Public Policy Resource Links
Looking for ways to build or improve your organization's capacity to advocate and engage in public policy? Have a question about what you can and cannot do? Check out these resources:
501(h) election - Measuring Lobbying Activity: Expenditure Test - 501(c)(3) organizations (other than churches and private foundations) may elect the expenditure test under section 501(h) as an alternative method for measuring lobbying activity. Organizations electing to use the expenditure test must file IRS Form 5768 at any time during the tax year for which it is to be effective. The election remains in effect for succeeding years unless it is revoked by the organization.
Alliance for Justice - A national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and consumer advocacy organizations which works to advance the cause of justice for all Americans, strengthen the public interest community's ability to influence public policy, and foster the next generation of advocates. They have several helpful publications on federal law and nonprofit lobbying and election year activities.
Center for Effective Government (was OMB Watch) - The Center for Effective Government is an important federal policy resource including current legislative updates and position papers. The Center concentrates on five main areas: budget and government performance issues; regulatory and government accountability; information for democracy and community; nonprofit advocacy; and nonprofit policy and technology.
Center on Budget & Policy Priorities - The CBPP is a nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research on a range of government policies and programs, with an emphasis on those affecting low- and moderate-income people.
Congressional Delegation - Contact information for Montana's current U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators.
Economic Policy Institute - The Economic Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy.
Independent Sector - The Independent Sector is an organization that brings foundations, nonprofit groups, and corporate giving programs together to support philanthropy, volunteering, and civic action.
LAWS - The term "LAWS" is an acronym for Legislative Automated Workflow System. LAWS provides detailed information on activities related to the law-making process (text of bills, votes, committee schedules, and minutes, etc.) and is designed to give citizens greater access to state government. More information on how and when to become involved during the state's biennial legislative sessions is available here.
Montana Budget & Policy Center - The Montana Budget and Policy Center provides in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues with the goal of advancing sound public policy in the state.
National Council of Nonprofits - The National Council informs nonprofits about legislation and regulation affecting the nonprofit sector and about ways to get involved in advocacy efforts. In addition,the National Council actively participates in coalitions and campaigns at the state and national level, and works to increase the role of nonprofits in the policy process.
National Institute on Money in State Politics - The National Institute on Money in State Politics is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to research and document state-level political donations and their influence on public policy.
National Priorities Project - The National Priorities Project helps the public understand and shape the federal budget to meet community needs by providing: analysis of critical budget issues, state and local data, and tools for local action.
NonProfit Action - NonProfit Action is an online resource that provides tools and information for nonprofit advocacy. The site features articles and research on a range of topics, including capacity building, nonprofit advocacy, and the laws and regulations governing lobbying and voter education. There are interactive tools, including polls, quizzes, and forums and links to a wide variety of policy resources for nonprofits. The site also has a calendar of training and capacity-building opportunities for advocates and a service to contact elected officials and the news media at the national, state, and local levels.
Urban Institute - The Urban Institute gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance overseas, and educates Americans on social and economic issues in order to foster sound public policy and effective government.
For more information or questions regarding MNA's Public Policy Program, please contact Executive Director Liz Moore by email or call 406-449-3717.