After-school Programs Work to Host, Show Off for Their Elected Officials

After-school Programs Work to Host, Show Off for Their Elected Officials

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But how cosy should nonprofits be with elected officials?

Stand for your mission, advises the National Council of Nonprofits.

“Advocacy is really about always focusing on the mission,” said Rick Cohen, director of communications and operations for the council. “Every nonprofit has a mission. At the end of the day, it’s not about sustaining the organization, it’s about the people the organization serves.”

Advocacy is much broader than reaching out to elected officials, but it includes establishing a relationship with them, he said.

“The best thing is to establish a relationship as early as possible,” he said. Invite members of Congress to visit during their recess, he suggested. “It’s a way for them to understand the real impact of budget cuts or other changes in legislation.

“Invite them often,” Cohen said. Keep them or their key staff members aware of your organization and the work it does, and reach out to city officials and state legislators as well as members of Congress, he said.

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