Guidelines for Advocacy: Creating Safer Environments for Youth
The purpose of this CADCA Strategizer is to clarify what constitutes “lobbying” activities for nonprofit organizations and to what extent these organizations can participate in lobbying activities in particular
and the legislative process in general.
Many people who work on public health issues such as substance abuse prevention find themselves frequently working on matters related to public policy and legislation. This makes good sense when you consider the impact public policies can have on the public’s attitudes and behaviors related to public health matters.
It is not uncommon, however, for substance abuse prevention advocates to have little or no background or direct experience with the creation, regulation and maintenance of public policy. This
can make people understandably skittish; especially when it comes to the legal restrictions on lobbying that the Internal Revenue Service places on nonprofit organizations.
Despite this skittishness, the fact is that many, if not most, public policy advocacy activities that nonprofit public health advocates engage in do not constitute lobbying. Even those activities that
do constitute lobbying are not prohibited by law.
While the IRS places limits on the amount of money that nonprofit organizations can spend on lobbying, the activities themselves are expressly allowed by law.
Read more CADCA Guidelines for Advocacy