Advocacy is crucial to advance our causes and protect our rights.
We help individuals to raise their voices in support of a justice system that upholds and advances the rights of all, and we have a unique program to help nonprofits be heard on their issues.
Some of the most extraordinary achievements in recent decades—marriage equality, access to health care, raising the minimum wage, protecting young immigrants—have come about because nonprofits were willing to take their rightful place at the policymaking table, and foundations were generously willing to fund such organizations.
Lobbying, organizing, litigation, voter engagement, and other types of advocacy by nonprofits ensure that people have a voice in shaping the policies that affect them. However, too many nonprofits and foundations believe that lobbying and election-related activities will jeopardize their organization’s tax-exempt status. On the contrary: If you’re not advocating, you’re not exercising your full rights under the tax laws.
Yes, there are rules that determine how much lobbying you can do and yes, there are differences in how private foundations, public charities, and 501(c)(4) organizations can engage in election-related activities. But organizations can do much more than they think.