We Resolve…


Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort

2020 has been a tough and tumultuous year for all of us. While it was a year marked with political unrest, a global pandemic, and uncertainty about the future, we’ve managed to get through it together (as individuals and as a nonprofit community).

Looking forward to 2021, our Bolder Advocacy team is sharing some of our resolutions for the coming new year. By pledging to continue the fight for sound public policy, equity, and social justice, public charities can be the change we want to see and provide a voice for every American, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status.

We resolve…

  • to hold the new presidential administration accountable for its campaign promises. By building accountability in to our policy agendas, we can begin to ensure that our elected and appointed officials make policy decisions that are in the best interests of our communities and constituents.
  • to engage in the redistricting process. By working with our state governments to influence legislative boundaries, we can ensure that minority votes are not diluted and that communities are not unnecessarily split apart in an attempt to advance partisan goals.
  • to participate in local and state-level policymaking processes. While it is certainly important to work with Congress and other federal policymakers to influence legislation and administrative action, we oftentimes have the strongest impact when pursuing our policy goals a little closer to home. Check out our resource library to learn more about your state’s lobbyist registration and reporting requirements.
  • to speak-up about how COVID-19 is impacting communities and the relief necessary to get them back on track. Let’s face it… this pandemic has taken a toll on us all, and nonprofits are perfectly situated to raise the pandemic-related concerns of their constituents with those who have the power to address our healthcare, economic, and other societal needs.
  • to build capacity to advocate. While many nonprofits are new to advocacy and may not have extensive experience influencing public policy, we can become more comfortable engaging with public officials if we take the time to evaluate our advocacy capacity and leverage our organizational resources.
  • to keep up-to-date on nonprofit advocacy developments. Subscribe to our new Rules of the Game podcast for regularly released episodes about how nonprofits can safely and effectively engage in public policy.
  • to boost civic engagement and participate in state and local elections. Though the presidential election cycle has come and gone (for now), many jurisdictions will have elections this year. By working to educate the public on the candidates, register new voters, and encourage participation in local elections, nonprofits can make sure that the voices of all eligible voters are heard and taken into account by elected officials.
  • to keep up the momentum! During the 2020 election cycle, nonprofits played a critical role in registering new voters and driving one of the highest voter turnout rates in modern history. If your organization played a part in that process, resolve to bring those new voters into the fold and keep them engaged in the policymaking process. More voices = more power when you’re working to progress your policy agenda.
  • to work in coalition to amplify our impact. While nonprofits are capable of doing a lot on their own, we can maximize our influence with policymakers by joining forces with other organizations who share similar policy goals. This year, we resolve to develop new advocacy partners and work with existing allies to boldly pursue real, meaningful policy change.

Any questions? As always, our Bolder Advocacy team is here to support you and your nonprofit in the months and years to come. Just send us a message at advocacy@afj.org, and we will be back in touch shortly to answer your advocacy-related questions or schedule a workshop for your team.

In the meantime, here’s to 2021! May it be a year filled with progress, advocacy, and hope for a brighter future.