Resources

Advocacy

The Lobbying and Advocacy Handbook for Nonprofit Organization
Available from the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, was written by Marcia Avner of the Minnesota Council for Nonprofits. The book provides some very practical approaches to influencing policy at the local, state, and national levels and includes help on creating a planning process. The most helpful section of the book is the Worksheets, which provide step-by-step guidance. To order this book go to : http://www.wilder.org

Advocacy and Lobbying without Fear: What Is Allowed within a 501 © (3)
Charitable Organization
 – http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/section/158.html
By Thomas Raffa, Nonprofit Quarterly. Understanding the distinction between lobbying and advocacy is an important first step in knowing what is permissible in your efforts to affect public policy. To download the article go to:

Advocacy 101 – http://www.communitychange.org/
Pesented from the Center for Community Change Web site, which provides some helpful articles on how to advocate, how to pick winning issues, and what you can and cannot do legally. To view the Web site go to:

OMB Watch Nonprofit Advocacy Section – http://www.ombwatch.org/npadv
The Office of Management and Budget Watch (OMB Watch) has a nonprofit advocacy section which provides current articles on nonprofit advocacy, and resources for nonprofits that want to be informed and prepared to advocate.

Alliance for Justice has a Nonprofit Advocacy Project – http://www.allianceforjustice.org/nonprofit/index.html
Works to strengthen the voice of the nonprofit sector in important public policy debates by giving tax-exempt organizations a better understanding of the laws that govern their participation in the policy process. The Project provides workshops, research and publications, and other technical assistance.

Networking

Merrimack Valley Hub – http://www.mvhub.com
The MVHub is a mechanism for community-based agencies in the Greater Lowell area to inform the greater public (including peers) on the services and resources offered by your agency. This online resource is an interactive, searchable database. Organizations can submit and update information from the site as well.

Outreach / Promotion

Lowell Telecommunications Corporation – http://www.ltc.org
LTC offers Lowell-based NPOs the opportunity to have access to media services (i.e. television production, cablecast, website distribution) that can assist in the outreach and promotion of community services. Training and equipment resources as well as staff production assistance are available. Web hosting and community software development (i.e. database design) are available through the Community Software Section.

Merrimack Valley Hub – http://www.mvhub.com
The MVHub is a mechanism for community-based agencies in the Greater Lowell area to inform the greater public (including peers) on the services and resources offered by your agency. This online resource is an interactive, searchable database. Organizations can submit and update information from the site as well.

University of Massachusetts – Lowell / eCommunity – http://ecommunity.uml.edu
UML provides community-based organizations with free web and domain name hosting.

Policy

City of Lowell – http://web.ci.lowell.ma.us
Information on City Departments and happenings, including elected officials.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts – http://www.mass.gov
Information pertaining to Massachusetts state government, including elected officials.

Professional Development

Alliance for Nonprofit Management – http://www.allianceonline.org
The ANM offers valuable resources as an organization of two hundred-plus members, including management support organizations and others that provide technical assistance to nonprofits. Committed to “raising the bar on quality,” the Alliance provides leadership for enhancing civil society by challenging and strengthening those who deliver management and governance support services to nonprofit organizations.