Local Community Advocacy: Building Relationships and Influencing Policymakers

Building and maintaining strong relationships with local policymakers requires nonprofits to be a proactive resource of reliable information on community needs and trends, your programs, and the financial and organizational challenges you face. Advocacy and particularly lobbying can be intimidating to board members and staff given the partisan political environment and perceived regulatory restraints. Municipal and county governments, however, are accessible to local nonprofits and can leverage their influence in many ways and over time to benefit nonprofits’ missions and organizational well-being.

This session, the first of a two-part series, begins with a panel conversation focused on successful strategies for developing a working relationship with local officials. The panel shares real-life Hudson Valley examples of nonprofits successfully navigating local advocacy opportunities and challenges, including lessons learned. Participants will learn the basics as to when advocacy work crosses the lobbying threshold as regulated by the state and the IRS and what that means for reporting.

Moderator – Doug Sauer, Independent Advisor, NYCON
Subject Expert – Vincent Marrone, Principal at Public Strategies, LLC, to present and respond to related regulatory matters.
Panel – Nonprofit leaders representing human services & arts/culture organizations soon to be named