In addition to the federal rules that impact advocacy, many states have rules and regulations on certain political and legislative activities that you need to be aware of.

If your organization operates at a state or local level—exclusively, or in addition to federal work–it may be subject to these rules. Bolder Advocacy provides state law resources on campaign finance and ballot measures, lobbying disclosure and voter registration. We want to ensure that 501(c) organizations (including 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6), among others) can be as active as possible while complying with both federal and state laws governing their lobbying and election activities.

Please note that the laws around these activities are subject to change, especially as states deal with the ramifications of the decision in the Citizens United case, which invalidated aspects of many states’ existing rules, especially around campaign finance issues. Each state resource is dated so you know when the document was last updated. We will continue to update documents as resources are available and will be working to add more states. We also strive to continuously improve these resources, and appreciate your feedback and questions. Please contact us if you have questions or comments about these resources.

» View our factsheet on State Lobbying Registration Thresholds to easily determine whether you will need to register and report your state-level lobbying

» Also see our California Advocacy Resources


98 Resources

Lobbying in Dallas, Texas

Are you required to register as a lobbyist & report your lobbying activities? If you or your nonprofit organization works to impact public policy in the City of Dallas, you may be required to register as a lobbyist and report your lobbying activities. The general rule is that a person (including an individual or organization) is engaged in a lobbying activity if the person communicates, directly or indirectly, to a city official in an effort to influence that official’s position on a municipal question. ...

California Lobbying Disclosure Thresholds: When an Organization Needs to File

Is your organization active in California legislative or administrative policy change? California has a sunshine law designed to reveal who has influence on California politics, and that sunshine law may apply to your organization. An organization is required to register and report its California lobbying activities if it exceeds specific monetary thresholds,  or if an employee(s) of an organization spends enough time communicating with certain state officials. Just because an organization engages in lobbying at the state level in California does not necessarily mean it will have reporting obligations under state law. This factsheet will help you understand if your...