Shade Community Center and Shade Senior Citizens Association

Lobbying

Lobbying involves much more than persuading legislators. Principal elements include researching and analyzing legislation or regulatory proposals; monitoring and reporting on developments; attending and sometimes testifying before legislative or regulatory hearings; working with coalitions interested in the same issues; and educating government officials and other stakeholders on the implications of existing or proposed legislation.

 

Many nonprofit organizations avoid political advocacy work because they fear their nonprofit status will be revoked due to restrictions against lobbying. This a a realistic fear for groups that get involved in election work or campaigning - this should always be avoided. However, for other types of political work, the legal limits for nonprofits are not as strict as many people believe. 


Organizations that know and follow the rules can safely speak out on many political issues relevant to their mission.

Sources of Additional Information

CLPI (Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest) is an organization dedicated to promoting nonprofit advocacy and lobbying. Its website provides practical tips on lobbying for nonprofits as well as legal information and an “ask the expert” function that allows individuals to submit questions about nonprofit advocacy and lobbying issues.

Ohio

The Ohio Legislative Service Commission website offers detailed information about all pending state legislation, including copies of proposed bills, analysis, budget documents and status reports. This group also prepares downloadable research reports on various topics.

 

The Legislative Service Commission also provides an online guide summarizing the Ohio lawmaking and budgeting process, how to read a bill, and where to get additional information on current Ohio law, pending legislation, bill analysis, local impact statements, etc. Download a copy of this guide.

 

Gongwer News Service’s Ohio Report is an online, daily publication that provides detailed coverage of every bill in the General Assembly and closely tracks the intricate workings of the executive and judicial branches. This is a subscription service, but can be accessed for free at the Regional Nonprofit Alliance Resource Center. Your local library likely also has a subscription, but call first to confirm.

 

West Virginia

The website for the West Virginia Legislature provides detailed information about the content and status of pending legislation, schedules for committee meetings, budget details and contact information for elected officials.

 

The West Virginia legislature website also provides a Citizen’s Guide to the Legislature which includes information about legislative and committee process in the state.


Kentucky

The Kentucky Legislature website provides detailed information about current Kentucky law, pending legislation, the legislative calendar and committee meeting schedules and contact information for elected officials.

The Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center was created by the Kentucky General Assembly to provide information on existing issues within the state and the potential long-term impact of proposed legislation. The website provides a wealth of information and data on a wide range of topics including education, health, economic development, etc.

 

The Regional Nonprofit Alliance has many useful resources on nonprofit lobbying in its library. Stop by to borrow a book or, if you aren’t close by, send us an email (RNA@ohio.edu) with the type of information you are looking for, and we’ll send you a packet of information electronically. 

Books in our library include:

  • Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities by Gail Harmon, Jessica Ladd and Eleanor Evans
  • Tools for Radical Democracy: How to Organize for Power in Your Community by Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos
  • Worry-Free Lobbying for Nonprofits: How to Use the 501(h) Election to Maximum Effectiveness by Alliance for Justice
  • E-Advocacy for Nonprofits: The Law of Lobbying and Election Related Activity on the Net by Elizabeth Kingsley et al.
  • The Nonprofit Lobbying Guide by Bob Smucker
 

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