Grassroots Advocacy Capstone Project

Excerpt from Capstone Project :

Commuity Advocacy Project: The Impact of Others

It is important in the position of advocacy to give consideration to the community impact and to the impact as an individual and this requires that ethical and legal issues be addressed relating to the advocacy plan. Specifically, the participation on some advocacy campaigns may be in appropriate depending upon the individual's position of employment. The focus of this study is to reflect on the legalities of advocacy work and consider any legal and ethical barriers that the employment setting will have on the ability to implement the advocacy plan and reflect on how one might use special interest groups in the community in the efforts to create public health policy change. As well, this study will consider the potential social change implications of the advocacy efforts.

Non-profits and Lobbying

When employed for non-profit organization considerations of advocacy must include the fact that while non-profits are allowed to lobby "no substantial part of the activities of a 501(c)(3) public charity may consist of lobbying." (Vernick, 1999, p.1426) In the event that a public non-profit takes part in too much lobbying then the non-profit will be charged additional taxes and may even lose its tax-exempt status. (Vernick, 1999, paraphrased) Direct lobbying is defined by the IRS as "any attempt to influence legislation through communication with legislators." (Vernick, 1999, p. 1426)

II. Grass-Root Lobbying

Grass-root lobbying is the method that can be utilized by non-profit organizations to attempt to influence legislation. Grass-roots lobbying has specific requirements including: (1) grass-root lobbying must reference specific legislation; (2) grass-root lobbying must reflect some type of view of the legislation at focus; and (3) grass-root lobbying must include some type of "call to action." (Vernick, 1999, p. 1426) Grass-roots lobbying will assist the non-profit organization in building the momentum and support to bring about legislative changes. The work of Blacksher (2008) relates the debate concerning policy on health reform and the disconnects in policy in this area. Grass-root focused advocacy has the potential to inform and assist the process of determining the best methods to use in health reform.…

Sources Used in Document:


Albarouki, L. (nd) Preventing Tuberculosis Worldwide. Literature Review.

ACT UP. (n.d.). AIDS coalition to unleash power. Retrieved April 27, 2012 from

American Cancer Society. (2012). Retrieved from

Blacksher, E. (2008). Carrots and sticks to promote healthy behaviors: A policy update. Hastings Center Report, 38(3), 13 -- 16. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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