Easily the most important and involved form of advocacy is lobbying, or promoting measures in the legislature (State and Federal). Because it is such an involved method of advocacy, lobbying can easily be overwhelming. Broken down, it is much easier to understand, and can even be fun.
There are a couple basic resources to look at before you begin lobbying. The most important thing to know is that these resources are out there. There are ways to get help if you feel you don’t know enough.
Some of the basics of lobbying—Nonprofits and Lobbying
Make sure to know the rules—Knowing the Rules of Nonprofit Lobbying
There's even a handbook!—Nonprofit Lobbying Guide
Is This Even Legal?
We are often asked if it is legal to lobby. Some people are concerned that nonprofit organizations do not have the legal authority to directly advocate legislation with elected representatives. If you have any concerns about the legality of lobbying, or the legal procedures pertaining to it, take a quick look at these resources:
- The bottom line: yes, it's legal—Federal Law of Advocacy & Lobbying
- There are more guidelines for the state of Utah—Nonprofit Lobbying in the State of Utah
- Helpful hints with the legal paperwork—IRS Rules
- Your rights will be defended. There are friends on your side—Attorneys to Help
- There are more resources to help you—Additional Advocacy Resources
Working with Legislation
The bottom line and the primary focus of advocacy is the laws that the legislature considers. You’ll want to keep up on all of those. Fortunately, there are ways to do that more effectively.
What happened this year? Check out 2017's Current Legislation.
Running your own legislation? Apply for UNA Endorsement. If you would like us to endorse your policy action, please apply by filling out this form and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to stay updated? Here are some Resources to Help Keep Track of legislation
Working with Legislators
By its very nature, lobbying will require you to interact and work with elected representatives. Approaching and working with legislators can be a new experience. Here are some ways to make it even easier.
Know who to talk to—Find your Local, Statewide, and National Elected Officials
Be prepared to meet with them. Here are some helps with that:
- How to Contact Elected Officials
- Communicating with Government Representatives: Meeting with a Legislator
- Communicating with Government Representatives: Writing a Letter
- Calling your Elected Officials: Tips and Instructions
Remember: They want to talk to you too! Knowing what you have to say helps them to become better representatives. Here are tips given by some of Utah's current elected officials:
- Mia Love, U.S. Congressional Representative: Ways Nonprofits Can Engage With U.S. Congressional Delegation
- Brian King, Utah State House Minority Leader: Five Ways Nonprofits Can Engage with State Legislators
- Todd Weiler, Utah State Senator: Five Ways Nonprofits Can Engage With State Legislators