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With an estimated 85% of American adults online, Members of Congress should have good websites that effectively communicate with and serve citizens. The Gold Mouse Awards Project seeks to improve the online communications of Congress by identifying best and innovative practices that can be more widely adopted by House & Senate offices.


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History of the Gold Mouse Awards

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More than 10 years ago, CMF created the Gold Mouse Awards to recognize the best websites in Congress. Learn how and why this competition was started, and hear from Rep. Mike Honda, the only six-time award winner in Congress.

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History of the Gold Mouse Awards

Ten years ago, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) created the Gold Mouse Awards to recognize the best websites on Capitol Hill. Learn how and why this competition was started, and hear from Rep. Mike Honda, the only six-time award winner in Congress.

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Why Congressional Websites Matter

In 1998, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) embarked on a ground-breaking research project: to study best practices in congressional websites with the goal of providing Congress with guidance on how to use this emerging technology to improve constituents' communication with, and understanding of, the institution. Three years later the initiative was boosted by a two-year grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to create the Congress Online Project, in association with The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Awards Released

Congressional Websites Improve – But Many Lack Important Educational And Transparency Features, According To New Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional websites are getting better, according to an analysis by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF). The nonprofit organization graded 618 congressional websites and found the most common grade moved from an F in the 111th Congress to a B in the 112th Congress. CMF has been grading congressional websites since 2001 and issues biannual Congressional Gold Mouse Awards for the best websites on Capitol Hill for each Congress.

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CMF to Announce Best Websites in Congress on Monday Oct 24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) will announce the 112th Congress Gold Mouse Awards for the best websites on Capitol Hill on Monday, October 24, 8:00 AM via email and its website. CMF created the research project and awards in 2001 to provide congressional offices with best practices guidance for enhancing their online communications with constituents. Accompanying the list of award winners will be a report by CMF on the website best practices trends identified during the nearly year-long research process.

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By the Numbers: The 112th Congress Gold Mouse Project

Our Gold Mouse evaluations commence today! Our evaluators are beginning the process of reviewing the websites of Congress in order to determine which are deserving of the Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Mouse Awards. This is a substantial undertaking which allows us to accurately track and analyze how Congress connects to citizens online. Just how big is it? To give you an idea, we present an estimate of the 112th Congress Gold Mouse Project by the numbers:

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The Quick Fix: Improve Your Website Easily

With one week until Gold Mouse evaluations commence, many congressional offices are wondering what they can do to improve their website quickly. Here are some ways to make it better fast!

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Evaluations Begin on June 15!

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Offices now have an extra 2 weeks to finish any last minute changes to their websites. Evaluations will begin June 15! To help you prepare, we have compiled an extensive FAQ.

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How to Win a Congressional Website Award: Solid Issue Information

The Congressional Management Foundation will commence our seventh round of analyzing and grading more than 600 congressional personal, committee, and leadership office websites on June 1. The results will be released in October, with the Gold Mouse Awards Ceremony in November. We recognize that Members of Congress, by their nature, are competitive, which is why we established the Gold Mouse Awards system in 2001. One of the most common questions CMF gets is: 'What is the most important factor for winning a Gold Mouse Award?'

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Back to Basics: The Foundations of a Good Website

Members of Congress are always coming up with new and innovative ways to engage citizens online, but no congressional office should neglect their website. After all, in our survey of over 10,000 citizens, we found that the website of the Senator or Representative is the one of the first places they turn for information. So it's essential that congressional websites provide at least a basic level of information and services. With limited time and resources, where should offices focus their efforts? Here are the 4 most critical areas to focus on, the questions to ask yourself as you improve your website, and examples from award winning websites from the 111th Congress:

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Advanced Studies: Innovative Ways to Engage Citizens

In our evaluations of congressional websites we found that there is a digital divide in Congress (PDF), with 'A' and 'F' being the two most common letter grades. While we will continue to cover the basics, we also want to highlight a few new and innovative ways Members of Congress are engaging citizens in the 112th Congress.

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