- September 13, 2016
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Join us for a special, full-day event to learn how nonprofits can bring the concerns of their communities to policy makers and elected officials and help inform and encourage voters safely.
Access to healthcare, environmental justice, workers’ rights and border security– these are just a few of the critical issues elected officials may consider next session. They need to hear the voices of nonprofit organizations and their constituents!
This event will address the legal rules associated with nonprofit advocacy so that groups can boldly speak out about the causes they care about. It will also include a post-lunch legislative briefing regarding the issues that will most likely be the topics of proposed reforms when the Texas Legislature goes back to work in 2017.
9:00-10:15: Advocacy & Lobbying 101
Lobbying is not only legal – it’s one of the most effective means for nonprofits to advance their missions! Whether influencing the state budget, protecting Medicaid, or passing laws to improve the state’s education system, there are many reasons that 501(c)(3) public charities choose to lobby to achieve their policy goals. This comprehensive workshop will help explain what lobbying is and why it is so important. Federal law allows 501(c)(3) public charities (including houses of worship and public foundations) to lobby within generous limits. This training addresses:
- How the tax law permits lobbying for nonprofits;
- One easy step most charities can take to maximize the amount they’re allowed to spend on lobbying;
- Yearly lobbying limits for charities;
- Tips for taking advantage of the narrow definitions of lobbying – which will help charities make the most of their lobbying limit; and
- The application of these rules to ballot measure activities.
10:30-11:45: The Rules of the Game – Elections
Elections are important opportunities to educate and engage voters and the community at large. Although 501(c)(3) organizations cannot support or oppose candidates for public office, there are many activities they can participate in during election years. This portion of the workshop covers the federal tax law rules regarding electoral activities for 501(c)(3)s, including:
- How groups can continue to advocate for their issues during election years;
- How they can educate the public through candidate forums and questionnaires;
- How to best ensure voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts are conducted legally; and
- How groups can safely support or oppose ballot measures without being partisan.
12:00-1:00: (LUNCH) What’s State Law Got to Do With It?
Texas nonprofits not only have to pay attention to the federal rules related to nonprofit advocacy, but they must also take care to abide by state-level lobbyist registration and reporting requirements. This discussion will address the Texas Ethics Commission lobbying rules and provide a basic overview of the process local nonprofits need to follow if they are engaged in lobbying the Texas legislature or ballot measure advocacy.
1:30-3:00: 85th Texas Legislature
Discussion of issues of interest to nonprofits expected in the 85th Texas Legislature (2017 session). This session to be facilitated by Jason Sabo, Principle, Frontera Strategy.
Thanks to our sponsors:
Venue: ACC Highland Business Center
Venue Phone: 512-223-7111
You will receive an email 1-2 days prior to the class date with specific information on room location, parking information, a temporary parking permit, and any other necessary logistical information. Parking at Highland Business Center: The ACC overflow parking lot is currently under construction. If the ACC parking lot is full, you may park across the street at the Holiday Inn. You will not be towed. Park only in marked spaces: Blue Curbs indicate a reserved space (e.g., disabled or faculty/staff); Yellow Curbs generally indicate no parking and tow away zones; and Red Curbs are fire zones. Vehicles parked in the fire zone, disabled spaces, or parked in a manner that blocks or impedes traffic may be ticketed and/or towed. The temporary parking permit you will receive allows you to park in any lot marked as Student Parking. Full-Day Classes: Lunch is not be provided during full-day classes. There is a Marketplace in the building, and several eateries nearby. We ask that all beverages have secure lids. Cancellations and Refunds All cancellation requests must be received at least 48 hours in advance of a class start date. Credit card refunds will appear on your monthly statement as soon as possible after the official reporting date. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance of the class start date.