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David Heinen
N.C. Center for Nonprofits
Advocacy: A Plus or a Must?
Basics of Nonprofit
Advocacy and Lobbying
How Can You Be an Advocate?
Help develop better laws
Work with government officials
Empower the people you serve to make t...
Nonprofit Lobbying
Lobbying is legal for 501(c)(3) nonprofits!
What constitutes lobbying for IRS purposes
Influencing legi...
Nonprofit Lobbying
How much can you do? Two answers:
501(h) election expenditure test
Being Nonpartisan:
What Your Nonprofit Can Do!
Voter registration
Voter education
Get-out-the-vote activities
Individual a...
N.C. Lobbying Law - Basics
Who needs to register and report?
Principal organization on whose behalf a lobbyist
lobbies
Lob...
N.C. Lobbying Law - Basics
What constitutes lobbying?
Attempts to influence legislation or executive action
N.C. Lobbying Law
Differences from federal lobbying definition:
(i) N.C. law covers executive action as well as
legislativ...
What You Stand to Lose If
Advocate?
You lose control over messaging about the impact of
your work.
More Immediately . . .
funding for community economic development
organizations
Without immediate advocacy, this will beco...
Tips on Being an Effective
Advocate
How Can You Get Involved?
Meet with your legislators to share the story of your
nonprofit
Invite them to see your nonprofi...
How To Be An Effective Advocate
Tell your story Who will the law impact?
Real-life examples
Statistics and other objective...
How To Be An Effective Advocate
Consider the media
Who is your audience?
Legislators
Executive branch
Public
Others in you...
How Not to Advocate
Framing Your Message in 2013
Creating jobs
Saving money now
Measurable results
Tell your stories
Finding the Right Voices
Educating the Community
Why it matters?
Public perception is important
Media can be influential
What works?
Stories are cr...
Recruiting Advocates
Who has the ear of policymakers?
Voters in their districts
Business leaders
People with common intere...
More Resources
N.C. Center for Nonprofits
www.ncnonprofits.org
N.C. General Assembly
www.ncleg.net
National Council of Non...
For More Information
David Heinen dheinen@ncnonprofits.org
N.C. Center for Nonprofits www.ncnonprofits.org
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Advocacy: A Plus or a Must?

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David Heinen, director of public policy and advocacy, N.C. Center for Nonprofits
In a March 25 webinar, David Heinen shared information about the variety of ways that a nonprofit organization can be an advocate. The webinar highlighted the types of advocacy that are permissible and impermissible for 501(c)(3) nonprofits and what an organization stands to lose if it doesn't speak up for its cause and its community.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Advocacy: A Plus or a Must?

  1. 1. David Heinen N.C. Center for Nonprofits Advocacy: A Plus or a Must?
  2. 2. Basics of Nonprofit Advocacy and Lobbying
  3. 3. How Can You Be an Advocate? Help develop better laws Work with government officials Empower the people you serve to make their voices heard Educate the public about what you do and Public officials Media Your board, staff, community, and funders
  4. 4. Nonprofit Lobbying Lobbying is legal for 501(c)(3) nonprofits! What constitutes lobbying for IRS purposes Influencing legislation At the federal, state, or local level Grassroots lobbying But you must be nonpartisan You can be an issue advocate parties
  5. 5. Nonprofit Lobbying How much can you do? Two answers: 501(h) election expenditure test
  6. 6. Being Nonpartisan: What Your Nonprofit Can Do! Voter registration Voter education Get-out-the-vote activities Individual activity by nonprofit leaders Some candidate appearances Some business activity See IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41 or www.nonprofitvote.org
  7. 7. N.C. Lobbying Law - Basics Who needs to register and report? Principal organization on whose behalf a lobbyist lobbies Lobbyist staff or contractor who lobbies Staff if you spend 5% of your time lobbying in any 30-day period Contractors must register Volunteers not required to register Solicitor organization that engages the public in lobbying activities at least $3,000 in a 90-day period
  8. 8. N.C. Lobbying Law - Basics What constitutes lobbying? Attempts to influence legislation or executive action
  9. 9. N.C. Lobbying Law Differences from federal lobbying definition: (i) N.C. law covers executive action as well as legislative action possible confusion among private foundations (ii) Goodwill lobbying is covered by N.C. law (iii)N.C. law applies only to lobbying with two branches of N.C. state government
  10. 10. What You Stand to Lose If
  11. 11. Advocate? You lose control over messaging about the impact of your work.
  12. 12. More Immediately . . . funding for community economic development organizations Without immediate advocacy, this will become a reality.
  13. 13. Tips on Being an Effective Advocate
  14. 14. How Can You Get Involved? Meet with your legislators to share the story of your nonprofit Invite them to see your nonprofit in action
  15. 15. How To Be An Effective Advocate Tell your story Who will the law impact? Real-life examples Statistics and other objective information Simple and clear message Clear message and simple talking points Elevator speech One-page fact sheet Follow-up
  16. 16. How To Be An Effective Advocate Consider the media Who is your audience? Legislators Executive branch Public Others in your organization
  17. 17. How Not to Advocate
  18. 18. Framing Your Message in 2013 Creating jobs Saving money now Measurable results Tell your stories
  19. 19. Finding the Right Voices
  20. 20. Educating the Community Why it matters? Public perception is important Media can be influential What works? Stories are crucial Clear, simple, and memorable Numbers are secondary with the public Using the media Invite the public to volunteer or see your work Social media can be effective, if done well
  21. 21. Recruiting Advocates Who has the ear of policymakers? Voters in their districts Business leaders People with common interests and ideals Who can you engage? Board members Businesses in your community Other community leaders Hint: This may vary depending on who represents you in the General Assembly
  22. 22. More Resources N.C. Center for Nonprofits www.ncnonprofits.org N.C. General Assembly www.ncleg.net National Council of Nonprofits www.councilofnonprofits.org Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest www.clpi.org Nonprofit VOTE www.nonprofitvote.org
  23. 23. For More Information David Heinen dheinen@ncnonprofits.org N.C. Center for Nonprofits www.ncnonprofits.org

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