Collective Advocacy Through
a Nonprofit Association

Often individuals in a profession or people with common interests need to band together to weigh in on a public policy fight. WR Communications frequently forms nonprofit organizations for client groups to do exactly that. It's an underutilized tool, but we believe it's the best mechanism for this type of collective advocacy.

Benefits of a Nonprofit Association

Certain types of nonprofit organizations have the latitude to lobby and advocate on a public policy issue, in legislative, regulatory and election settings. Individuals and many types of groups can contribute to them, but the donations are not tax deductible. However, the nonprofit organization enables these individuals and groups to share resources and band together on a common goal and/or interest.

Nonprofit Case Study

Colorado laws and regulations are specific about the credentials required for medical professionals to provide specific types of care. Increasingly, and usually in the guise of controlling health care costs and improving access to care, medical specialty interests attempt to expand the scope of their allowable services, often into areas in which they are not necessarily well trained. These "scope of practice" proposals typically pit one medical professional group against another.

In a recent legislative session, a Colorado medical specialty group was alarmed that a proposed bill would require lesser trained professionals to be compensated to perform specific sensitive medical services. The legislation quickly passed one house with bipartisan support and the medical professionals were advised by some to accept a compromise. The group chose to fight instead and hired WR Communications to create a nonprofit association. Messaging, lobbying and fundraising activities were coordinated through this entity. The ensuing lobbying and communications campaign ultimately delivered the needed message to legislators—and the bill was indefinitely postponed.

Bottom Line

The legal and tax requirements for establishing and utilizing a nonprofit for a public policy issue can be daunting. WR Communications understands the advantages and challenges of managing a nonprofit organization and can quickly put this structure in place when necessary to create a platform from which to support your organization's goals and protect your interests.