Advocacy "How To" Resources

Can Non-Profits Lobby?

This two-pager from Bolder Advocacy, a program of the Alliance for Justice, explains that 501(c)3 can indeed lobby, including supporting specific pieces of legislation, if they follow the rules. The general guidance is that non-profit organizations CAN LOBBY IF they spend LESS THAN 5 percent of their time on lobbying activities. This is the default measure used for non-profits called the insubstantial part test. Read More Here

For those organizations expanding their lobbying to be a regular part of their activities, they may want to consider the 501(h) election, which provides a specific calculation for permissible lobbying beyond the "less than 5 percent" guideline. Read More Here


Advocacy Institute 101 (2016)

These are the slides from NCAN's first Advocacy Institute, a training for college access professionals looking to increase the impact of their organization in the policy arena. Learn how Washington really works and skills you can use to advocate for your students, including getting them involved in the process.


Advocacy Institute 201 (Jan 2017)

In follow up to NCAN's 101 Advocacy Institute, this presentation outlines in more detail how to influence your elected officials with a specific focus on how to schedule, prepare for, conduct, and follow up from a meeting with an elected official.


E-Learning Module: Advocacy for College Access and Success

The Advocacy for College Access and Success unit of NCAN's Fundamentals for College Access & Success Providers online training platform helps nonprofits understand how they can advocate, and even lobby, for government action that can help increase college access and success for students. The goal of this unit is to learn what nonprofits can legally do, and the best strategies for achieving those goals. Topics covered include the difference between advocacy and lobbying, how to be an effective advocate, and how to prepare for a meeting with an elected official. Scroll to the bottom of the link below to register.