Advocacy and Activism by Online Volunteers

Many organizations involve volunteer activists to promote their agencies and various causes, on and offline. However, before you mobilize online volunteer activists -- to send e-mails to individuals, companies or online discussion groups on behalf of your organization, to create a web-based petition, and so forth -- plan strategically to make your efforts successful and positive.


First, make sure that your organization is ready to involve volunteers virtually and that your agency has set the internal groundwork for staff buy-in and quality control. Your organization also needs to know what activities staff and volunteers can engage in legally regarding lobbying, advocacy, and other public policy activities.


Rather than duplicate the excellent information already on the web for organizations that want to involve online volunteer activists, we are providing the following links:

Lobbying and Political Activity by Tax-Exempt Organizations
by the The Online Compendium of Federal and State Regulations for U.S. Nonprofit Organizations. It is an excellent, detailed guide, and links to even more information from other sources.

Let America Speak
a coalition project co-chaired by the Alliance for Justice, Independent Sector, and OMB Watch. This web site contains information and background about nonprofit advocacy and provides updates about legislation and other activities that could affect the advocacy rights of the nation's nonprofits.

NetAction

This site is an archive of resources developed by NetAction, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting effective grassroots citizen action campaigns. The site includes "The Virtual Activist," a comprehensive training course on cyber-activism to assist activists who want to use technology effectively for grassroots organizing, outreach, and advocacy.