Legal Issues for Advocacy Coalitions

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Working Together:  Legal Issues for Advocacy Coalitions

Working in coalition makes nonprofits’ advocacy stronger. It can also raise significant legal issues.  Advocacy coalitions in particular need to be aware of how lobbying and political activity restrictions and disclosure requirements affect individual members and the coalition itself. Coalition members can also incur legal responsibility for staff working on coalition issues. Conflicts can arise around who owns jointly created materials, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, fundraising, office occupancy, and more. This workshop will give you a working knowledge of the legal issues that coalitions and their members should consider and strategies for handling those issues.

Sean Delany and Laura Abel of Lawyers Alliance for New York will conduct the seminar.

Topics Covered:

  • Why conduct advocacy through coalitions?
  • What are the different legal vehicles for structuring a coalition?
  • What are the lobbying compliance obligations of the coalition and its members?
  • When might lobbying or political activity by some members be attributed to others?
  • What protocols should coalitions have in place regarding data sharing and confidentiality, conflicts of interest, ownership of jointly created materials and more?
  • When does a coalition become a joint employer?
  • What legal obligations are raised by fundraising for the coalition’s work?
  • What limitations might affect the location where the coalition will conduct its activities?
Who Should Attend:    Nonprofit board members and managers.
When:          Friday, April 21, 2017
                     9:30 am – 2:00 pm
                     (breakfast and lunch will be served)
Where:          New York Foundation
                      10 East 34th St., 10th Floor
For more information:        Contact Laura Abel, (212) 219-1800 x283 or

The space in this workshop is limited.  It will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.  There is no fee for you to attend the workshop, due to the support of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and New York Foundation, but you must be registered to attend.  One or more representatives from each organization are invited to attend.
Your registration is a commitment that you or someone from your organization will attend the entire workshop. If circumstances change and no appropriate person from your organization is able to participate, please notify Wilma Alexander at Lawyers Alliance for New York as quickly as possible so we can take someone from the waiting list.
1. Contact Information: *This question is required.
2. Which foundation(s) currently funds your organization? *This question is required.