Section 10 (Items 91-100) of the Annual Checkup: A Board Governance Self-Assessment
91. The Florida Nonprofit Alliance posts their policy on public policy on their website. Excellent model for others to consider.
92. Several national organizations including BoardSource, BolderAdvocacy, Guidestar, and the National Council of Nonprofits teamed up to launch a campaign encouraging nonprofit board to become more actively involved in advocacy. The Stand for Your Mission Discussion Guide will help get the conversation started in your boardroom.
93. The Independent Sector devoted an entire page of their web-based resources to better nonprofit advocacy and lobbying. BoardSource did a concise piece on the Board's Role in Advocacy.
94. No one puts out more high quality information for organizations that want to do legislative advocacy and stay within the IRS's rules than Bolder Advocacy (Alliance for Justice.) Here's their guidebook, called Being a Player. BoardSource helps out with this paper on staying legal during election activities, including comparing 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations and PACs.
95. Because the IRS puts limits on expenditures for lobbying it is especially important to make sure you carefully budget and track expenses. Link to the relevant IRS Guidance here.
96. The electronic newsletter of the National Council of Nonprofits is called Nonprofit Advocacy Matters. Visit their website to sign up and follow the proposed public policy changes in your state and nationally. Every state has a National Council of Nonprofits affiliate that keeps track of proposed legislation affecting the sector locally. Here in Florida we have the Florida Nonprofit Alliance watching Tallahassee for us.
97. Before becoming actively involved in advocacy, the board should make some important decisions about what issues affect their mission, who speaks for the group and what activities to undertake. The National Council of Nonprofits has a handy Public Policy Planning Checklist.
98. If a proposed new piece of legislation would seriously affect your organization or your mission, would you know how to talk to the decision-makers? Here's an article from BoardSource on public policy involvement. They also produced this Advocacy Guide for Board Members.
99. Grantspace at The Foundation Center has built a fantastic online resource they call The Collaboration Hub, filled with dozens of tools to make those partnerships come alive.
100. Do your members know where your organization stands on important issues? The Montana Nonprofit Association put together a wonderful manual on advocacy and communications, which they published at 4good.org. An organization called Salsa did a nice Advocacy Kit that includes tools for building membership and surveying them about public issues.