Advocacy in the News

Stop Saying Nonprofits Can’t Lobby: 6 Lessons on How Philanthropy Can Support Grantees to Influence Policy

July 10, 2019 | Maya Thornell-Sandifor, Borealis Philanthropy

During the Democratic presidential debates at the end of June, candidates sparred over a variety of far-reaching progressive policy proposals on climate change, immigration, healthcare, gun violence, college loans, and more. As they debated what was and wasn’t feasible and what could or couldn’t be passed by Congress, one thing kept coming up for me, and that is these policy issues are on the radar of these candidates because of the work of community organizers and social change movement leaders.

Yes, You Can—and Should! Nonprofit Advocacy as a Core Competency

November 8, 2018 | Dyana P. Mason, Nonprofit Quarterly

In a popular online nonprofit forum, a nonprofit leader recently asked about whether or not it was appropriate or possible for their organization to directly speak out about important issues of the day. Stating apprehension that the organization would be considered “too political,” this leader struggled with balancing a call to action with concern for possible negative consequences to their organization.

Work for nonprofits? Get political.

August 30, 2018 | Lauri Hennessey, LinkedIn

I know, I know. For a lot of nonprofit peeps, politics is a dirty word. Somehow it feels like it should not be part of what we do. So I am sure the headline might have caused you some unease. But after a career working in government, public relations and nonprofits, I would tell you this: nonprofits that hide from politics do so at their own peril.

For Nonprofit Organizations, Advocacy, Lobbying and Voter Registration Should Be the Norm—Not the Exception

August 14, 2018 | Frank Martinelli, Shepherd Express

In their efforts to uncover more deeply rooted causes of problems facing our community, nonprofits sometimes learn that there are existing laws, regulations or public and corporate policies that hurt the people they serve. Nonprofits can then take action through advocacy and lobbying to change or eliminate such laws, regulations and policies. And the law is very clear—such advocacy and lobbying are allowable activities for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.

Three Shifts toward Changing Philanthropy’s Advocacy Narrative

June 27, 2016 | Laurel O’Sullivan, the Advocacy Collaborative

Robert E. Ross, President of the California Endowment pointed out recently that, “philanthropy often vigorously works to protect its brand and doesn’t spend it enough.” Part of that insufficient brand spending includes advocacy. Advocacy is the single most effective strategy to achieve social impact. Without advocacy, achieving real social transformation is not possible. It provides both the scale and pathway to implement the solutions foundations fund.

Advocacy can help nonprofit organizations make important advances that create lasting, positive change.