Nonprofits can use lobbying as an effective tool to meet their missions. However, there are prohibitions and limitations. Being unaware of these rules can allow an organization to take actions that jeopardizes its tax-exempt status.
Know the Rules of the Game
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What does the 501(h) election mean for my organization's advocacy efforts?
It is critical for nonprofits to understand the nuances of advocacy, lobbying and political campaigning to enable them to maximize their impact without risking sanction on their tax-exempt status.
Use this worksheet as a way to become more organized around the legislation that you are tracking.
Regularly communicating with your members of Congress is key to any federal advocacy effort. This document outlines some need-to-knows.
Jumping into advocacy for your issue means setting up a game plan with strategic prioritization and expertise. It is also important to set up the organizational infrastructure for advocacy engagement. This document outlines key steps in developing your advocacy game plan.
Use this sample strategy plan for a specific piece of legislation.
An important part of building ongoing advocacy capacity is to identify and measure advocacy effectiveness. Advocacy, however, requires a different approach than might be used to evaluate other kinds of work such as direct services. Use this tool to capture what you accomplished as well as what might have been missed.
This document is an organizational tool for planning and tracking your activities and progress on a bill.
While there are many prohibitions for 501(c)(3) nonprofits around campaign intervention, there are many ways that those organizations can safely participate in the process without facing sanction.