Paul L. Ahern Jr
PB AF 598
Teaches practical administrative, leadership, and analytic skills commonly required of managers and analysts in the public and nonprofit sectors. The workshops emphasize hands-on problem resolution, simulations, and actual practice. Credit/no-credit only.
The course will explore why and how nonprofit organizations may engage in successful public policy advocacy. Many nonprofit organizations choose to complement their work on their primary mission with a policy advocacy component in order to: * Leverage the impact of available funds to achieve the nonprofit’s mission, * Strengthen the voice of the underrepresented in public policy debates, and * Create diverse coalitions that lead to systemic change.
Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that it is inappropriate, illegal, or just too risky for public charities (i.e., Section 501(c)(3) organizations) to engage in advocacy activities. To the contrary, the rules restricting certain types of advocacy activities are relatively simple to understand and follow.
The classes and readings will begin with a review of the wide range of advocacy activities that can be conducted without any legal restrictions at all, including several case studies of both effective and ineffective policy advocacy by nonprofit organizations or coalitions. We will cover the basic rules governing nonprofits that engage in legislative lobbying and nonpartisan election-related activities, and also examine several examples of both successful and unsuccessful lobbying or campaign efforts.
The course will conclude with a review of how nonprofits obtain financial support for many advocacy activities from foundations and governments, including a study of specific examples. If time permits, we could also cover why and how foundations can directly engage in policy advocacy themselves.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
This is a Credit/No Credit course.