There’s a great post over at Butts In The Seats titled Info You Can Use: What Is Lobbying and Can I Do It? which covers some of the basics of lobbying do’s and don’ts (thanks in part to the Charity Lawyer Blog). In the age of government budget cuts, lobbying is more important than ever if orchestras hope to stand an ice cube’s chance in hell to retain funding…
In my consulting work, I’ve always made a point of including a public affairs component to board development projects and lobbying is almost always a topic that comes up during the exploration stage. More often than not, I encounter board members who are under the impression that charitable organizations are somehow prohibited or are somehow restricted when it comes to meaningful lobbying activity.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case and the blog post at Butts In The Seats is a good reference source to get the discussion going and dispelling some of those common myths. The last time we touched on the topic of public affairs committees here in any great detail was in an article from 9/24/2009 and everything there is just as relevant now as it was then.
Moreover, designing and building an effective government affairs committee is an excellent way to build some enthusiasm among a board membership that might be feeling the effects of burnout or generally demoralized. However, one of the upshots of government affairs committees is the return on investment is comparatively quick when measured alongside other advancement activities. Consequently, the time and treasure spent in putting one together is certainly worthwhile.