Nonprofits and Advocacy: Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment
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When the Susan G. Komen foundation pulled funding for Planned Parenthood’s breast exam program, the public uproar brought new focus to the high political and economic stakes faced by nonprofit organizations. The missions of 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, political action committees, and now Super PACs have become blurred as issues of advocacy and political influence have become increasingly entangled.
Questions abound: Should a nonprofit advocate for its mission and its constituents with a goal of affecting public policy? What are the limits of such advocacy work? Will such efforts fundamentally jeopardize nonprofit work? What can studies of nonprofit advocacy efforts reveal? Editors Robert J. Pekkanen, Steven Rathgeb Smith, and Yutaka Tsujinaka recognize the urgent need for relevant research and insight into these issues as direct and indirect government services are squeezed by federal cutbacks.
Nonprofits and Advocacy defines advocacy and clarifies the differences among advocacy, lobbying, political activity, and education, as well as advocacy measurements. Providing original empirical data and innovative theoretical arguments, this comparative study is organized into two parts. The first part focuses on local and national dimensions of nonprofit advocacy, and the second part looks at organizational politics and strategies. The conclusion considers basic questions about nonprofit advocacy and seeks to draw lessons from research efforts and practice.
Providing a critical look at the multidimensional roles and advocacy efforts of nonprofits, this volume will be valued by scholars, students, leaders, and activists―many of whom advocate for the interests of their organizations while delivering services to their organizations' constituents. The research is also relevant for policymakers involved in cross-sector public policy initiatives as they strive to provide more efficient public-private solutions to challenging governance issues.
from this national survey document convincingly that human service nonprofits funded by government provide both direct feedback to government funding agencies and indirectly advocate through coalitions and associations. In this chapter, we explore the types of feedback, one-on-one meetings, formal feedback avenues, and advocacy through coalitions and associations and then focus on the determinants of advocacy through coalitions and associations. The research questions we address are: 1. What
we’re so involved 120 The Local and National Dimensions of Nonprofit Advocacy with doing [service] that there just doesn’t seem to be enough time left over to do the other part, and shame on us. But that’s the reality.” Another pointed out, “I mean, we [service providers] have a dual role. We have to push the envelope in terms of social change, and then we have to make sure that the work that we do gets done . . . And so that means that we have to make sure that we’re adequately resourced to
beliefs than other managers. Instead of seeing advocacy as a distinct activity, separate from their services work, management professionals saw advocacy as important for promoting the organization and its agenda, and as directly connected to their larger mission. Acting on these professional norms helped their organizations overcome both capacity and leadership issues. Meanwhile, characteristics such as personal passion, increased access to policymakers, and understanding of legal issues, while
frameworks contend that economic and social injustices are not mutually exclusive and that no particular form of domination or social relation—be it race, class, patriarchy, or heteronomativity—is the primary source of oppression (Kurtz, 2002, 38).2 As I explained in Affirmative Advocacy, while recognizing that important inequalities persist among racial, gender, or economic groups, intersectional approaches highlight the ways in which social and political forces manipulate the overlapping and
Federal Policy.” In The Encyclopedia of Poverty and Social Welfare, edited by Gwendolyn Mink and Alice O’Connor, 548–52. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ——— . 2007. Affirmative Advocacy: Race, Class, and Gender in Interest Group Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ——— . 2013. “Of Mancessions and Hecoveries: Race, Gender, and the Political Construction of Economic Crisis and Recovery.” Perspectives on Politics 11: 167–76. Sundstrom, William 1992. “Last Hired, First Fired?” Journal of