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In this issue:

Stand for Your Mission Award – We’ve Got a Winner!

Why Board Engagement in Advocacy is Essential

The Power of Board Advocacy: A Discussion Guide

BoardSource’s Own Advocacy Work: Defending the Johnson Amendment


Welcome to the Spark!

Starting with this issue — the first of four we will publish this year — the Spark! will focus on critical issues affecting the nonprofit sector today. R+S — our Resources + Solutions biweekly emails — will continue to provide you with practical governance resources, templates, checklists, guides, and tools. This issue of the Spark! focuses on advocacy.


Stand for your mission award

We’ve Got a Winner and an Honorable Mention!

The Stand for Your Mission Award is designed to recognize nonprofit boards that have established advocacy as an expectation for engaged and effective board leadership, and, by doing so, are helping their organizations realize their missions. We received 125 applications for the 2018 award and winnowed the pool down to ten finalists.

Today, we’re excited to announce that Treehouse is the winning organization and will receive $5,000 to support its advocacy efforts. This Seattle nonprofit envisions a world where all children who experience foster care can pursue their dreams and become productive members of society. Read about their successful efforts advocating for their kids.

Meet The Winner

And a shout out to our honorable mention, Vermont Afterschool lnc., a public-private statewide partnership dedicated to supporting and sustaining innovative learning opportunities that extend beyond the school day for all of Vermont’s children and youth. We encourage you to read its success story, as well as the inspiring stories shared by our other finalists.

Meet The Finalists


Ten Basics Cover

Why Board Engagement in Advocacy is Essential

BoardSource expects nonprofit board members to advocate for their organization and its mission. Anne Wallestad, president & CEO, explains why in this blog post.

Read Now

Discussion Guide Cover

The Power of Board Advocacy: A Discussion Guide for Your Board

If your board is not already involved in advocating for your mission, BoardSource has a guide on how to start the conversation in your boardroom.

Download The Guide


Johnson Amendment

BoardSource’s Own Advocacy and the Distinction Between Policy & Politics

When it comes to its own advocacy work, BoardSource has voiced its opposition — as well as encouraged the BoardSource community to voice its opposition — to any legislation that would weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment, the law that protects charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations from partisan politics. Some of you may wonder how nonprofit engagement in partisan politics and advocacy differ. Allowing nonprofit organizations to take a position for or against a candidate (electioneering) is a misuse of a nonprofit organization’s charitable status and would put pressure on nonprofits to endorse or oppose certain political candidates in order to secure contributions. On the other hand, a nonprofit organization’s legal right to advocate on policy issues that impact its mission is essential when there’s an important issue that would help — or hurt — the organization’s mission. This 2013 position paper explains why BoardSource supports the Johnson Amendment.

Read The Position Paper


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