Advocacy and Public Policy
Learn how AZ Impact for Good is working to advance the common good of the sector - and how you can get involved.
Arizona is home to over 20,000 nonprofit + philanthropic organizations that employ more than 160,000 people and engage thousands of volunteers. They play a central role in everyone’s life. While every nonprofit has its own challenges, some issues affect us all. AZ Impact for Good works with nonprofits to monitor legislation that impacts the entire sector. Working together makes our collective voice heard at the local, state, and national levels.
Also equally important is the role the AZ Impact for Good plays in educating, informing, and empowering our individual nonprofits and grantmakers to advocate on their own behalf for the causes they specifically serve. We provide critical training to help educate nonprofit and grantmaker staff and boards on effectively advocating for their causes each year.
First, let’s get this out of the way…
Don’t feel like you have to believe us – read the laws here to see for yourself how the U.S. Constitution, Congress, and the IRS have protected the rights of nonprofits to engage in advocacy and legislative lobbying. See the confirmations from informed lawyers, accountants, and others that you have the legal right to advocate to advance your mission. And explore the easy ways to comply and protect your rights.
The Arizona Nonprofits + Grantmakers Policy Council is an advisory group of AZ Impact for Good members from across the state. The Council serves as a sounding board and provides AZ Impact for Good’s staff and leadership with critical input from the nonprofit community.
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Public Policy Agenda
Arizona’s Nonprofits + Grantmakers Policy Council begins drafting our Legislative Agenda of priority issues and areas of focus in the fall of each year, which guides us in the next year’s legislative session. The Policy Council makes the recommendation to the board of directors, which votes to approve the agenda in December of each year.
AZ Impact for Good is also frequently called upon to take a position or sign on to support certain bills, propositions, or other important issues. To help guide our decision making, we rely on our board-approved Public Policy Framework.
AZ Impact for Good provides a variety of in-person and webinar trainings around the topics of advocacy and public policy, as well as timely, relevant issues as they come up throughout the year.
These programs are available either for free or at a reduced cost for our members and are accessible throughout the state.
Note: You must set up a customer account and login to watch these webinars and register for events.
Advocacy Action Emails
When critical or timely issues arise, the AZ Impact for Good will send out an Advocacy Alert email to our members to inform them of issues that could positively or negatively impact their organizations or the causes they serve. These communications will also normally include a Pulse Poll, which is a short survey to gather immediate feedback from our members as to the potential impact of pending legislation or other issues.
AZ Impact for Good members receive a free subscription to the Nonprofit Champion electronic newsletter distributed by the National Council of Nonprofits. The newsletter keeps members up to date on important national issues and provides insight into similar issues that nonprofit organizations in other states are facing. It also helps connect our members to a nationwide network of peers.
There continues to be confusion and uncertainty about how or if a nonprofit can be involved with voter engagement. Consider these three answers:
- Voter registration, education and mobilization are completely allowed by IRS rules.
- Voter engagement undertaken by nonprofits is nonpartisan; we do not seek specific election outcomes by supporting specific candidates, and therefore we do not seek to register and mobilize only certain voters.
- Each nonprofit can decide how extensive its efforts will be, but every nonprofit can at least participate at some minimal level.
To help you answer questions about the rules for 501(c)3 nonprofits and follow best practices, consider these resources:
Day of Advocacy at the Arizona State Capitol
Each year, AZ Impact for Good hosts a day of Advocacy at the Arizona State Capitol for our member organizations. This allows us to meet with legislators and discuss the important role the nonprofit sector plays in Arizona, along with outlining any specific or pending legislation that could positively or negatively impact the sector. The day also includes educational sessions on advocacy, public policy, and how to interact and engage with legislators and public officials effectively. Typically, small-group meetings for attendees with legislators are coordinated as well.