So what are you going to do about it?
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Like most people who blog, I’m fascinated to see which of my posts attract the most hits.
(My all-time high was north of 2,500, which made me feel good even though it couldn’t compare to Taylor Swift batting an eyelash).
I write two types of blogs that consistently rank poorly, but I keep writing them anyway.
Those are blogs that have to do with unplugging from work, and blogs about nonprofits taking part in any sort of voter-registration/political action activities.
In fact, a picture of my dog snoozing in my office (captioned “the dog days of summer”) got more hits than my last blog about what nonprofits can do to prepare for an election! I know he’s adorable but still…
I keep writing these relatively unpopular blogs because NONPROFIT PEEPS, THE TIME TO GET ACTIVE IS NOW!
It’s not enough to wring our hands about the Trump administration’s proposals to:
Cut food stamps/SNAP!
Make it harder for folks to sue over housing discrimination!
Allow shelters to refuse to serve transgender people!
Roll back environmental protections!
Rescind caps on payday lenders!
Recalculate the poverty line!
Every day there is a new assault that is targeted to the poor, the frail, our environment, our working conditions, our health. The list is sadly endless.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
It’s time to mobilize our NONPROFITS to lobby for good!
So, where to begin?
1. The best starting point is a discussion with your Board of Directors about how these proposed policies affect the people you serve.
2. Explain to them that as hard as your staff works, you’ll never be able to fill the gaps that will result.
3. If your Board is reluctant to get involved because they are afraid of breaking the law, ask them to look at my free video that explains the lobbying rules for 501 (c) (3) corporations.
Yes, Virginia, it is legal for nonprofits to lobby.
If you are afraid to go it alone and are lucky to live in a place with a great Statewide Nonprofit Coalition, like the one that we have here in California – join that group and become ACTIVELY ENGAGED!
Together, we CAN make a difference.
Pass this blog along, as well as my blog on what a nonprofit can do during an election year. It will not only be good for my ego; it will be even better for the nonprofit community and the people we serve.
Let’s start the discussion.
Pat Libby is the author of The Lobbying Strategy Handbook – an easy-to-read how-to guide for nonprofit organizations staff and citizens who want to know how to pass laws.
She is also management consultant to nonprofits and philanthropies. She has served as an academic, senior executive, board member, and consultant to innumerable nonprofit organizations and foundations since 1978. Get in touch with questions or to get more information!
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