By providing a means for public participation and promotion of the common good, MLA plays a central role in the democratic process. MLA engages in advocacy and public policy efforts to promote its own constituent and organizational interests, as well as those of the nonprofit sector as a whole. In addition, MLA encourages broader public participation in its efforts and, in the process, provides appropriate education and assistance.

Practices

ADVOCACY

  1. MLA encourages board members, staff, volunteers, and friends to act as advocates and ambassadors for the organization and the entire charitable nonprofit sector.
  2. Individuals who are authorized to act as advocates and ambassadors for MLA are knowledgeable about the programs and activities of the organization and prepared to speak on its behalf when appropriate.
  3. Information provided to the general public, the media, and policy makers becomes a matter of public record. Therefore, in order to avoid misunderstanding or manipulation of the message, MLA ensures both that the information is timely and accurate and that the social and political context of the information is clear.

PUBLIC POLICY

  1. MLA participates in and supports the formation and amendment of public policy consistent with the organization’s mission.
  2. MLA assists its constituencies in public and civic engagement by encouraging citizen participation in local, state, and federal policy-making efforts.
  3. MLA actively models respectful civic dialogue that promotes collaboration, diverse relationships in the community, and awareness of differences while being solution-oriented.
  4. MLA continuously maintains an understanding of the current public and political climate and the resulting impact on policy.
  5. If engaged in public policy and/or advocacy activities, MLA adopts and adheres to a written policy that clarifies the scope of the work, as well as the time and resources to be allocated to those activities.
  6. When MLA engages in lobbying it must adhere to legal expenditure limitations.
  7. When MLA engages in lobbying activities that are subject to state and federal reporting requirements must file accurate and timely reports on its lobbying activities with the Internal Revenue Service and the Montana Commissioner on Political Practices.
  8. Federally funded nonprofits that engage in lobbying activities must organize their legislative work so that no federal funds are used for this purpose.
  9. When MLA engages in promoting public participation will ensure that the activities of the organization are nonpartisan.
  10. MLA will not make a contribution to or expenditure in connection with a candidate, nor do the same with a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party and must not engage in any activity that promotes or discourages a vote on behalf of any individual candidate.

Adopted June 8, 2018