BoardSource strongly encourages boards and board members to lead their organizations toward greater engagement in advocacy and to play a personal role in advancing their missions through ambassadorship.
Social sector organizations should not ignore the policy environment in which they operate. Opportunities to move your mission forward through policy change represent an important strategy for impact. And, on the flip side, proposed decisions that could negatively impact your organization’s work and stakeholders can represent a significant threat to your mission.
That’s why BoardSource strongly encourages boards to lead their organizations toward greater engagement in advocacy, and encourages board members to play a personal role in making sure that their organization isn’t missing opportunities to advance its mission. In fact, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits revealed that the most effective organizations are actively engaging in advocacy as a fundamental strategy for greater impact.
Board members are uniquely positioned to be successful advocates and ambassadors for their missions. As business leaders, community volunteers, philanthropists, and opinion leaders, they have the connections, the confidence, the respect needed to speak up on behalf of their organizations when policy decisions are being made that might affect the organization’s ability to achieve its mission.
BoardSource believes so strongly about the board’s role in advocacy that we set it as a new expectation in the most recent edition of Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards and co-launched the Stand for Your Mission campaign in 2014.
The Power of Board Advocacy: A Discussion Guide for Boards
The path toward greater mission impact through advocacy begins with an honest conversation in the boardroom about your board members’ role in serving as ambassadors and advocates. This discussion guide, which is available as a free PDF download or can be bundled in a package of 10 printed pieces, is designed to help you start that conversation.
All board leaders should be inspired to “stand for their missions” through active engagement as ambassadors and advocates. Use the resources below to ensure that you understand the laws surrounding nonprofit advocacy, lobbying, and political activity so you can support your organization’s mission.
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