Congressional letter gets sponsor

A provider of services for advocacy groups has signed on to sponsor Congress Online, a nonprofit newsletter that tells members of Congress how to use the Web to improve communications with constituents.

Published by the Congressional Management Foundation, Congress Online provides information on how to use Web sites to provide information, how to get young people interested in Congress and how to use online technologies to cope with unusual situations, such the anthrax contamination on Capitol Hill in 2001.

The newsletter had been funded under a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Now the publication will be sponsored for at least a year by Capitol Advantage, which specializes in electronic products and services for advocacy groups.

Congress Online declined to reveal the value of the one-year sponsorship.

Private sponsorship will let the newsletter add features on grass-roots advocacy and online communications, Congress Online officials said.

"We need to continue to search for ways to improve communications between Congress and their constituents," said Bob Hansan, president of Capitol Advantage, in a written statement.

The newsletter began as a component of the Congress Online Project, a joint venture between the Congressional Management Foundation and George Washington University, with Pew's funding. The initial project ended in May. Now the Management Foundation is taking full control of the project.

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