Advocacy, Lobbying & State MCH Programs
Many state personnel are expressly prohibited from engaging in lobbying activities as part of their official duties. AMCHP urges all MCH advocates to familiarize themselves with local, state, and federal regulations concerning lobbying and other advocacy activities.
Most restrictions on non-profit lobbying apply specifically to grassroots lobbying and do not apply to general, broad advocacy on behalf of MCH issues. Advocacy is simply defined as educating and urging action on an issue. Lobbying is more specific and often defined as stating a position on a specific piece of legislation to government employees or legislators who are a part of formulating that legislation or activities to promote a specific piece of legislation such as asking a Member of Congress to support a specific bill or program.
Can You Lobby?
For an excellent overview of lobbying regulations, including links to the IRS guidelines on non-profit lobbying, visit the National Association of Community Health Center's Advocacy/Voter Registration website. The Alliance for Justice, a Washington, DC-based non-profit, provides technical assistance to many non-for-profit organizations and foundations on advocacy and lobbying activities. Visit the Alliance's website by clicking here.
The American Public Health Association's Power of Policy webinar series included a session specifically on lobbying and advocacy for health department personnel. To view that webinar, click here.
For more resources on lobbying visit the Inside Lobbying website, which includes links to several free, educational videos on the topic of lobbying and how to work to advocate on Capitol Hill.
As a 501(c)(3) public charitable organization AMCHP complies fully with all Federal regulations, restirctions and established practices governing advocacy and lobbying activities. No Federal funding is used to engage in any lobbying activities and all legislative activities are closely monitored and audited for compliance with all relevant legislation. If you have questions about AMCHP's specific lobbying activities please contact our Director of Policy (see the "Advocacy Contacts" link to the left).