Immigration Advocacy

In this Toolkit, we have collected all our resources in one place to support immigrants’ rights advocacy groups working on policy goals ranging from federal policy reform to voter mobilization.

AFJ works closely with advocates who are fighting anti-immigrant laws and policies, and promoting positive immigration reform. AFJ offers in-person and web-based workshops to immigrants’ rights advocates about the legal rules for nonprofit advocacy.

For one-on-one guidance on specific questions, contact us at or 1-866-NP-LOBBY. For technical assistance in Spanish, you can call our Oakland, California, office directly at 510-444-6070.


Organizaciones sin Fines de Lucro Involucrando a los Activistas Indocumentados en la Defensa y Promoción de Causas

Nonprofits Engaging in Advocacy with Undocumented Activists

Advocacy Through Coalitions

Working in coalitions is a legal and effective way to accomplish an advocacy goal. For example, the Reform Immigration FOR America coalition brings together all different types of nonprofits to accomplish a particular policy goal of achieving fair immigration laws. A 501(c)(3) organization can safely work with other types of nonprofits, including 501(c)(4)s and labor unions (501(c)(5)s), as long as the joint activity of the coalition is nonpartisan. 501(c)(4)s, unions, and other political organizations can conduct partisan activity that a 501(c)(3) may not legally engage in, so a 501(c)(3) will have to be careful that it doesn’t lend its resources or name to an activity that the 501(c)(3) itself cannot perform.

As a 501(c)(3) can legally lobby, it can certainly join in a lobbying coalition with a 501(c)(4) or a union. The 501(c)(3) taking part in a lobbying coalition needs to make sure its own lobbying expenditures do not exceed its annual lobbying limit.

To learn more, see our summary of common types of tax-exempt organizations to learn more about the legal difference between these different types of organizations.

This resource from Fieldstone Alliance, Steps for Considering and Creating an Alliance, can help you determine whether working in a coalition can further your organization’s goals and how to go about building an effective coalition.

Communication Tools

Consistent and effective messaging is a key component to any successful advocacy campaign. The following are resources to help in your design and capacity-building for effective media advocacy.