January 2021 Newsletter


January 2021 Newsletter

Green Bonds; Advocacy & Lobbying for Non Profits

Green Bonds and their growing demand

As we dive into this next decade, many businesses are struggling to find ways to finance their projects, much less keep their companies afloat amidst a global pandemic. For those that have projects that create both social and environmental impacts, a green bond can help finance those projects.

What is a green bond, you ask? A green bond is a financial instrument used to fund projects that solely focus on a social and environmental return on investment, in addition to the financial bottom line. These projects, whether new or existing, must show a positive environmental outcome. They are similar to traditional bonds with their structure but have different standards for reporting.

Since they were first issued in 2008, green bonds have been trending up. According to The Economist, green bonds raised roughly US$271b in 2019, despite only making up 4% of the total bond issuance worldwide. More countries have been participating as of late in order to comply with the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were issued in order to create improved environmental & social outcomes by the year 2030.

In Latin America, green bonds are continuing to trend, with Colombia being the latest country to issue nearly $575m in January 2021. These funds will be used in projects that combat deforestation and create renewable energy. 

Advocacy & Lobbying for Non profits

As the US continues to deal with multiple ongoing social issues, non profit organizations have been seeking ways to combat these struggles by advocating and lobbying for change. But to what extent can non profits be involved with advocating and lobbying?

For starters, all lobbying is advocacy, but not all advocacy is lobbying. Advocacy is any form of action that communicates the mission of an organization, whether it be in favor of or against a particular cause. Lobbying, on the other hand, are communications that are intended to influence legislation. It is a specific form of advocacy.

There are two forms of lobbying: direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying. According to the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, direct lobbying communicates positions on a specific position to a legislator, government employee, or decision maker. Direct lobbying attempts to influence the public via ballot initiatives.

Grassroots lobbying communicates a position to the general public and encourages them to contact legislative representatives in support of a particular position. It is always best to know what is legally permitted when it comes to your non profit organization.

501 (C) 3 are allowed to:
  • Advocate
  • Lobby
  • Influence legislation and ballot initiatives
  • Not participate in election or partisan activities
  • Not use federal grants on lobbying
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