New Guide Is “Roadmap to Success” for Nonprofits Seeking Advocacy Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2019 –  Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy program is excited to announce that its latest comprehensive guide for nonprofits,  “Foundation Advocacy Grants: What Grantees Need to Know,” is now available.  The guide is designed to help nonprofits structure their approaches to securing foundation funding for advocacy activities, so they can make the most of their right to advocate for their causes. For foundations, the guide will be a useful resource to share with their grantees and prospective grantees.

“This new publication provides a roadmap to success for nonprofits that want to secure and maintain robust sources of funding for their advocacy work,” said Abby Levine, Director of the Bolder Advocacy program. “Nonprofits have the right to take part in a wide range of advocacy activities on behalf of their missions, up to and including lobbying elected officials. But many nonprofits think they can’t ask foundations for money to support this kind of activity.  This guide is designed to break down misconceptions in this area and show nonprofits how to ask for and maintain grants that support advocacy work.”

The guide offers readers tips for writing successful grant proposals and reports, an explanation of differences between activities that can be supported by private and public foundations, helpful examples of activities that do and do not count as lobbying according to the law, and more. It includes the following key sections:

  • Yes, Foundations Can Fund Advocacy Efforts:  There are two types of foundations—public and private. Just as most types of advocacy are fully legal for nonprofits to undertake, most advocacy is also fully legal for foundations to support. But there are some key differences between public and private foundations when it comes to securing funding support for advocacy.
  • Advocacy and Lobbying Defined:  While all lobbying is advocacy, not all advocacy is lobbying.  Nonprofits seeking foundation funding for advocacy work will need   to be able to distinguish between lobbying and non-lobbying activities and the expenses incurred for each. The guide offers examples of lobbying and non-lobbying activities to help organizations plan and correctly identify their own advocacy work.
  • Private Foundation Grants for Advocacy and Lobbying Work:  Public foundations are able to fund lobbying work by grantees. However, grantees engaging in advocacy have a slightly trickier challenge when seeking funding from private foundations. The good news is that the law allows private foundations to fund public charities that lobby, as long as the money isn’t earmarked for that purpose alone.
  • Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Compliant Proposals and Reports: How nonprofits craft written proposals and reports can have a big impact on their chances of successfully obtaining and maintaining foundation funding for their advocacy efforts. Find out what works — and what to avoid — when putting together these critical documents.          

In addition to in-depth resources like “Foundation Advocacy Grants: What Grantees Need to Know,” Bolder Advocacy offers a wealth of other resources to assist nonprofits that want to be strong advocates for their missions while complying with all relevant laws and regulations.  Bolder Advocacy maintains a free Technical Assistance line at 1-866-NP-LOBBY, offers email help at [email protected], and provides a wide array of materials online.

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