How Can Nonprofits Impact Policy?

Can your nonprofit strengthen its capacity to use advocacy to impact governmental policy?

Here are five steps to make it happen:

  1. Review your mission. What types of policies would enable you to better meet your goals?
  2. Engage policy makers by building relationships with local and state public officials. Be sure that your staff and board members know their representatives and senators. Get to know their staff by attending their events and inviting them to yours.Become a resource for public officials, especially for those who have been advocates for causes that align with those of your organization. Create simple fact sheets that clearly define your organization, its mission, and its benefits to the greater community.
  3. Develop a written strategic advocacy plan identifying current policies that need updating or gaps in services that could be addressed with public attention or dollars.
  4. Select a number of public officials identified as decision-makers on policies aligning with your organization’s goals. Set up face- to-face meetings to cover specific talking points. Ask how you can help one another to make a better community.

Through advocacy, the nonprofit sector can provide research, outcomes, testimonials, and best-practice models so that public officials can make informed decisions on policies and laws that impact the communities they serve.

Ruth Peebles, President of The INS Group, offers 25 years of experience in the nonprofit management. The INS Group is a national consulting firm that provides organizational development and capacity building services to nonprofits, government agencies, and faith-based institutions. Services include grant writing, grant research, strategic planning, strategic fund development planning, succession planning, executive coaching, and board training and board development. MShare small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve's community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

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