Montana Nonprofit Association

promoting a strong nonprofit sector in MONTANA

Principle: Advocacy & Public Policy

By providing a means for public participation and promotion of the common good, nonprofit organizations play a central role in the democratic process. Nonprofit organizations engage in advocacy and public policy efforts to promote their own constituent and organizational interests, as well as those of the nonprofit sector as a whole. In addition, nonprofits encourage broader public participation in these efforts and, in the process, provide appropriate education and assistance.

 KEY   ★★★ Legal Practices are legally required of all Montana nonprofits 
  ★★ Essential Practices are widely recognized as industry standards and generally expected of all nonprofits 
  ★ Recommended Practices should be considered by all nonprofits, with implementation dependent on capacity and life stage 
 

Practices

ADVOCACY 

1. ★ A nonprofit encourages board members, staff, volunteers, and friends to act as advocates and ambassadors for the organization and the entire charitable nonprofit sector.


2. ★★ Individuals who are authorized to act as advocates and ambassadors for a nonprofit are knowledgeable about the programs and activities of the organization and prepared to speak on its behalf when appropriate.

3. ★★ Information provided to the general public, the media, and policy makers becomes a matter of public record. Therefore, in order to avoid misunderstanding or manipulation of the message, a nonprofit ensures both that the information is timely and accurate and that the social and political context of the information is clear.

PUBLIC POLICY 

4. ★ A nonprofit participates in and supports the formation and amendment of public policy consistent with the organization’s mission.

5. ★ A nonprofit assists its constituencies in public and civic engagement by encouraging citizen participation in local, state, and federal policy-making efforts.

6. ★★ A nonprofit actively models respectful civic dialogue that promotes collaboration, diverse relationships in the community, and awareness of differences while being solution-oriented.

7. ★ A nonprofit continuously maintains an understanding of the current public and political climate and the resulting impact on policy.

8. ★★ If engaged in public policy and/or advocacy activities, nonprofits adopt and adhere to a written policy that clarifies the scope of the work, as well as the time and resources to be allocated to those activities.

9. ★★★ A nonprofit that engages in lobbying must adhere to legal expenditure limitations. US

10. ★★★ A nonprofit that engages in lobbying activities that are subject to state and federal reporting requirements must file accurate and timely reports on its lobbying activities with the Internal Revenue Service and the Montana Commissioner on Political Practices. MT, US

11. ★★★ Federally funded nonprofits that engage in lobbying activities must organize their legislative work so that no federal funds are used for this purpose. US

12. ★★★ A nonprofit engaged in promoting public participation must ensure that the activities of the organization are nonpartisan. US

13. ★★★ A nonprofit corporation must not make a contribution to or expenditure in connection with a candidate, nor do the same with a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party and must not engage in any activity that promotes or discourages a vote on behalf of any individual candidate. MT, US



 

Accountability, Transparency, and Disclosure  ~  Communications 

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