Advocacy is an important way for nonprofits to advance their cause through activities like:

  • Legislative Monitoring
  • Position Papers
  • Policy Research
  • Grassroots Organizing
  • Public Education
  • Organizing Networks and Coalitions
  • Lobbying







Lobbying is one of the most critical advocacy strategies for nonprofits. It involves speaking with elected officials in an attempt to influence specific legislation. The amount of lobbying a nonprofit organization can engage in depends on its tax-exempt status and is regulated by the IRS. Learn more about the rules for nonprofit lobbying in this article from Bolder Advocacy.


501(c)3 nonprofits – including churches – may not intervene in any election for public office, at any level. While they are allowed to engage in activities that promote voter registration and participation, and certain voter education activities, these may not be done in ways that suggest which candidates the organization may favor or oppose.  Learn more about nonprofit political and election activities and regulations.


Nonprofits depend on you to rally behind their causes and demonstrate public support to elected officials. Subscribe to the email lists of organizations you care about to receive advocacy alerts and calls to action, and reach out to volunteer coordinators to learn how to get involved. You might be called on to sign a petition, contact your representatives about specific legislation, attend organized lobbying days and events, testify at public hearings, or hit the streets to canvass on a specific issue.