National Nonprofit Network Expands Capacity for Nonprofit Advocacy to Help Nonprofits Meet Heightened Challenges

Washington, DC – The National Council of Nonprofits (National Council), the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations, and the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI), a recognized leader in nonprofit advocacy training, jointly announced today that they are joining forces, with CLPI transferring its training materials, curriculum, and other program content to the National Council. Adding CLPI’s proven advocacy and lobbying resources further strengthens the National Council’s status as the leading network of nonprofits engaged in public policy matters that impact nonprofits and the communities they serve.

“Our board was looking for the best way to fulfill CLPI’s vision of helping charitable organizations increase their effectiveness and impact through advocacy, and this is it,” said Michael Cortés, Board Chair of CLPI. “The National Council’s increasing advocacy successes through its unique network of State Associations across the country prove it can accelerate the distribution of resources that CLPI has developed, thus allowing that knowledge to flourish and grow while advancing CLPI’s longstanding mission of promoting, supporting, and protecting nonprofit lobbying and advocacy.”

“Over the years CLPI and the National Council of Nonprofits have enjoyed a special relationship, based in part on the firmly shared view that nonprofit advocacy training can be both nonpartisan and non-ideological,” said Tim Delaney, President & CEO of the National Council. “Policymakers need to be informed by the voices of those whose lives will be affected. With the nonprofit sector employing almost 10 percent of our nation’s workforce and nonprofits on the front lines of the most challenging issues facing every community in America, policymakers need to hear from nonprofits. The powerful intellectual property and legacy of CLPI will bolster the National Council’s mission of advancing the vital role, capacity, and voice of charitable nonprofit organizations through our state and national networks,” added Delaney.

The National Council’s network has been a leader in nonprofit advocacy: fighting for the charitable giving incentive, working with state governments to improve the government-nonprofit contracting system, demonstrating the value of nonprofit tax exemptions, battling unfair new fees and demands for payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs), and educating nonprofits and those they serve. Blending the CLPI training materials into the ongoing work of the National Council’s network in the field will strengthen the ability of the nonprofit community to exercise its voice and promote the interests of the people we serve.

On closing down CLPI’s operations as an independent organization, Cortés said, “CLPI is proud of what we have accomplished. Today, more nonprofits know that they can legally lobby and understand the importance of public interest lobbying and advocacy to their missions.  In moving our body of work to the National Council, we wish to thank our founders including Bob Smucker and Tom Troyer, past board and staff, Independent Sector – where CLPI began, our funders, our partners, and our network of training fellows. We can think of no finer organization to carry nonprofit advocacy work to the next level than the National Council of Nonprofits.”  

The National Council of Nonprofits will create a special task force to explore the best ways to utilize CLPI’s resources and materials. Additionally, the National Council invites nonprofit leaders with insights about quality nonprofit advocacy training to share their suggestions by posting comments at http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/survey/feedback-nonprofit-advocacy-programs. During the immediate future, the National Council intends to keep CLPI’s website – www.clpi.org – active as a free-standing destination for nonprofits to find guidance on how to lobby and advocate.

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The National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations with more than 25,000 member nonprofit organizations, works through its member State Associations to amplify the voices of America’s local community-based nonprofit organizations, help them engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions, and achieve greater impact in their communities.

Since its founding in 1998, the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI) proactively promoted, supported, and protected nonprofit advocacy and lobbying in order to advance the missions of charitable organizations and strengthen our democracy. A national, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, CLPI accomplished its mission through public education, training and lobbying to make nonprofit advocacy an ordinary, not extraordinary, part of what charities and foundations do.