What is Advocacy?

Can Orchestras Advocate? Yes, You Can!

Nonprofit organizations have a responsibility and a right to advocate on behalf of their constituents. Citizen participation and citizen action is essential to democracy.

Advocacy includes:

  • Informing legislators or government officials about your opinion of an issue that isn’t related to specific legislation
  • Educating your organization’s membership about a piece of legislation
  • Educating policy makers about your organization and its mission
  • Publishing an analysis of a legislative proposal
  • Conducting educational meetings
  • Preparing and distributing educational materials

Direct lobbying includes:

  • Stating your organization’s position on specific legislation to legislators, government employees or government agencies who participate in the formulation of legislation
  • Encouraging your members to contact a specific legislator about a specific piece of legislation
  • Grassroots lobbying is stating your position to the general public and asking the general public to contact legislators or other government employees who participate in the formulation of legislation.
  • Nonprofit organizations may exercise “measured lobbying,” a percentage of their annual expenditures as defined by the IRS.