Advocacy in Action
Advocacy and Lobbying –
Making the Most out of the
“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten
thousand who are silent."
I. Defining Advocacy
II. Defining Lobbying
III. Understanding Lobbying Restrictions
IV. State and Federal Lobbying
V. Practicing Your Message
VI. How Can National Safe Place Help?
VII. Internet Resources
What is Advocacy?
Webster’s Definition –
to speak or write in support of
Practical Definition –
Providing information in a
manner which will generate
concern, interest AND
How do you define the word Advocacy?
Was there a time when you felt moved
enough by a particular story, issue or
experience that you decided to make an
effort to affect a change?
What is Lobbying?
• Direct lobbying
– Organizations attempt to influence specific
legislation by stating their position
– Takes an official position on an issue
– Meets with legislator or staff
– Asks members of the organization to
What is Lobbying?
Grassroots Lobbying –
Requires a Call to Action
• Organization urges general public to
take action on specific legislation
• Organization reflects or states a point-
of-view on specific legislation
• Organization encourages general public
to contact legislators
Who is a Lobbyist?
A person who attempts to influence the
legislative process as a part of his or her
job or under hire by someone else.
So, if you receive paid compensation for
your efforts – you are a lobbyist and must
identify yourself as such.
Who is Not a Lobbyist?
• The following individuals are not lobbyists under the law:
• (1) political party officials;
• (2) news media;
• (3) elected government officials while performing the
duties of office;
• (4) persons who give testimony or provide information to
the General Assembly, at public hearings of state
agencies or who provide information or assistance at the
request of public officials or employees (Note: this
excludes most faculty, staff, and administrators from the
definition of a lobbyist);
Who is Not a Lobbyist
• (5) agency officials and employees while engaged in
activities within the agency they serve or with another
agency one's agency collaborates with on projects;
• (6) staff of the United States Congress or General
• (7) persons who are members of organizations who are
not paid compensation or not designated by the
organization as a lobbyist; and
• (8) persons who submit data, views, and arguments in a
presentation to the administrative rules committee.
• c. A client: a private person or a state, federal, or local
government entity that pays compensation to or
designates an individual to be a lobbyist.
• Lobbying Must Be “Insubstantial”
• 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are
prohibited from lobbying “except to an
– The IRS evaluates an organization’s lobbying
activities under one of the following two rules:
– The “insubstantiality” test, and
• Section 501(h) expenditures test.
• 501(h) Expenditures Test
• Section 501(h) of Internal Revenue Code
provides bright-line definitions and rules.
– 501(h) expenditures test, added in 1976:
– sets clear, specific dollar limits, and
– only includes lobbying expenditures (staff,
materials and other costs); efforts of
volunteers not counted toward limit, as they
are under the “insubstantiality” test.
• 501(h) Expenditure Limits
– 501(h) rules allow up to $1 million in lobbying
– 20% of first $500,000 of exempt purpose
– +15% of next $500,000 exempt purpose expenditures
– +10% of next $500,000 exempt purpose expenditures
• +5% of remaining exempt purpose expenditures
Significant Lobbying Permitted
• An organization with a $2 million budget
could spend $250,000 on lobbying under
these limits. Organizations electing 501(h)
rules could dedicate one or more staff to
lobbying efforts, full-time, and still maintain
their tax exemption.
Difference between Education and
You are free to educate your local, state and
federal officials and their staff members at
any time. This includes sending newsletters,
sharing stories of young people and
providing outcome data from your program.
You become a lobbyist when you are paid
for this effort and your educational updates are
joined with pleas for increased funding, etc.
Levels of Advocacy/Lobbying
Let’s discuss examples of state and Federal
Your Turn of State Advocacy
Did you know that Indiana has a line-item in the state
budget to support Safe Place Funding?
If you live in a state that has multiple Safe Place cities –
you have a wonderful opportunity to connect with
others to provide the state wide influence needed to
increase attention on youth issues. The National Safe
Place Program is utilizing Resource Associates to
organize state meetings for Safe Place programs in
various states. Shared experiences and insights can
lead to shared action.
Politics at the State Level
While politics and political pressure play a
role in local advocacy – state level
advocacy includes the additional
challenges of diverging geographic
regions, increased variance in rural versus
urban need and increased demand for
attention. Establishing the needed
connection to state legislators takes
additional time, energy and enthusiasm.
What does Advocacy Mean
at the Federal Level?
• Impacting funding and legislative decisions
on youth issues
• Creating/maintaining legislators’ awareness
of local needs and concerns for youth
• Establishing a “champion” for youth issues
• Creating a climate of concern for the next
• Partnering with others to influence decisions
that affect all states
Politics at the Federal Level
Policymakers at the Federal level are
inundated with requests from constituents
and pressure from other legislators to
support actions that will affect the entire
nation. Successful advocacy at the Federal
level requires the commitment and
partnership of many constituents of many
legislators of many states asking for the same
thing at the same time.
What if you approach a state legislator and
he or she has some statistics that indicate
that juveniles in your state have increasing
rates of delinquent behavior?
How would you respond?
What if you need to advocate or lobby for
increased funds for your program and the
staff person for the Congressman you are
visiting points out some negative press
about your agency?
How would you respond?
What if you are in Washington and, in each
visit, you hear that there is no money to be
allocated because of the increasing Federal
How would you respond?
What if you have to visit with your state and
Federal legislative representatives – all
of whom are from a different political party?
How do you prepare for the visit and how do
you craft your messages?
The line is open for questions
regarding the topic at hand,
personal experiences in
advocacy efforts or assistance
regarding a current situation.
What’s on your mind – or on your
to do list?
How can NSP help you?
NSP database can provide statistical information for your
state and/or the nation
Assist in draft letters and packets for government
Advocate on your behalf at the Federal level
Educate new coordinators and local agency staff about
the importance of advocacy and how to advocate
NSP database can provide anecdotal information
regarding youth assisted at Safe Place sites
Provide data regarding the effectiveness of public-private
partnerships established through NSP
Mobilize NSP member agencies (staff and volunteers) to
support or oppose pending legislation
Provide copy of 2006 Edition of the NSP Advocacy
Looking at Advocacy Resources
www.allianceforjustice.org Are there other
www.independentsector.org resources that
www.nn4youth.org you utilize or
www.nydic.org can identify?
• Bob Reeg, MPA, firstname.lastname@example.org
National Safe Place 27
National Safe Place Staff
• Executive Director: Sandy Bowen
• Training Director: Susan Harmon
• Program Development & Research Director: Robin Donaldson
• Program Coordinator: Sherry Elder
• Administrative Assistant: Julie Arney
Thank you for participating in this webinar.
When you exit the session, you will receive a link
to complete a brief evaluation. We recognize
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us your thoughts and feedback on topics and
methods that will best help you help others!
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The staff of the National Safe Place Program and the members of
the National Safe Place Advisory Board appreciate your
commitment, dedication and ongoing efforts on behalf of youth and
families in every community. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if
we can be of further assistance. Until next time – Best Wishes!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world. Indeed,
it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist