Nonprofit organizations are committed tofurthering particular social causes or in advocating for specific points ofviews. In perspective nonprofits appear to concerned with pursuing the socialcause of their liking (Renz, 2016). However, too often ignored is the advocacyelement, which is a mistake. Within a period during which nonprofit organizationsare involved in a fierce competition for resources, especially in funding andwhen they experience a stretch in their funds, advocacy could be excellenttools for helping them boost their levels of outreach. Motivation for thenonprofits to engage in advocacy could be drawn from the fact that mostbusinesses have gone public for them to attract a large proportion of thepublic to invest in their business. Therefore, the nonprofit sector could tapinto public support for their activities through advocacy, since advocacyentails the gathering of public support towards a given issue. Arguing that itis wrong for nonprofits to engage in advocacy should consider three fundamentalquestions.
The first one concerns the legality of such activities, the secondon the benefits and the third concerns the manner of evaluating the effectivenessof such advocacy (Renz, 2016). First,nonprofits should engage in advocacy since the legal frameworks of theirsupport defines what they should not engage in doing which is theirparticipation in partisan politics (Renz, 2016). If a nonprofit organization engagesin such activities known as lobbying, it risks losing its tax exempt status.
They should comprehend the variations between advocacy and lobbying. In thiscase, partisan political lobbying involves issues such as rallying support forspecific candidates, contributing financial resources in support of somepolitical parties and others. It means that organizations are free to advocateany other issue that could be in line with their mission and vision providedthey do not violate legal provisions. Secondly, advocacy could be beneficial tothe nonprofits since it would enhance the goals and mission of such organizations.Effective advocacy could occur in the form of public education and makecomments on issues of specific importance to each organization. Hence, thenonprofit sector can affect the process of policy formulation and adoption,improve governmental policies, raise public awareness on issues and transformthe perspective of the public on social matters. Thirdly, the perception thatadvocacy activities are difficult to evaluate and not worth the engagementshould be rethought. In fact, nonprofits now realize the value of an evaluationof their activities of advocacy since such events allow them to check theiroperations against their missions and objectives.
Overall, the notion thatorganizations should not engage in advocacy is wrong since it is legal and isuseful in furthering the objectives and goals. Public nonprofit organizations and their management actas liaison between policy makers and the public, as they translate suchpolicies into action to provide the intended services. Policy makers depend on theorganizations management to carry out the implementation of public initiativesto the targeted population.
Engaging in advocacy will build communication withthe diverse stakeholders to build support, improve the public perspective andthe ability to change and manage policy that influence the organizations effectiveness. With the focus on outcomesthat are measurable to assess effectiveness against their missions andobjectives, creates the opportunity to evaluate advocacy opportunities.