Advocacy Resources for Nonprofits
Advocacy is a broad term that encompasses any type of communication that advances a nonprofit’s mission. Advocacy can include legislative lobbying on public policy issues, nonpartisan voter engagement activities, and issued-based rallies. It can also include storytelling about a nonprofit’s mission and programs and services, including media outreach and conversations with donors, volunteers, and business leaders.
Advocating for Your Mission
- Advocacy for Every Nonprofit: Webinar highlighting various approaches nonprofits can take to advocating for their missions.
- Advocacy 101: Webinar on the basics of what 501(c)(3) nonprofits can and can’t do related to advocacy, lobbying, and partisan politics
- Advocacy in Action: National Council of Nonprofits resource with stories of a wide range of effective advocacy work by nonprofits.
- Everyday Advocacy Resources: Compilation of resources on advocacy for nonprofits from the National Council of Nonprofits.
- Stand for Your Mission: Resources for advocacy by nonprofit board members.
Public Policy Advocacy and Legislative Lobbying
- 501(h) Election: Information from the National Council of Nonprofits on the 501(h) election that provides clarity and legal protection for nonprofits that lobby.
- Bolder Advocacy: Resources from the Alliance for Justice, a national nonprofit, on legal limits on lobbying and election-related activities by nonprofits.
- North Carolina General Assembly: State legislative website, including links to contact information for members of the NC Senate and NC House of Representative, legislative calendars, audio/video of House and Senate sessions and committee meetings, and text and summaries of pending and enacted state legislation.
- Summary of North Carolina’s Lobbying Law: Fact sheet on the basics of state lobbying registration and reporting requirements for 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
- NC Secretary of State, Lobbying Compliance Division: Website for lobbying registration and reporting in North Carolina.
- Working with State Legislatures: Guide from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
- How an Idea Becomes a Law: Flow chart from the NC General Assembly.
- Leading Change Network Resource Center: Extensive library on community organizing and campaign building.
Nonpartisan Election-Related Activities by 501(c)(3) Nonprofits
- Everything You Wanted to Know About Nonprofits and Elections . . . But Were Afraid to Ask: Blog post on election-related activities by 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including answers to commonly-asked questions.
- Working with Candidates on a Nonpartisan Basis: Ways nonprofits can connect with candidates during election seasons.
- Nonprofit VOTE: National organization with webinars, guidebooks, and toolkits on a wide range of topics related to nonpartisan voter registration, voter education, and get-out-the-vote work by 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
- You Can Vote: North Carolina organization providing clear, accurate, and nonpartisan information about North Carolina’s election process and opportunities for nonprofits to engage in voter education work.
Communications and Media Relations
- Media Matters resources: Guide to getting positive media attention.
- Writing Effective Notes to Elected Officials: Strategy to craft communications to elected officials
- M+R LTE Tool: Tool to help write an effective letter to the editor.
- Health Action International Guide: Communicating for Change: Guidebook for advocacy communications from an international nonprofit.
- Black Lives Matters: Resources on social justice advocacy.
- Leading Change Network: Guide to Public Narrative: Resources to help harness the power of storytelling to achieve goals.