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Finding our Advocacy Mojo

We must activate and unify as advocates if we are individually, and collectively, to succeed in our work. 

To this end, here are some concrete steps we can take together:

1. Educate yourself about the role of nonprofits in advocacy.

Too often, we have heard someone influential, but uninformed, tell a group that lobbying and advocacy are not allowed in nonprofits. This is untrue. As a nonprofit professional, you need to equip yourself with the facts and educate your board and other nonprofit leaders in your sphere of influence. Read GCN’s briefings on the critical issues in real-time. Take our Nonprofit Advocacy Clinic on June 14th, an all-day workshop focused on developing and evolving advocacy strategies that work.

2. Talk openly with donors about the positive impact of advocacy.

Talk to them about the cause-and-effect value that awareness-building among policymakers, and coalition-building among nonprofits, can make. Ask for funds to support education and advocacy among the public and policy makers.

3. Proactively educate policy makers on your issue and your organization.

Be a resource for them about your cause as well as the technicalities of your individual work that you know best.

4. Ask for your colleagues’ help in your advocacy issue,

especially if they are part of the ecosystem of the issue. Equip them to help you by providing sufficient background, a clear task and a specific target for their effort on your behalf. Advocate help is like fundraising—the first rule of getting support is to “ask.”

5. Join a coalition.

The Georgia Center for Nonprofits is active in local, state and federal policy matters on behalf of our state’s nonprofit sector. You, our members fuel our effectiveness. There are local and issue-specific coalitions as well that need expanded leadership participation. Find one and participate.

6. Take a stand.

Your mission depends on it.

Karen Beavor is President & CEO at Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

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