The University of Iowa


Nonprofits should share their views with the government about matters central to the delivery of their services. This page offers guidance with information on issues arising in the advocacy context, such as lobbying and campaign activity.

Principles & Practices Citation 

XI. A. Principle – Communicating to the Government

Nonprofit organizations should individually and collectively communicate their views to government about matters which affect the delivery of their services.



  1. I.R.C. 501(c)(3) organizations are free to contact and seek to influence actions of executive and administrative governmental bodies.
  2. Such organizations are limited under Internal Revenue Code to “insubstantial” activities to influence legislation with legislative bodies, but it is advisable to influence relevant legislation within those limits.
  3. Charitable nonprofits are encouraged to make the 501(h) election by filing form 5768 with the IRS to make calculation of when lobbying is no longer “insubstantial” clearer.

Frequently Asked Questions about Advocacy