Nonprofit Advocacy & Lobbying 101
with Nona Randois from Alliance for Justice
Tuesday – April 19th, 2022, 10am – 3pm
St. Marks-in-the-Valley — 2901 Nojoqui Ave, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Advocacy and Lobbying 101: Legal Tips for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Advocates in Partisan Times and Understanding Ballot Measures
Ballot measure advocacy by nonprofits isn’t just legal – it’s important, powerful, and fundamental to democracy. With policy being decided at the ballot box in California, it’s important for nonprofits to be part of the conversation. This training will help nonprofits understand what they can do to advocate around ballot measures and will also help them grasp ballot measure reporting requirements.
(c)(3)s play an important role in educating and engaging the public on policy issues and actions taken by elected officials on the local, state, and national levels. After this workshop you will have a clear understanding of how to maximize your advocacy, the kinds of advocacy activities 501(c)(3)s can engage in, and when a communication is considered lobbying.
Participants will learn:
- How federal tax law permits lobbying for charities and how lobbying is defined;
- One easy step most charities can take to maximize the amount they’re allowed to spend on lobbying;
- Tips for taking advantage of the narrow definitions of lobbying
- The application of these rules to ballot measure activities.
- How much ballot measure advocacy is permissible under IRS rules, and tips for staying nonpartisan
- The California ballot measure disclosure reporting laws, including what types of activities and expenditures give rise to different types of reporting needs
- How to avoid pitfalls and take advantage of different options for raising money for California ballot measure work.
- How you can continue to advocate for your issues during election years
- How you can educate the public through candidate forums and questionnaires
- How you can respond to candidate statements
- How you can conduct nonpartisan voter registration and ensure get-out-the-vote efforts are conducted legally
- How you can safely support or oppose ballot measures without being partisan
- How staff and volunteers’ partisan activities in their personal time can be kept separate from their activities on behalf of the organization.