, and  preventing violence against children in their homes and communities. We campaign for children, not for candidates, using all the tools and tactics that are available to 501(c)(3) organizations, including polling, voter registration, get-out-the-vote efforts, candidate surveys, and candidate forums.
  2. How is ECM different from other children’s advocacy organizations?
    Every Child Matters focuses on raising the profile of children during elections. While many national and state organizations play critical roles in helping formulate good public policies for children, experience shows that working on policy, while important, just isn’t enough when children’s needs run into special interest politics. That’s why we focus on making children a priority during elections: Children’s issues are more likely to gain political attention when office seekers believe they can gain public approval by supporting pro-children policies.
  3. How can I help?
    • Make sure you are registered to vote, and then vote on Election Day!
    • Ask the candidates where they stand on children’s issues and let them know that if they want your vote, they need to support children, youth, and families.
    • Contact your federal, state, and local policy makers and urge them to adopt smart policies for kids and working families.
    • Volunteer at events that raise the visibility of children’s issues.
    • Write a letter to the editor (LTE) or an opinion piece to communicate with a larger audience in your community about the importance of investing in kids.
    • Sign up for our regular updates to get the latest on children. For more information, go to http://www.everychildmatters.org/get-involved/
  4. How does ECM appeal to a broad constituency?
    ECM is a convener and organizer, bringing together groups that have an interest in furthering child well-being in the U.S. It is not involved in direct service nor does it compete for federal, state, or local dollars. ECM works with organizations to expand their outreach and to show the strength in numbers necessary to get the job done. All organizations will benefit, and ultimately all children will benefit.
  5. Nearly all candidates say they support children’s issues, but how can they be held accountable once elected?
    Only voters can hold elected officials accountable. ECM’s role is to assist both the public and office seekers by providing information about the needs of children and families. ECM also provides opportunities for both the public and candidates—with its polling, surveys, reports, and forums—to learn each other’s views on children and family issues.
  6. What is the Digital Dialogue?
     As its name suggests, the Digital Dialogue feature found on our “Get Involved” page aims to elevate the profile of campaign discourse about children’s issues through online dialogue. It integrates social media tools to aid direct communication with candidates. Currently, the Digital Dialogue uses snapshots of statements and actions of the Presidential candidates, taken from the public record, to help start a conversation. Just as we’ve sought concrete stances on specific policies from the candidates, we encourage you to ask them publicly to add to what they’ve said on the record. We don’t endorse, support or oppose candidates or either party. We provide sample messages and hope you’ll use Twitter and Facebook to engage with any or all of them on the children’s issue-category of your choice.
  7. What sort of materials and trainings will I receive if I work with ECM?
     If a group of organizations within a state wishes to form a loose coalition to spearhead such an effort, ECM, depending on available resources, will provide technical assistance, access to polling information and research, and some materials.
  8. What is your campaign strategy for GOTV (Get-Out-the-Vote)?
    Our primary campaign strategy for GOTV is to work with statewide and local child advocacy organizations and child-serving groups to distribute our non-partisan message and materials, conduct voter registration, and promote voter turnout. Tactics include canvassing phone-banking.
  9. How does ECM measure outcomes?
    ECM measures outcomes by conducting before and after polls on public awareness of children’s issues. It researches candidates’ stands on issues before and after ECM’s children’s campaign. It looks at the stands of the newly-elected officials in the states in which it has run campaigns.
  10. Does ECM take donations? How is ECM funded?
    ECM does take donations. Please visit our web site: www.everychildmatters.org. ECM is funded primarily by foundation grants and by some corporate and individual contributions.
  11. Where do your statistics come from?
    Our statistics are national statistics and come primarily from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other frequently used sources include: the Congressional Budget Office, the Annie E. Casey Foundation (Kids Count Data Book) Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Child Welfare League of America, Children’s Defense Fund, National Center for Children in Poverty, National Women’s Law Center, Prevent Child Abuse America, and UNICEF.
  12. How did you pick the issues you focus on?
    We picked these issues mostly by examining federal data and by evaluating which pose the greatest challenges for children and families.
  13. Where does your organization stand on Roe vs. Wade?
    Numerous organizations already take a stand on Roe v. Wade. We have no position on it. Our taking a stand on the issue would not influence public opinion but would detract from ECM’s main goal of ensuring that greater investments are made in children.