Advocacy is using your passion to educate others about the importance of your cause. It is a tool you can use to raise awareness and mobilize people to do good. Many of our nation’s most significant environmental policies have come about as a result of advocacy and lobbying by nonprofit groups. Influencing public policy can make the difference between a short-term, band-aid approach and long-term, systemic solutions to pressing social issues.
We were fortunate enough to have Linda Czipo, Executive Director of the Center for Non-Profits, give a fantastic presentation on January 27th on how board members and staff can be strong, well-informed advocates for their organizations. Her talk covered the rules and guidelines for 501(c)(3) lobbying and advocacy, both at the Federal (IRS reporting) and State (ELEC reporting) levels. It also covered the basics of building a culture of advocacy at your nonprofit, which is incredibly important for mission-driven organizations.
If you are interested in receiving a copy of Ms. Czipo’s presentation, contact the Watershed Institute Coordinator. For your convenience, related resources are provided below.
- Nonprofits CAN Lobby (Fact Sheet) from the Center for Non-Profits
- Engaging Others In Advocacy (Fact Sheet) from the Watershed Institute
- Charities, Election-Year Advocacy and Voter Education from the Center for Non-Profits
- A Guide to Recordkeeping for Advocacy Charities from The Alliance for Justice
- How to Incorporate Advocacy into Your Mission (Video) from BoardSource
Other Valuable Resources: StandForYourMission.org, which has a variety of resources you can use to engage your board and your staff in mission-based advocacy.