As a member of Alliance for Justice, your organization will become part of a national association of organizations working for the public interest. You will join more than 100 national, regional and local leaders working for a wide range of progressive causes including civil rights, human rights, women's rights, children's rights, and consumer rights; advocating for American veterans, youth, families, immigrants and natural resources; and ensuring legal representation for all Americans.
Alliance for Justice has a broad and diverse membership, but our members agree that the voice of the nonprofit sector must remain loud, clear, and independent in all public policy debates. Your membership helps strengthen this effort and ensures that the voices of those advocating for social justice are heard.
DEFENDING THE RIGHTS OF THE NON-PROFIT COMMUNITY
On policy issues, Alliance for Justice monitors legislative and political developments at federal and state levels that affect the day-to-day operation and the long-term health of nonprofit organizations. AFJ is a key leader in opposing efforts to limit the free speech and association right of nonprofit organizations.
AFJ organizes broad grassroots efforts, defeating repeated attempts to limit the amount of privately raised funds a charity may use for broadly-defined "political advocacy."
In addition, AFJ continues to monitor threats to tax-exemption for advocacy groups. AFJ members receive regular briefings and updates on key legislative and regulatory actions affecting nonprofit advocacy. For example, AFJ recently testified before the FEC on proposed over-broad regulations defining prohibited coordination between candidates and nonprofits. These regulations, if passed, could severely hamper legitimate nonprofit lobbying and advocacy. AFJ keeps members informed about changing disclosure requirements for nonprofits' annual tax return (Form 990). Tracking and reporting on anti-advocacy provisions that are sometimes incorporated into agency regulations, legislation and campaign finance reform legislation is yet another service Alliance for Justice provides to members.
TRAINING WORKSHOPS AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
AFJ offers members a comprehensive package of services and technical assistance designed to increase staff and organizational advocacy capacity. In 2001, AFJ presented more than 100 workshops to thousands of nonprofit staff and board members, local coalition partners, and at regional and national conferences.
A variety of training workshops are available for Alliance members and other organizations. Topics include: lobbying rules and regulations for nonprofits, promoting an agenda during election campaigns, and the many ways nonprofits can actively participate in initiative and elections. Alliance members receive priority attention for direct technical assistance regarding advocacy questions.
Members receive a complimentary copy of each of AFJ's acclaimed publications. The latest, E-Advocacy for Nonprofits: The Law of Lobbying and Election-Related Activity on the Net, is the very first guide for nonprofits interested in advocacy on the Internet.
A recent Alliance publication, The Connection: Strategies for Creating and Operating 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and PACs, provides a basic understanding of the advocacy activities allowed by 501(c)(3) organizations, 501(c)(4)s, and political action committees (PACs) under federal income tax and campaign finance laws in lobbying, voter education, and other "political activities." It reviews the advantages and issues to be considered in establishing different types of organizations, while addressing fundamental issues faced by nonprofits in managing multiple entities, each with a different tax-exempt status. These publications - and more than twenty-five others- are available to all Alliance members.
PROMOTING FOUNDATION SUPPORT OF POLICY
The Foundation Advocacy Initiative is an AFJ program that educates funders about the full range of advocacy activities that they may support. A publication, Myth v. Fact: Foundation Support of Advocacy debunks the "myths" that inhibit foundation support of policy work and includes a thorough overview of the IRS rules governing foundation support of advocacy. AFJ will continues to organize meetings with national and regional funders to show how public policy work can further a foundation's interest in advancing environmental, health and safety, and civil rights issues - as well as strengthening the long-term effectiveness of the entire advocacy community.
AFJ is often asked by its members to bring in other organizations to help broaden or strengthen an existing coalition. For example, efforts to bring civil rights, labor, religious and consumer groups together with environmentalists on the "takings" issue allowed the public interest community to broaden its message and impact. Environmental justice, healthcare reform, low-income housing, and even basic civil rights are just a few areas that might be challenged as "takings" of private property should such legislation pass. AFJ also played a significant role in preserving funding for the Legal Services Corporation by involving organizations from outside the legal services community.
In 1997, as part of its First Monday program, AFJ initiated a special organizing effort against new immigration laws that classify a wide range of minor offenses as grounds for immediate imprisonment and deportation - no matter how long ago they occurred. National attention generated by this effort, and efforts of others working on immigration issues caused INS officials and many in the Senate to re-examine the legislation. First Monday's 1998 focus on death penalty issues and 1999 program on housing and homelessness served as an organizing focus for our members and others who struggle to address those important issues. In 2000, First Monday kept the issue of gun violence in the forefront of national attention through the November election and into 2001.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE
Through the Judicial Selection Project, AFJ works to secure a federal judiciary that is fair and independent - a judiciary that understands its historic role in protecting the rights of ordinary Americans, a woman's right to choose, and the role of Congress in protecting civil rights, the environment, the rights of workers, consumers and the disabled. AFJ monitors and investigates judicial nominations at all levels of the federal bench, promotes the appointment of diverse, highly qualified, and compassionate judges, and works to educate and engage the public in the judicial selection process.
AFJ has significantly expanded the Judicial Selection Project as we deal with a decidedly different (and difficult) political terrain. The Project will be working vigilantly over the next several years to make sure that the progress we've made in civil rights, environmental protections, and social justice is not undone. AFJ keeps its members informed on the status of judicial nominations, and works to represent their issues and constituencies in the judicial selection process.
The Project's efforts are directed to both short and long term goals. AFJ conducts intensive research on current nominees who appear to pose a particular threat to society's progress. In the long term, the Project is laying the foundation for a cumulative impact on the judicial selection process, to strengthen the role of the progressive community in ensuring the appointment of independent, fair and well-qualified judges.
YOUR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS THE ENTIRE NONPROFIT ADVOCACY COMMUNITY
A larger membership adds greater weight and stature to the positions articulated by AFJ before Congress, the Executive branch, and the philanthropic community.
DUES FOR NEW MEMBERS
Effective January 1, 2009, new members of Alliance for Justice pay an introductory membership rate of $500. Please see the following scale for dues after first year's membership.
DUES SCHEDULE FOR MEMBERS
After the first year, members pay dues based on the sliding scale below.
Annual Renewal Dues (based on organization budget):