Madore Law Logo

News, Updates, & Resources

6th Guiding Principle: Public Awareness, Engagement, and Advocacy

by | Dec 3, 2020

Kristopher Madore is proudly licensed by the Standards for Excellence Institute® to assist nonprofit organizations implement the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.

Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector

The foundation of the Standards for Excellence® program is the published Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.  It identifies 6 major areas of nonprofit governance and management, which contain 27 different topic areas.  Each topic area includes specific benchmarks and measures that provide a structured approach to building capacity, accountability, and sustainability in your organization.

The 6th guiding principle is Public Awareness, Engagement, and Advocacy.  It contains 3 topic areas.

Guiding Principle:  Nonprofits should represent the interests of the people they serve through public education and public policy advocacy, as well as by encouraging board members, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders to participate in the public affairs of the community.  When appropriate to advance the organization’s mission, nonprofits should engage in promoting public participation in community affairs and elections.  As such, they should communicate in an effective manner to educate, inform, and engage the public.

A. EDUCATING AND ENGAGING THE PUBLIC
(1) Information about the organization’s mission, program activities, finances, board members, and staff should be easily accessible, accurate, and timely (i.e., updated at least annually).
(2) Nonprofits should provide a meaningful opportunity for the public to communicate with a representative of the organization.
(3) Nonprofits should assure that any educational or advocacy information provided to the media and policy-makers, or distributed broadly, is factually accurate and provides sufficient contextual information to be understood.

B. ADVANCING THE MISSION THROUGH PUBLIC POLICY AND ADVOCACY 
(1) Nonprofits should have a written, board-approved policy on advocacy, defining the process by which the organization determines positions on specific issues.
(2) Working independently and in partnership, nonprofits should strive to influence public policies that affect the organization’s ability to achieve its mission.

C. ENGAGING IN LOBBYING AND POLITICAL ACTIVITY 
(1) In promoting public participation in community affairs, charitable nonprofits must be diligent in assuring they do not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

DISCLAIMER AND COPYRIGHT NOTICE:

No part of these materials may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any other information storage retrieval system without written permission from the Standards for Excellence Institute® of Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations.  For more information, please contact the Standards for Excellence Institute, 1500 Union Avenue, Suite 2500, Baltimore, MD 21211 or 410.727.1726.

The Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, Second Edition, 2014

© 1998-2019 Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations dba Standards for Excellence Institute

I work with nonprofits to implement these Standards by incorporating educational materials, providing training, and giving one-on-one and group technical assistance. To learn how I can help you, email kristopher@madorelawllc.com or schedule some free time with me by clicking the green button in the lower right.