By: Larry Kaplan, Nonprofit Consultant, Larry Kaplan Consulting

Last month, I was featured in GHJ' panel discussion on marketing your nonprofit to donors. Some of you might wonder why an advocacy specialist would be on a panel about marketing and fundraising. Simple – advocacy is a form of marketing that can improve your program delivery and boost your fundraising. Here’s why:

  1. Passionate leaders inspire all donors, and attract those supporters who care as much about systemic policy change as about helping individuals. Talking about systemic change can resonate just as much as any individual story.
  1. Advocacy gets you media attention – how often have you used a video clip or a mention in a news article as part of your fundraising appeals? When your donors see you quoted in the media, it tells them that you are a thought leader who can accomplish your mission.
  1. Changing public policy can improve your public sector partners’ effectiveness, improving your own program metrics – and we all know how institutional funders, in particular, love improved metrics. Changing an agency rule or regulation can have as much impact as the arduous process of passing a law, but you have to know how to do it.
  1. Staying on top of public policy developments helps you anticipate challenges, especially important because about one-third of nonprofit funding comes from government. You need to be able to anticipate funding changes long before they hit your organization.

That’s why advocacy works, which includes public affairs, government and community relations, policy research/analysis and strategic messaging. How it works and how you can afford to implement it at your non-profit is a much bigger topic. But, I’d be happy to walk you through that anytime – just get in touch and we can set something up.

Happy New Year!

Larry Kaplan’s expertise is in non-profit advocacy—he can show you how government & community relations, policy research & analysis can help you fundraise & deliver on mission. He can be reached at or through his website,