With more buildings opening up, including State Capitols, state associations of nonprofits are hosting in-person Nonprofit Days at the Capitol. These visits allow nonprofit champions to reconnect with fellow advocates, meet with newly elected legislators, celebrate previous wins, and lift up the policy priorities of charitable nonprofits. Bringing the message directly to elected officials and their staff members can advance legislative solutions or establish relationships that last well beyond the session.
The in-person advocacy season kicked off on January 6 with the Montana Nonprofit Association’s Day at the Capitol. More than 125 nonprofit board and staff members gathered with legislators and members of administration. Governor Gianforte provided the keynote address, observing that work of charitable organizations “helps all Montanans reach their full potential.” The result of the event was a celebratory, energetic, and effective day of networking and education.
Momentum Nonprofit Partners in Memphis hosted a Bluff City Day on the Hill in late January to connect with elected officials and advocate for nonprofits. The goals of the event were to:
- Create visibility for our sector and help nonprofits connect with policy makers;
- Advocate on issues important to nonprofit sector partners;
- Encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to view the Mid-South nonprofit sector partners as resources on key public policy issues; and
- Build their own organizations’ relationships with lawmakers and their staff.
In preparation for the event, Momentum Nonprofit Partners held two information sessions and an overview of the legislative process, as well as produced factsheets, toolkits, talking points, and items for legislators.
On February 1, the North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations (NDANO) hosted a nonprofit day with nearly 50 nonprofits in attendance to promote the missions of their organizations and connect with legislators. On the importance of the event, NDANO’s Executive Director Dana Hager shared that nonprofits cover “everything from arts, health and human services and healthcare.” She explained that “everyone’s dealing in different areas and so, as a group coming together,… we’re here in our communities making a difference, and just raising awareness of that is so important.” The event made sure legislators know how nonprofits are vital to North Dakota’s economy and communities. To prepare attendees for the event, NDANO prepared legislator invite templates and a media kit.
Over the next few weeks, other state associations will host nonprofit days on the hill including the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits + Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement, Iowa Nonprofit Alliance, Kansas Nonprofit Chamber, Kentucky Nonprofit Network, Michigan Nonprofit Association, and Utah Nonprofits Associations. Nonprofits interested in connecting with their state legislators, sharing insights about their organizations, and joining advocacy efforts are encouraged to connect with their state associations of nonprofits and register for a Nonprofit Day at the Capitol.