Nonprofit Advocacy Workshop at NSC Budget Forum
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Nonprofit Advocacy Workshop at NSC Budget Forum

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Cande Iveson explains why nonprofits can and should advocate. Gives tips on how your organization can get started. Presentation was made at the 2010 Nonprofit Services Center Missouri Budget Forum

Cande Iveson explains why nonprofits can and should advocate. Gives tips on how your organization can get started. Presentation was made at the 2010 Nonprofit Services Center Missouri Budget Forum

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Transcript

  • 1. Advocating for Missouri Families Cande Iveson Missouri Budget Project www.mobudget.org
  • 2. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Advocacy is speaking on behalf of others who are unable to speak for themselves
    • You are a voice for your constituents
    • You are the only voice for your mission
  • 3. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • 501(c)(3) organizations (public charities) can and should advocate
    • You already advocate for you clients
    • You should advocate for public policies that support those clients and further your mission
  • 4. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Advocacy includes
    • Education, anytime, anywhere, on specific issues
    • Lobbying
  • 5. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Direct Lobbying
    • Communication
    • With a legislator
    • Expressing a view about specific legislation
    • OR ballot measure activity
  • 6. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Grassroots (Indirect) Lobbying
    • Communication
    • With the public (does not include members)
    • Expressing a view about specific legislation
    • That includes a call to action
  • 7. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Things that are NOT lobbying
    • Education, including preparation of policy analyses
    • Activities related to ballot measures
    • Advocacy related to the survival of the organization
  • 8. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • 501(c)(3) organizations (public charities) can and should lobby
    • the “insubstantial parts test”
    • the “expenditure test”
    • except for private foundations (where lobbying expenses become taxable)
  • 9. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • The “insubstantial parts test”
    • Is the default, requiring no action on your part
    • Allows lobbying as long as that activity (or related expenditures) do not become a “substantial” part of overall activities
    • Is undefined and case law is unclear
  • 10. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • The “expenditure test”
    • You must elect this option by filing IRS Form 5768 (less than ½ page)
    • Sets a clear dollar limit on direct and grassroots lobbying expenditures
  • 11. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Expenditure test limits
    • Organizations that spend less than $500,000 per year can spend 20% of budget on lobbying
    • Larger organizations
      • plus 15% of the next $500,000
      • plus 10% of the next $500,000
      • plus 5% of anything additional
  • 12. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Expenditure test limits
    • Maximum of one-quarter of lobbying expenditures on grassroots lobbying
    • Or the entire amount on direct lobbying
    • More than that? Consider 501(c)(4) status!
  • 13. Nonprofit Advocacy
    • Things you CAN’T do
    • Engage in electoral politics
    • Endorse candidates
    • You certainly MAY do those things as a private citizen!
  • 14. www.nonprofitservices.org www.mobudget.org