• The Connection: Strategies for Creating and Operating 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and Political Organizations

    Since it was first published in 1998, The Connection has provided nonprofits with guidance on how they can engage with the public, lawmakers and candidates to effect public policy, and how these organizations can coordinate together, even in an election year. This guide focuses on the role c4 organizations play in our democracy—as stand alone organizations but also in conjunction with affiliated c3s and with political organizations (PACs).

  • Advocacy Essentials: Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice

    This publication, designed for reproductive rights, health, and justice groups, is a short overview of the laws and regulations that apply to 501(c)(3) public charities when they engage in lobbying and advocacy, including how to shape advocacy during an election time. This resource should be considered an overview of the rules that apply to advocacy.

  • ACT!Quick Advocacy Capacity Tool Now Available in Spanish!

    ACT!Quick helps nonprofits and other grassroots organizations become more effective advocates for their causes by taking a snapshot of their advocacy skills, knowledge, and practices.

    ACT!Quick ayuda a las organizaciones sin fines de lucro y otras organizaciones de base ser más eficaces en su defensa y promoción de causas, porque saca una instantánea de sus habilidades, conocimiento y prácticas.

  • OUR STORIES: The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona

    At the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona we collaborate to achieve social, political and economic change that empowers women. A lot of people know us for our grantmaking. But we do much more than that.

Bolder Advocacy Blog

  • Trump v. Hawaii: Will the Establishment Clause Continue To Protect Religious Minorities From Discrimination?

    Posted by Guest Blogger on May 22, 2018

    On April 25, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Trump v. Hawaii, a case challenging President Trump’s third and latest ban on travel for nationals of several predominantly Muslim countries. The Court’s decision will most immediately impact the individuals who are barred indefinitely from coming to the United States, as well as their family members and extended communities here in the United States. But more broadly, the outcome in this case will have important repercussions for the ongoing meaningfulness of the First Amendment’s most basic protection against religious discrimination.

  • Get Connected: The Top 5 Reasons to Read “The Connection: Strategies for Creating and Operating 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and Political Organizations

    Posted by Leslie Barnes on May 18, 2018

    Nonprofits play a pivotal role in shaping policy. But did you know they also have the right to engage with lawmakers, voters and candidates even in an election year? Read Bolder Advocacy’s 5 reasons to download your copy of “The Connection” today!

  • Bolder Advocacy can help your 501(c)(3) get involved this election year

    Posted by Alexa Pinto on May 16, 2018

    It would be hard to imagine a more volatile and politically charged atmosphere than the one we are entering during this midterm election season. Virtually all organizations, regardless of size, mission, or policy orientation will be affected by the decisions made by the American people on November 6. Many groups will be actively and directly involved in putting their issues in front of voters and candidates in the months leading up to the votes in both primary and general elections. They know that they can ill-afford to be absent from the political process, particularly in 2018.

    But there are also many 501(c)(3) organizations that are uncertain about their right to get involved and unclear about the rules that govern their participation. In our experience, we have found that sometimes caution can get in the way of active citizenship. But experience has also taught us that with encouragement, education, and rock-solid information, every nonprofit group can take its rightful place in the national conversation that will occur this year.

  • Recent FEC opinion allows candidates to use campaign funds for child care

    Posted by Alexa Pinto on May 15, 2018

    Last Thursday, the FEC has issued an advisory opinion that allows a federal candidate to use campaign funds to cover childcare expenses incurred during a campaign. Liuba Gretchen Shirley, who is running for New York’s 2nd District on Long Island, requested that the FEC allow her to use campaign funds to pay a babysitter for her two children while she ran for office.

  • Bolder Advocacy in Puerto Rico

    Posted by Sara Matlin on May 11, 2018

    In April 2018, I had the privilege of traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico to provide training and technical assistance in Spanish to Puerto Rican nonprofit organizations.  El Instituto del Desarrollo de la Juventud (the Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico) invited Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy to offer a workshop about the rights (and responsibilities) of nonprofit organizations to impact public policy. El Instituto had organized this event as part of the debut of their Children’s Budget, which analyzes the impact of Puerto Rican and Federal budget cuts on the island’s youth and families. After the training, I provided in-depth technical assistance sessions to both groups considering starting a nonprofit, as well as savvy organizations like Espacios Abiertos (Open Spaces).

Advocacy In Action

Member Spotlight: Q and A with our AFJ member organization, the National Council of Jewish Women

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Stay connected with NCJW at www.ncjw.org, @NCJW or Facebook.com/NCJWInc.

Featured Resources

Elections

Lobbying Flowchart

This graphic can help you determine if your communication is considered lobbying under federal tax law rules for electing 501(c)(3) organizations. It does not cover situations or communications that take place in a candidate election context.

Advocacy in Action

Thinking of Forming a 501(c)(4)? Start Here!

Bolder Advocacy offers a suite of resources for advocates who are considering forming a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. The materials were created by BA’s experts in conjunction with the Atlas Learning Project.

Workshops & Events

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Policy Updates

Our Commitment to Support

Our commitment to supporting nonprofits and foundations does not stop at providing resources on the law. When an organization’s ability to do its work and speak out for its communities and constituents is threatened or can be expanded, Alliance for Justice gets involved.

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Praise for Bolder Advocacy

  • “Thank you for an extremely informative session… My participation prompted a long discussion with my boss that resulted in his change of position. After 20 years of avoiding any advocacy for fear of crossing the line, he is now ready for us to engage in this work. (I think that meant he will have me engage.) So, thank you.”

    - Anonymous
  • “AFJ gives groups the confidence to lobby and advocate because we know the rules. We affectionately refer to the AFJ hotline as the ‘lobbying bat phone.’ That service is invaluable.”

    - Nebraska Appleseed
  • “AFJ has helped us think proactively in how we approach our work in legislative and non-partisan electoral processes…The expertise that AFJ shares has helped us become more confident and more sophisticated.”

    - Border Network for Human Rights
  • “As a small non-profit, it’s good to know we’ve got a team of smart lawyers with AFJ in our corner!”

    - Katie Ashmore, Jews United for Justice
  • “I do not think I could have survived as an activist without the help that AFJ gave me.”

    - Jehmu Greene, former president, Rock the Vote & Women’s Media Center
  • The Alliance for Justice is an unparalleled resource for the nonprofit community.

     

    - Paul Sonn, Legal Co-Director, National Employment Law Project
  • It would cost a lot for us to hire lawyers to advise us on how to avoid the pitfalls and problems that Alliance for Justice helps us recognize.

     

    - Rob Moore, Environmental Advocates of New York
  • “Thanks to the guidance of the Alliance for Justice we have a robust nonprofit sector.”

    - Rep. Donna Edwards
  • “AFJ walked us through hosting a successful candidates’ forum. By e-mail and phone, they answered tricky legal questions and helped us think about how to be effective but not put ourselves at risk.”

    - Jenne Wood-Taylor, PACT Community Organizer
  • “AFJ’s work ensures that voices that are typically left out of critically important public debates get heard. That is a powerful mission.”

    - Marcia Egbert, George Gund Foundation
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