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:

Internal Revenue Service: Nonprofit Lobbying

The essential resource for understanding federal lobbying parameters and compliance for 501(c)(3) nonprofits.

Montana Commissioner of Political Practices (COPP)

The essential resource for understanding and remaining in compliance with state-level lobbying laws. The COPP website is a comprehensive resource for lobbyists and principals working the Montana legislative session.

National Council of Nonprofits

Informs nonprofits about legislation and regulation affecting the nonprofit sector and about ways to get involved in advocacy efforts. In addition, NCN actively participates in coalitions and campaigns at the state and national level, and works to increase the role of nonprofits in the policy process. All MNA member organizations are members of NCN.

Montana Congressional Delegation

Contact information for Montana’s current U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators.


The term “LAWS” is an acronym for Legislative Automated Workflow System. Provides detailed information on activities related to Montana’s 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 Montana’s biennial legislative sessions is available here.

More resources

Independent Sector
An organization that brings foundations, nonprofit groups, and corporate giving programs together to support philanthropy, volunteering and civic action.

Montana Budget & 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.

Open Secrets –  (Formerly Follow the Money) Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, OpenSecrets is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Our mission is to track the flow of money in American politics and provide the data and analysis to strengthen democracy.

Alliance for Justice/Bolder AdvocacyA national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women’s, children’s and consumer advocacy organizations that work 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 on Budget & Policy Priorities
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.

Economic Policy Institute (EPI)
A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions. EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America. EPI proposes public policies that protect and improve the economic conditions of low- and middle-income workers and assesses policies with respect to how they affect those workers.

National Priorities Project
National Priorities Project is a nonprofit, non-partisan federal budget research organization that seeks to make the federal budget accessible to the American public. NPP provides the information, tools, and motivation necessary to catalyze strategic citizen action around fiscal issues that affect everyone.

Urban Institute
The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that provides data and evidence to help advance upward mobility and equity. We are a trusted source for changemakers who seek to strengthen decisionmaking, create inclusive economic growth, and improve the well-being of families and communities.

VoteSmart Vote Smart provides free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to all Americans. Every candidate and elected official from President to local government can be easily and instantly accessed for their voting record, biographical and contact information, issue positions, interest group ratings, public statements and campaign finances.

Ballotpedia A digital encyclopedia of American politics, and a leading resource for curated , factual and unbiased information on elections, politics and policy. Ballotpedia is firmly committed to neutrality in all content. Database includes more than 390,000 searchable encyclopedic articles on government officials, political issues, public policy, elections and candidates.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Helps policy makers and influencers evaluate public policies on healthcare, retirement benefits, the minimum wage, workforce education and training, economic development, workplace safety, monetary policy, consumer spending, and other topics that affect the well-being of American workers, retirees, and their families.

United States Census Bureau Searchable Database