Public Policy Advocacy
While many organizations, particularly small businesses and nonprofits, intentionally avoid engaging in public policy advocacy. Myths about violating IRS or articles of incorporation guidelines and regulations have convinced some it's not even possible for them to do so. However, all individuals and entities in this country have the right to engage in the public discourse that often dictates how aspects of their operations work. While 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations cannot endorse candidates or parties, they can take a stand on legislation and initiatives that would impact their mission.
Navigating the legal implications of engaging in advocacy and dealing with the often complicated and awkward strategies and ethics can be an unfortunate deterrent to organizations that could sometimes benefit from those services the most. When an organization opts out of this important component of any successful strategy, here are just some of the opportunities and realities they're neglecting:
- At least 70% of the regulations and policies governing how your organization operates is passed and enforced by local officials who are very accessible.
- Billions of dollars in government grants go to applicants without any competition and other times no organization applies for them at all.
- The laws and regulations impacting your potential employees and customers decisions on where to live and do business is already being influenced by organizations with competing interests. Any organization who does not engage in these public discourses are powerless to economic and social changes that have harmful effects on their ability to do business.
Here are just some of the things we can do with your organization to bolster its public policy influence:
- Arrange meetings or on-site visits with elected officials.
- Online advocacy campaigns on issues impacting your operations and/or mission.
- Identify and monitor potential legislative threats or opportunities.
- Identify and develop a strategy for obtaining government grants and/or contracts.
- Develop a method of responding to threats or opportunities in a timely and effective manner.
- Participate in lobbying efforts organized by like-minded affiliates.
While public policy advocacy has benefits for most organizations, it may not be an ideal solution for your organization. The first step is discussing your goals and needs - contact me and we can get the conversation started.