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What is Advocacy?

Advocacy: Work for a nonprofit that helps the nonprofit's voice be heard, for the purpose of advancing their mission, increasing funding sources and solving community and societal needs.

Advocacy for public charities incorporates communication about the mission, lobbying for legal change and even nonpartisan voter education. “Nonprofit advocacy is legal, needed, and easy,” states the National Council of Nonprofits.


1. Ambassadorship—Sharing the mission!
Advocacy in the form of ambassadorship is about sharing and communicating the nonprofit's mission to others. Staff and board members are considered ambassadors for nonprofits, but volunteers can be as well!

Advocacy happens everywhere. For example, to better leverage their mission, nonprofits often connect with others who work on similar or complementary issues. This is the core of advocacy — organizations and individuals working together to move the mission forward.

2. Lobbying
Lobbying is a legal way for nonprofits to advocate for legislation that is favorable to their cause, or to overturn laws that are unfavorable to their cause.

Types of Lobbying:

  1. Direct lobbying—occurs when a person or organization contacts legislators or government officials directly.
  2. Grassroots lobbying—occurs when organizations try to influence legislation indirectly by attempting to mold the general public’s opinion on an issue and giving the public a specific call to action.

Learn more about advocacy through the National Council of Nonprofits!