Knowledge Base

Nonprofits and Lobbying

Nonprofit organizations, designated as a 501(c)(3), are able to do some “lobbying” as defined by the IRS, and there are many activities that are actually designated as advocacy which are permissible for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are prohibited from any political activity which includes intervention in a political campaign to endorse or oppose any candidate for public office.

Why Engage in Policy Advocacy

  • Advocacy allows your organization to portray the on the ground experience of providing direct services to influence development of effective public policies,
  • Advocacy helps bring the voices and lived realities of our communities to bear on policy decisions,
  • Non-profits provide valuable perspectives in representing constituencies that have a limited voice in the policy process,
  • Advocacy has the potential to improve policies that are responsive to the needs and realities of survivors as well as their children and families, and
  • Advocacy encourages movement beyond a “One-size fits all” approach.