Coaching Board Members for Advocacy Pays Big Dividends

Coaching Board Members for Advocacy Pays Big Dividends

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"To me board members are really the secret sauce that make things happen," says Tim Delaney, president of the National Council of Nonprofits. "They have the added juice that paid [nonprofit] staffers don’t, not because they’re slick, but because they care, they’re influential, and they’re constituents."

Some trustees may be reluctant to pitch their organization’s work to lawmakers because they believe nonprofit boards are not allowed to advocate. That isn’t true, says Anne Wallestad, chief executive of BoardSource, an organization that seeks to improve nonprofit governance.

One way to bust that myth is to help your trustees understand the distinctions between lobbying and advocacy, said Mr. Delaney. Another is to give nonprofits the tools to know what their trustees can and cannot do.

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The Chronicle of Philanthropy
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