4 Advocacy Tools You Can Use

As the leading voice in Washington D.C. for the nation’s diverse network of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs, Independent Sector fights every day for public policies and a regulatory environment that enable our sector to deliver the critical goods and services that improve lives and enrich communities across America.

This advocacy often results from countless hours of thoughtful, high-level strategy sessions and leads to expertly-crafted fact sheets demonstrating the impact of the sector’s work. Yet time and again, our team hears the same near- desperate plea from lawmakers: tell me a story about my district.

This fall, you are the experts. As Congressional lawmakers round the year-end stretch of the session, they want to hear from you. Here are four easy ways you can weave your organization’s own story into the fabric of our sector’s most pressing advocacy efforts:

  1. Share your bright spots… Invite your House or Senate representative to tour a facility or work site next time they are in town. Highlight for them how tax incentives for private giving, government contracts or funding, and other investments in the creative ideas of the nonprofit sector make possible your continued impact on their constituents.
  2. …And your missed opportunities. Show them where and how you could do more. If you rely on planned giving, have your development team explain how constant uncertainty over the IRA charitable rollover and other temporary tax provisions holds back your potential impact.
  3. Hit ‘em with some graphics. Whether nonprofit #UNselfies or helpful infographics, Congress loves something to share out on social media. Tag your representative in a follow- up message on their favorite social media platform (as well as send a formal letter).
  4. Stay connected – and vote! With a workforce of over 13.5 million employees – and 61 million volunteers – the charitable sector can send a strong signal to Washington that we are an effective voice for the values we represent, both year-round and on Election Day. Continue to share your stories with Congressional offices beyond 2015, stay tuned for IS policy updates on policy matters, and encourage your staff and stakeholders to vote!

For more information about effective advocacy strategies, policy and regulatory issues, and the new Nonprofit Votes Count campaign, please contact publicpolicy@independentsector.org

Leave a Reply