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Leadership and Governance Resources

Advocacy is about educating decision-makers and helping them understand how public policy impacts the people we care about and the communities we serve. It’s also about making sure that we aren’t sitting on the sidelines while leaders in our communities make decisions that would positively or negatively impact our missions.  

This week's resources:

  • Nonprofits Must Advocate
  • Advocacy, Lobbying, and Political Activities
  • What is Advocacy?
  • Stand for Your Mission Resources

You can also visit our COVID-19 resource page for more information on how nonprofits and board members can respond to the pandemic.


Nonprofits Must Advocate

Janet Levinger of Leading Well interviewed BoardSource Chief of Staff Judy Reckelhoff about advocacy and nonprofit boards. Advocacy is essential to fulfill your mission and serve your communities. Board members must understand how public policy impacts their organizations, the importance of educating policymakers, and the need to include resources for advocacy in an organization’s budget.

Read the Interview

Advocacy, Lobbying, and Political Activities

It can be confusing to figure out what is forbidden by the IRS and what activities might even be recommended for your organization. This outline defines the key terms and the legal limits you need to know if your nonprofit organization had decided to start advocating.

Review Key Advocacy Topics

What is Advocacy?

Nonprofits need to understand the differences between the various activities associated with advocacy, as well as what is and what is not allowed for a specific type of tax-exempt organization. For example, what is or is not lobbying? What is nonpartisan voter education? 

Understand Advocacy Fundamentals

Stand for Your Mission Resources

Public policy can play an influential role in making our society more just. And it can help nonprofit organizations make essential advances that create lasting, positive change. Stand for Your Mission resources range from discussion guides to a sample board member job description with advocacy experience, and these resources help your board understand the essential components of good governance and serve their organization and the public in the best possible manner.

Explore Stand for Your Mission Resources


The R+S this month is brought to you by OnBoard



Try OnBoard Board Governance & Meeting Management Software

Passageways is giving all BoardSource members free access to its virtual board management software, OnBoard, until August 31. If you are still trying to figure out the best platform to use for your now-virtual board meetings, this is a great opportunity to try one of the most popular options out there.

Try OnBoard


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