Our definition of Advocacy is simply identifying, embracing, and promoting a particular cause. As the voice for Ottawa County’s nonprofit community, the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance (LNA) is committed to advocating on behalf of issues of most importance to LNA members. This is primarily done through the supporting of legislation that will positively influence nonprofits as well as through general community education of issues important to members. As with all LNA decisions, this is done by first listening to the broader membership’s preference for a position on a particular issue (such as proposed legislation.) This input is then brought before the Alliance’s Board of Directors for a formal vote as to the organization’s official position on the matter. Once a position is taken, the Alliance takes action in a variety of ways depending on the situation, including:
- Making public endorsements of LNA’s position
- Writing letters (or other forms of communication) to legislators in support/opposition to proposed policies
- Encourage voting on particular ballot measures
- Encouraging legislators to introduce new bills
- Testify at committee hearings or public meetings
- Informing Legislators at Regular Venues (i.e. Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Breakfast)
Another major component of LNA’s commitment to nonprofit advocacy is by supporting the efforts of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). Incorporated in 1990, MNA is a statewide membership organization dedicated to serving the diverse nonprofit sector through advocacy, training, and resources. LNA supports the work of MNA by being a member, promoting membership with MNA to other Ottawa County nonprofits, and as a collaborative partner with MNA on efforts that advance the nonprofit sector.