Advocacy ToolsSay it with us: “Poverty is not a lot in life. Poverty is the result of bad public policy.”

As the richest state in the country, all Californians should be able to easily access the resources they need to meet their basic needs. No one should struggle to earn living wages or provide housing, healthcare, and healthy food for their family. No one should suffer because of low wages.

We must end poverty as we know it. To make this happen, we need systemic reform, and our community of working families is fighting to make that happen through grassroots advocacy. When we join together, we win.

GSO advocates at the state and federal levels for policies that help all low-income families achieve financial stability and security.

Some recent legislative victories include:

  • Increasing income eligibility for the CalEITC to $30,000
  • Creating the Young Child Tax Credit for low-income workers with children under 6
  • Expanding CalEITC eligibility to young workers under 25 and senior workers over 65
  • Expanding CalEITC eligibility to immigrants with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN)


Tools to Serve Your Community

Your nonprofit can play an important role in educating the public and policy makers by representing your community and its needs. Advocacy and lobbying are tools you can use to push for change.

Nonprofit advocacy and lobbying led to the expansion of the CalEITC and Young Child Tax credit eligibility for young adults and ITIN holders. Your voice makes a difference!

All advocacy is not lobbying! When you communicate with policymakers or the public to educate, inform, or highlight an issue, that’s advocacy. When you prepare community members to share how the current law impacts them, that’s advocacy too.

In contrast, the IRS defines lobbying as activities relating to specific legislation. For example, if your advocacy mentions a bill number or title, such as S.B.123 or H.R. 456, that’s lobbying.

Yes! Federal law allows 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations to engage in some legislative lobbying activities. However, there are spending limits and some technicalities. Lobbying cannot be “substantial part of the activities” carried out by the nonprofit.

There is a free, easy and powerful option for nonprofits who want to lobby – the H election. Nonprofits who “take the H election” retain their 501(c)3 status and track their legislative lobbying efforts through expenditures. The amount a nonprofit can spend depends on its size.

You don’t have to have a lot of capacity to have a big impact. Joining other organizations like GSO and coalitions who are already leading advocacy efforts can take the work off your plate. Signing on to letters and sharing out requests with your network are a big help!

To learn more about federal lobbying rules, reach out to your local Golden State Opportunity contact. We can connect you with free resources and low-cost trainings.

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