Citation
Exploring the use and value of collaboration in nonprofit advocacy

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Title:
Exploring the use and value of collaboration in nonprofit advocacy
Creator:
Machado, Jason Scott ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file (134 pages) : ;

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Public Affairs, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Public affairs

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Nonprofit organizations ( lcsh )
Pressure groups ( lcsh )
Nonprofit organizations ( fast )
Pressure groups ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Review:
Nonprofit organizations can engage in at least three primary activities -- service delivery, revenue distribution through grantmaking, and advocacy. Through these activities, nonprofit organizations play a role in the policy process and democracy. It is argued by researchers that advocacy is key to being highly impactful on an organization's success. Yet advocacy has numerous barriers to entry, considering it is an especially demanding activity on an organization's resources. Collaboration, simultaneously, is a recourse used for tackling complex problems such as advocacy. There is a natural alignment between advocacy and collaboration, where advocacy barriers can be mitigated by the use of collaboration on advocacy programs. ( , )
Review:
This mixed methods study includes a survey of over 70 executive directors of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado, as well as six follow up interviews, to explore the role of collaboration in nonprofit advocacy. Results of this study support claims that advocacy has barriers to entry. The study posits that those barriers can be mitigated by collaboration. Furthermore, this study finds that executive directors of 501(c)3 organizations in Colorado are using collaboration as a mitigation tool to combat advocacy barriers, that those decisions are being made predominantly by the executive director. The research herein also finds that 501(c)3 organizations are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy with other 501(c)3 organizations, and they are doing it for the reason of expanding knowledge, sharing expertise and gaining legitimacy, among other reasons. Those that are engaging in collaborative advocacy are doing so for the purpose of their client's interests more than to improve the operating environment of the organization. Those who are not engaging in collaborative advocacy are primarily avoiding it because of their unwillingness to carry the burden of expenses of others, and for geographic reasons such as living in rural areas. Engaging in collaborative advocacy also has benefits that go beyond organizational outputs. Collaborative advocacy was found to be at least moderately effective at accomplishing goals the majority of the time, which was the same as was found for solo advocacy.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jason Scott Machado.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver Collections
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
987250534 ( OCLC )
ocn987250534
Classification:
LD1193.P86 2016d M35 ( lcc )

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Full Text
EXPLORING THE USE AND VALUE OF COLLABORATION
IN NONPROFIT ADVOCACY by
JASON SCOTT MACHADO B. A., Fairfield University, 1998 M.P.A., University of Colorado Denver, 2006
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Public Affairs
2016


2016
JASON SCOTT MACHADO
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Jason Scott Machado has been approved for the School of Public Affairs by
Chris Weible, Chair Jessica E. Sowa, Advisor Stephen R. Block Katrina L. Miller-Stevens
Date: December 17, 2016


Machado, Jason Scott (Ph.D., Public Affairs)
Exploring the Use and Value of Collaboration in Nonprofit Advocacy Thesis directed by Professor Chris Weible
ABSTRACT
Nonprofit organizations can engage in at least three primary activities service delivery, revenue distribution through grantmaking, and advocacy. Through these activities, nonprofit organizations play a role in the policy process and democracy. It is argued by researchers that advocacy is key to being highly impactful on an organizations success. Yet advocacy has numerous barriers to entry, considering it is an especially demanding activity on an organizations resources. Collaboration, simultaneously, is a recourse used for tackling complex problems such as advocacy. There is a natural alignment between advocacy and collaboration, where advocacy barriers can be mitigated by the use of collaboration on advocacy programs.
This mixed methods study includes a survey of over 70 executive directors of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado, as well as six follow up interviews, to explore the role of collaboration in nonprofit advocacy. Results of this study support claims that advocacy has barriers to entry. The study posits that those barriers can be mitigated by collaboration. Furthermore, this study finds that executive directors of 501(c)3 organizations in Colorado are using collaboration as a mitigation tool to combat advocacy barriers, that those decisions are being made predominantly by the executive director. The research herein also finds that 501(c)3 organizations are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy with other 501(c)3 organizations, and they are doing it for the reason of expanding knowledge, sharing expertise and gaining legitimacy, among other reasons. Those that are engaging in collaborative advocacy are doing so for the purpose of their clients interests more than to improve the
IV


operating environment of the organization. Those who are not engaging in collaborative advocacy are primarily avoiding it because of their unwillingness to carry the burden of expenses of others, and for geographic reasons such as living in rural areas. Engaging in collaborative advocacy also has benefits that go beyond organizational outputs. Collaborative advocacy was found to be at least moderately effective at accomplishing goals the majority of the time, which was the same as was found for solo advocacy.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Chris Weible
v


I dedicate this dissertation to my loving wife Deborah, and my two wonderful children Tristan and Jackson, whose love and support have been instrumental throughout this
endeavor.
VI


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
There are a number of people for without whose sincere commitment throughout this dissertation process I would not have been able to succeed. I would like to thank Dr. Jessica Sowa for her expertise, wisdom, and guidance. She has been a terrific advisor and has gone above and beyond to see that I succeed in this endeavor. I would also like to thank Dr. Christopher Weible for his detailed feedback, endless support and comradery. It has been an especially rewarding experience to have him as a professor and then a committee member. I first met Dr. Stephen Block when I asked him to serve on my masters committee and eventually became a student of his in the Ph.D. program. From instructor to dissertation committee, he has always been willing to give his valuable time to my endeavors. I have appreciated the insightful feedback and constructive revisions to both my teaching materials and my dissertation. I would especially like to thank Dr. Katrina Miller-Stevens, whose friendship, guidance and instruction through earning my Ph.D. has been instrumental, invaluable and genuinely appreciated. I would also like to thank Dean Paul Teske, who although is not on my committee, has provided me with multiple opportunities to gain additional knowledge and experience in the field of Public Affairs. Thanks for believing in me. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank the SPA Staff, and specifically Dawn Savage and Antoinette Sandoval, who have assisted me with countless tasks and without whose support this would have never been possible.
VII


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION.........................................................1
Research Questions....................................................4
Operational Definitions...............................................5
Theoretical Significance..............................................6
Practical Relevance...................................................9
Conclusion...........................................................12
II. NONPROFIT ADVOCACY.................................................15
Understanding Advocacy...............................................16
Definitions and Types of Advocacy...............................16
Strategies and Tactics..........................................18
Motivations to Advocate............................................22
Barriers to Nonprofit Advocacy.....................................24
Organizational Characteristics of Successful Advocacy..............30
Conclusion.........................................................31
III. NONPROFIT COLLABORATION...........................................32
Definitions........................................................32
Types of Collaboration.............................................38
Motivations........................................................39
Barriers...........................................................42
Collaborative Advocacy.............................................44
Conclusion.........................................................46
IV. METHODOLOGY......................................................48
Research Purpose.................................................48
Definitions of Variables and Terms...............................49
Unit of Analysis.............................................49
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Advocacy......................................................49
Collaboration.................................................50
Effectiveness.................................................51
Substantive Issue Area........................................54
Outputs and Outcomes..........................................54
Sample...............................................................55
Data Collection......................................................57
Survey........................................................58
Follow Up Interviews..........................................61
Data Analysis .......................................................61
Quantitative Analysis.........................................62
Qualitative Analysis..........................................62
Challenges and Limitations of the Methodology........................63
Conclusion...........................................................64
V. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION...............................................65
Research Question 1..................................................65
Research Question 2..................................................68
Research Question 3..................................................70
Research Question 4..................................................82
Research Question 5..................................................83
Research Question 6..................................................85
VI. CONCLUSIONS.........................................................92
Contribution to the Study of Nonprofit Advocacy and Collaboration (Theoretical Significance)...........................................92
Contribution to Nonprofit Practitioners (Practical Relevance)........95
Contribution to the Field of Public Affairs..........................97
Challenges and Limitations of the Study...........................97
Implications for Future Research.....................................99
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Conclusion.........................................................101
REFERENCES.......................................................................103
APPENDIX
A. Email Invitation.......................................................Ill
B. Survey Cover Letter...................................................112
C. Email Invitation #2...................................................113
D. Institutional Review Board Approval Certificate.......................114
E. Email Invitation for Follow Up Interviews.............................118
F. Interview Protocol....................................................119
G. Interview Coding Template.............................................121
IX


FIGURES
FIGURE
2.1 Combining Advocacy and Service Delivery Impact............................24
3.1 Continuum of Organizational Relationships.................................34
4.1 Variable Concept Map......................................................53
x


TABLES
TABLE
2.1 Advocacy Definition, Classifications, Types and Strategies......................18
2.2 Examples of Advocacy Tactics.....................................................20
5.1 Frequency of Collaboration.......................................................65
5.2 Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy..............................................66
5.3 Differences in Frequency of Collaboration and Collaborative Advocacy............67
5.4 Decision Maker on Collaborative Advocacy........................................67
5.5 Type of Organization with Whom Engage in Collaborative Advocacy.................68
5.6 Why Engage in Collaborative Advocacy?............................................71
5.7 Purpose of Collaborative Advocacy................................................73
5.8 Why Not Collaborative Advocacy?.................................................74
5.9 Barriers to Entry to Solo Advocacy..............................................76
5.10 Pearsons Correlation of Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy and Barriers to Solo
Advocacy..............................................................................78
5.11 Barriers to Advocacy Mitigated by Collaborative Advocacy........................79
5.12 Pearsons Correlation of Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy and Barrier Mitigated by
Collaborative Advocacy................................................................81
5.13 Perceived Effectiveness of Organizations Solo Advocacy.........................83
5.14 Perceived Effectiveness of Organizations Collaborative Advocacy...............84
5.15 Differences in Perceived Effectiveness of Solo Advocacy Compared to Collaborative
Advocacy..............................................................................84
5.16 Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) from Participating in Solo Advocacy...86
5.17 Expected Organizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Participating in Solo
Advocacy..............................................................................87
5.18 Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) from Participating in Collaborative
Advocacy..............................................................................88
5.19 Comparing Output Differences Between Solo Advocacy (Table 5.16) and Collaborative
Advocacy (Table 5.18).................................................................89
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5.20 Expected Organizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Participating in Collaborative
Advocacy.........................................................................90
5.21 Comparing Outcome Differences Between Solo Advocacy (Table 5.17) and Collaborative Advocacy (Table 5.20)..............................................91
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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Nonprofit organizations play a significant role in delivering public services where at times the market and government fail to do so (Salamon, 1995; Salamon, 2012; Weisbrod, 1978) or where the market is inviting because of varied or lacking quality and content of available services. An additional but equally important activity nonprofits can engage in is advocacy (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007), and in doing so nonprofit organizations play a role in influencing the policy process (Bass, Arons, Guinane & Carter, 2007). Advocacy can be defined as articulating a position and mobilizing support for it (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309). Advocacy can be conducted by an organization alone, or in combination with other organizations to varying degrees. However, many nonprofits do not engage in advocacy due to the barriers that exist, especially to those organizations with limited resources (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Kimberlin, 2010; Mosley, 2011). Collaborating on advocacy programs, where collaboration can be defined as the sharing of resources to accomplish complex problems (Gray, 1989; Guo & Acar, 2005), is a potentially rewarding alignment for those organizations hesitant or restricted from engaging in advocacy.
Recent scholarship has argued that high achieving nonprofit organizations should be conducting both direct service programs and engaging in advocacy (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Furthermore, Nonprofit advocacy for and against public policies directed toward elected officials, government agencies, and the courts is a long-standing tradition. It is a vital instrument of pluralism and a cornerstone of this countrys representative democracy (Boris & Maronick, 2012, p.394). Yet influencing the policy process can be
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frustrating and difficult and a large amount of friction against change can exist. Through advocacy nonprofits can have a positive impact on their clients well-being through taking favorable stances on issues that affect their stakeholders (Kimberlin, 2010; Nicholson-Crotty, 2011) as well as the policy environment in which those organizations operate (Child and Gronbjerg, 2007).
By prioritizing both nonprofit advocacy and service delivery, nonprofits are better equipped to serve their clients and manage their complicated and heavily regulated operating environment. By learning about issues from the policy side and relaying that information to front line workers, nonprofits are in a better position to deliver efficient and effective services to their clients (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Simultaneously, the information and experience garnered by front line workers is conveyed to organizational advocates so the organization can better influence their specific policy field as well as the operating environment of the nonprofit sector (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007).
However, nonprofit advocacy is potentially overwhelming to some nonprofit organizations, resulting in less frequent participation in advocacy efforts than is possible, or recommended by researchers (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). This lack of participation is partially due to barriers that exist to engaging in advocacy, such as lack of resources, technical knowledge or established legislative connections all of which are needed for successful advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; McNamara, 2015).
Nonprofit organizations are increasingly looking to collaboration to explore complex problems, and to meet requirements set upon them by grantors, donors and public agencies (Guo & Acar, 2005). Although collaboration is not the appropriate recourse for all problems
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(Hill & Lynn, 2003), it is possible that collaboration could be an option for nonprofit organizations to mitigate the barriers to engaging in advocacy because of the additional funds, knowledge, legitimacy and networks that collaborations offer. Collaborative advocacy, therefore, may be an advisable organizational strategy for nonprofit organizations to improve their ability to engage in advocacy to improve the well-being of their clientele and positively affect their policy environment. Without a firm understanding of what collaborative advocacy is, what it looks like, and why it is beneficial, nonprofit managers are without the knowledge they need to best serve their clients.
More research is needed on collaborative advocacy in order to help nonprofits achieve greater mission delivery. By engaging in collaborative advocacy, nonprofits will be better informed on the policy side of their programs; and by engaging in program delivery will be better informed to advocate (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Through further research nonprofit practitioners will have a greater understanding of how and when to use collaborative advocacy.
This study advances the nonprofit literature on both collaboration and advocacy by filling that void with both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis. The research questions are addressed by conducting a mixed methods study consisting of a survey and follow-up interviews of executive directors of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado. 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are one of almost 30 types of nonprofit designations as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).1
1 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations, which are yet another type of designation provided by the IRS, are social welfare and local associations of employees and are included as a component of the data collection but are not of primary interest in this study.
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This study explores the use and value of collaborative advocacy efforts of 501(c)3 organizations because they are a common type of nonprofit organization, not only in Colorado but across the nation. Nonprofit organizations are a significant contributor to the economy, with over 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States in 2012, and over 1 million of them 501(c)3 organizations. In Colorado alone in 2012 (urban.org, 2016) there were over 25,000 nonprofits and over 19,000 of them 501(c)3 organizations.
Nationally, nonprofit organizations account for over nine percent of total employment, three trillion dollars in total assets, and almost 65 million volunteers annually as of 2014 (McKeever, 2015). Additionally, 501(c)3 organizations are unique in that they are the only type of nonprofit that receives tax exemption for their expenses as well as on their income, while donors receive a tax exemption for making donations. By exploring the expectations and perceptions of these nonprofit leaders a clearer understanding of what collaborative advocacy is, including its organizational attributes and its perceived effectiveness, scholars will be able to take advantage of additional research in a field that is lacking just that, while nonprofit managers will be empowered to lead highly impactful nonprofit organizations. Research Questions
The purpose of this study is to advance the research on nonprofit collaboration and nonprofit advocacy by exploring to what extent, and how, nonprofit organizations are using collaboration in their advocacy programs. To achieve this end, this study examines the frequency of collaborative advocacy, types of partners, advocacy tactics used collaboratively, and the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts. The importance of nonprofit advocacy and the potential for increased use by participating in collaboration drives the primary research questions of this study:
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1. How often are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts?
2. With whom are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration for advocacy purposes, and how/why are they selecting those partners?
3. Why are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts?
4. What organizational attributes influence participation in collaborative advocacy efforts?
5. What is the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts?
6. What are the expected results of collaborative advocacy efforts?
Operational Definitions
Advocacy is understood to be the process of articulating a position and mobilizing support for it (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309). Advocacy programs can be delivered individually by a nonprofit organization, or can be conducted in partnership with other nonprofits, government agencies, or private sector businesses (Berry & Arons, 2003; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Machado, Miller-Stevens & Jannou-Menefee, 2015).
Collaboration is a more difficult concept to define, as it is dependent on degrees of participation, commitment, expectations, timeline, goals, structure and process among the organizations included (Thompson & Perry, 2006). Collaboration can be defined with a common emphasis on two or more organizations sharing resources to achieve solutions to complex problems (Wood & Gray, 1991; Guo & Acar, 2005). Many definitions of collaboration include offering the potential for sharing technical and institutional knowledge (Powell, 1990; Alter & Hage, 1993) in addition to human and financial resources (Snavely &
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Tracy, 2000). This sharing of resources often makes possible the achievement of desirable ends that would not otherwise be possible when operating alone.
Collaboration can be understood as a process (Sowa, 2008; Morris & Miller-Stevens, 2015) which can improve service delivery potential by providing opportunities to nonprofit organizations that would not otherwise be able to because of a lack financial, human, technical or other form of resources (Wood & Gray, 1991; Sowa, 2008). The process of collaboration, by which there are multiple approaches, provides for opportunities to refine visions, share responsibility and improve strategies and tactics to better achieve program outcomes (Wood & Gray, 1991; Sowa, 2008). The process of collaboration also improves the beneficial yield of advocacy programs by creating the potential for rewards that extend beyond direct success or failure of advocacy, including outcomes such as increased organizational profile and legitimacy (Grasse & Ward, 2015).
Collaborative advocacy is perhaps yet to be defined in the nonprofit literature and empirical research. For the purpose of this study, collaborative advocacy is any advocacy effort that is conducted in collaboration with other organizations, rather than advocacy efforts that are conducted solo. Collaborative advocacy includes multiple organizations with shared vision and goals of how to address a complex problem such as advocacy.
Theoretical Significance
Though barriers to both collaboration and advocacy exist, they are not insurmountable. It is possible that the barriers to advocacy can be mitigated by the benefits and opportunities awarded by participating in collaboration due to their natural alignment. Research dependency theory informs us that when organizations have limited resources, or are too narrowly dependent on revenue streams, their impact and effectiveness can be limited
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(Nicholson-Crotty, 2007; Mosley, 2011; Nicholson-Crotty, 2011). This is prevalent in the lack of advocacy efforts by 501(c)3 organizations, as advocacy strains both financial and human resource capital (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007). Collaboration processes can provide organizations with the much needed support through shared resources. Furthermore, scholars have argued that increasing networks and institutional connections through shared resources creates a more effective environment for achieving program goals (Selsky, 1991; Diaz-Kope & Miller-Stevens, 2014). Building on this theoretical foundation, the role of collaboration in advocacy programs is explored so that nonprofit organizations can mitigate concerns about entering into advocacy efforts such as a lack of human resources, influential political connections, technical writing skills of the employees, and funding to fill all these voids. By doing so, this study fills research gaps in the literature.
This study contributes to the knowledge base in the field of nonprofit management in three ways. This studys first contribution is that it takes efforts to fill the gap in the literature by presenting a unique study that explores organizational advocacy and collaboration trends across all mission themes while focusing on one specific state. Nonprofit organizations that participate in advocacy are often categorized into two classifications, those that have advocacy as their core mission, and those that undertake advocacy programs that are secondary to other program provision (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Although there is some research that focuses on advocacy within specified mission areas such as health service providers (Nicholson-Crotty, 2007; Nicholson-Crotty, 2009), there is little research on advocacy across all types of substantive issue areas of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Literature on nonprofit advocacy and collaboration between nonprofits and various other organizational actors is a trending field (Guo & Acar, 2005), but how and to what extent
7


nonprofits are using collaboration in their advocacy efforts has yet to be explored. The research contained herein contributes to the existing literature on nonprofit organizational behavior and the role of nonprofits in the policy process.
Collaborative advocacy is a less explored concept, perhaps still yet to be established in empirical research among the field. As such, a second contribution of this dissertation is to establish a clearer and empirically established understanding of collaborative advocacy. This study employs the use of the term collaborative advocacy to be understood as those advocacy programs undertaken by nonprofit organizations in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or private sector firms (Machado, Miller-Stevens & Jannou-Menefee, 2015). As has been previously noted, there is a void in the nonprofit literature regarding collaboration and advocacy, and how they can be used in tandem. The research presented herein, using the term collaborative advocacy and demonstrating the rewards from combining the two often separated concepts, is a unique and necessary addition to the current research. By filling the void through an exploratory study of collaboration and its use and value in advocacy, this study is advancing the body of literature in the field. Furthermore, by contextualizing collaborative advocacy and bounding the phenomenon this study provides a clarifying definition and operationalization of collaborative advocacy.
In identifying the potential successes that can be yielded from advocacy programs, it is important to distinguish between outputs and outcomes, which is a third contribution to the field of nonprofit research. Outputs are a direct consequence of programs, whether successful or not, while outcomes tend to be at the organizational level and can be indirectly related to program outputs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007; Thompson, Perry & Miller,
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2009). A better understanding of the theoretical linkages between advocacy and its benefits at the organizational level as well as the program level is needed if advocacy is to be better utilized. This study aims to illuminate these processes by identifying criteria and specifying conditions under which collaborative advocacy leads to both desired program outputs and organizational outcomes. To do so, this study explores how increasing organizational profile and legitimacy, raising public awareness, making new connections with influential policy leaders that can be tapped for future endeavors, and creating strong partnerships with government agencies that can increase access for advancing the goals of the organization can all be potential outcomes of collaborative advocacy.
Practical Relevance
It is essential for the effective satisfaction of interested stakeholders that nonprofits do all they can to maximize their capacity to deliver services to clients. To accomplish their goals, nonprofit organizations must do more than just provide direct client services to fulfill their potential for impactful mission delivery (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Clients should be served through programs that both directly and indirectly advance their needs. Through advocacy nonprofit organizations can proactively advance their clients well-being as well as maintain and favorably alter the regulatory environment of the organization (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Nonprofit advocacy, either alone or collaboratively, is a method available to better serve clients, and to be more responsible stewards of public funding and government subsidization because of their tax exemption status. By advocating for causes that increase mission delivery as well as for a more accommodating operating environment, nonprofit organizations can more aggressively and purposefully maximize their capacity to serve clients.
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Advocacy can be a powerful activity for nonprofits who strive to deliver more effective programs to their clients, yet advocacy can be an intimidating proposition to nonprofit leaders because of the often confusing legal restrictions, primarily associated with lobbying (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Organizations can claim advocacy as their core mission and still qualify for tax exemptions status under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code, or can include advocacy efforts as one of their mission driven programs. It is most certainly within their legal rights for 501(c)3 organizations to engage in a number of forms of advocacy in an unlimited capacity.2 Nonprofit managers who understand how to mitigate the barriers to entry to advocacy through collaboration will be empowered to influence the capacity and effectiveness of their organizations.
This study contributes to the practice of nonprofit management in four ways. Its first contribution is to encourage nonprofit leaders to engage in advocacy activities at appropriate times despite the many barriers that exist. To take full advantage of all opportunities available in advancing an organizations mission nonprofits should understand if, how and when to participate in advocacy. Advocacy yields increased understanding of client needs, increased recognition in the community, improved funding opportunities, and the potential for a more accommodating operating environment including regulatory restrictions (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Ultimately clients can be better served and programs delivered more efficiently and effectively when programs are informing advocacy, and advocacy is informing programs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007).
2 Although there are regulations in place to prevent 501(c)3 organizations from engaging in particular types of advocacy efforts that would jeopardize the sanctity of their tax exemption status, such as lobbying for a political candidate.
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Second, this study encourages the use of collaboration as a tool to mitigate the barriers to advocacy, and as a result help 501(c)3 organizations fulfill their service delivery capacity. In addition to the several barriers that prevent 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations from engaging in advocacy programs, the value that can be achieved at the organizational level is often overlooked. Collaboration has been well researched and demonstrated to be of use to organizations in a number of contexts. It has been established that collaboration can serve nonprofits in assisting with resource consolidation when resources are scarce, in increasing access to untapped markets, and to sharing knowledge where lack of information or skills can be an impediment to achieving program success (Wood & Gray, 1991; Thompson & Perry, 2006; Smith, 2007; Sowa, 2008). In addition to program and organizational level benefits from advocating, organizations have a financial motivation for engaging in collaboration to deliver services. Nonprofit grants often require collaboration as part of program delivery to receive funding (Shaw, 2003; McNamara, 2015), so a better understanding of how and when to use collaboration in program delivery would be of great benefit to practitioners.
A third contribution of this study is to empirically demonstrate the benefits at both the program and organizational levels that can be achieved from collaborative advocacy. Clients benefit when an organization advocates for specific public needs; yet the benefits at the organizational level cannot be overlooked even when the specific advocacy programs may not yield the desired results. By providing evidence, nonprofit practitioners are more likely to commit to the idea of collaborative advocacy.
A fourth contribution of this study is to provide Colorado with a state level profile of collaborative advocacy. Considering there are well over one million nonprofits nationwide, state level profiles are more manageable than a national profile, while still being revealing
11


and significant (Hall, 2006). Profiles of nonprofit advocacy in Indiana (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007) and Michigan (Leroux & Goerdel, 2009) and have significantly contributed to the knowledge base in the field of nonprofit studies, and helped to guide nonprofit practitioners in their strategic planning.
Conclusion
To fulfill their obligation to perform at the most effective and efficient level of client satisfaction, nonprofits have to make use of all resources and opportunities available to them. This includes engaging their publics, the government, and the private sector to create and extend access to services for clients. This can be accomplished through advocating for client and organizational rights, which yields a better operating environment to deliver the organizations mission.
Nonprofit organizations are legally empowered to advocate both for their clients needs and also for the privileges of the entire sector as they operate amidst a changing regulatory environment. Not only are nonprofits allowed to advocate on behalf of their public and the sector, but are encouraged to do so (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). However, numerous barriers exist that prevent nonprofits from advocating as they should (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007). It is suggested in this study that collaboration offers a method of mitigating the barriers through shared resources, including funds, knowledge and networks.
Advocacy is a complex problem due to the multiple parties involved such as lawmakers, legislators, and special interests. The complexity of advocacy is further evident in the technical knowledge required to conduct successful advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Mosley, 2011). Entering into advocacy efforts mandates a keen
12


understanding of how to navigate the policy process. Such an understanding requires skills such as writing, communicating and establishing connections both with other nonprofit as well as various political bodies. Though collaboration is not appropriate for all service delivery programs, and is a strategic decision that is made for the more complex issues (Hill & Lynn, 2003), it is an appropriate recourse for nonprofit organizations interested in advocacy.
An organization that is advocating for its clients will both better understand how to serve them, and better understand how to improve the legal and political environment to make service provision more effective (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Knowing how to best make use of collaborative advocacy is important for managers so they can be better stewards of their organizations mission and stakeholders resources. Understanding how collaboration can be used to mitigate barriers to engaging in advocacy efforts will empower nonprofit managers and benefit the study of nonprofit management through advancing the body of literature.
This study contributes to the field of nonprofit research in three ways. First, it aims to fill the literature gap in studies about nonprofit collaboration, nonprofit advocacy, and specifically collaborative advocacy. Second, it strives to present a definition and operationalization of collaborative advocacy. Last, it provides a snapshot of perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy at both the program and organizational level.
This study also contributes to the practice of nonprofit management in four ways. First it encourages the use of advocacy by all nonprofits regardless of the barriers to entry. Second, it encourages the use of collaboration to mitigate those barriers. Third, it
13


demonstrates beneficial outputs and outcomes of collaborative advocacy. Last, it provides the first Colorado state profile of collaborative advocacy for nonprofit managers to refer to.
The following chapters proceed first with a discussion of nonprofit advocacy containing definitions, motivations, barriers and organizational characteristics of successful advocacy efforts. Next follows a discussion of nonprofit collaboration, again composed of definitions, motivations, and barriers with special attention on collaborative advocacy. Chapter Four presents the methodology of this study, including discussion of the latent variables, data collection methods, data analysis and limitations. Chapter Five contains the results and discussion of the research questions posed in Chapter One. Last, Chapter Six offers conclusions and closing thoughts about collaborative advocacy and its potential use and value in nonprofit organizations.
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CHAPTER II
NONPROFIT ADVOCACY3
There are at least three primary activities that nonprofits engage in: service delivery, redistribution of funds, and advocacy. Regardless of the organizations primary activity, advocacy can be an advisable undertaking to achieve maximum organizational capacity (Crutchfield & Mcleod Grant, 2007). An often admired and respected dimension of the American democratic system is the freedom it gives the American people to promote their own particular vision of the common good (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007, p. 260).
Furthermore, Nonprofits are the primary vehicles by which people carry out such activities in the United States and policy advocacy is therefore one of the principal functions and contributions of the U.S. nonprofit sector (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007, p.260). By participating in advocacy, nonprofit organizations are playing a role in influencing the policy process (Bass et al., 2007).
Salamons (2002) survey in the late 1980s of 3,400 nonprofit organizations found that just over 80 percent had not engaged in advocacy. Yet Bass et al.s (2007) survey of 1,728 nonprofit organizations found that about 75 percent had engaged in at least one advocacy tactic, demonstrating that nonprofit organizations have been increasingly engaging in advocacy efforts over the last few decades either as secondary programs or as their core mission. As advocacy increases, it becomes of greater importance to understand better its costs and benefits as well as how to better deliver advocacy programs.
3 Portions of this chapter were previously published in Machado, Miller-Stevens & Jannou-Menefee (2015) and are included with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Though a large number of nonprofits are engaging in advocacy, still many do not because of barriers to entry such as varying understandings of what constitutes advocacy, difficulty in navigating government regulations, and a lack of resources (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Nicholson-Crotty, 2009). Yet, the motivations for advocacy are well documented, including increasing organizational profile and legitimacy as well as leading to more effective service delivery (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007; Kimberlin, 2010; Mosley, 2011; Grasse & Ward, 2015). Nonprofit organizations that include advocacy programs in their service delivery are in a position to improve their operating environment as well as create more effective programs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). In order to understand advocacy, it is important to clearly define what it is and it is not while also identifying the factors that support or inhibit advocacy activities.
Understanding Advocacy
Definitions and Types of Advocacy. Many nonprofit organizations represent groups of people that would not otherwise have a voice, or would otherwise have difficulty being heard (Hall, 2006). Therefore their inherent purpose for existence is to be a vessel for perpetuating and advancing the rights, causes and privileges of underrepresented groups of people. Such activities can often take the form of advocacy, which has a number of different interpretations. This study assumes an expansive definition of advocacy that goes beyond the activities intended to influence public policy, and includes behavior that stimulates civic and political participation. In a broad sense, advocacy is considered to be the process of articulating a position and mobilizing support for it (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309).
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Advocacy can be on behalf of one individual client, such as a child in need of healthcare not covered under current interpretation of public policy; but is more frequently occurring on behalf of a broader constituent base (Kimberlin, 2010). Both of these styles are recognized as progressive advocacy, in contrast to advocacy that is intended to advance the needs of the organizational operations or the nonprofit sector that enables the existence of tax exempt entities (Donaldson, 2008; Kimbelrin, 2010).
An understanding of advocacy can be further refined when considering how it is occurring and the target audience of the message (See Table 2.1). For example, advocacy can focus on the policy process, recognized as legislative or political advocacy, including arguing for or against a position to government officials and monitoring legislation (Reid, 1999). Advocacy can also take the form of engaging in the process of defining rules and procedures, known as administrative advocacy (Nicholson-Crotty, 2011). Judicial advocacy is another form, where organizations advocate to the judicial branch on interpretations of judicial rulings and monitoring proceedings (Boris & Mosher-Williams, 1998). Yet another type of advocacy includes engaging the public to be more civically involved in nonpartisan electoral activities through voter education and encouraging communication with legislators, commonly referred to as electoral advocacy (Boris & Mosher-Williams, 1998). By further examining to whom the advocacy efforts are directed, the definition of advocacy becomes clearer.
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Table 2.1: Advocacy Definition, Classifications, Types and Strategies
Advocacy Definition Advocacy Classification Advocacy Types Advocacy Strategies
Articulating a position and mobilizing support for it (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309); including stimulating civic participation and influencing legislation. Progressive (on behalf of client) Administrative Issue Advocacy
Organizational (on behalf of organization, such as improving regulation of nonprofit sector) Electoral Agenda Setting
Legislative Lobbying
Judicial
The target audience is not the only influence on the type of advocacy in which an organization engages. The variance in types of 501(c)3 organizations, from social movement organizations to health service providers, will result in different organizational characteristics that will have an influence on the type of advocacy they are able, and willing, to conduct.
For example, Mosley (2011) found that the level of institutionalization of an organization does not limit the amount of advocacy in which an organization engages, where institutionalization is defined as a presence of professionalization, formalization and collaboration within a field (Mosley, 2011). Level of institutionalization is just one of many organizational characteristics that have been explored to be connected with nonprofit advocacy. An organizations size, budget, and age have all been found to have an influence on an organizations inclination to engage in advocacy as well as its likelihood for success (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007).
Strategies and Tactics. Advocacy strategies include issue identification and agenda setting, defined as research and education on social problems and solutions that are relevant to their target public and that are mission related (Boris & Krehely, 2002). Issue identification and agenda setting can occur without limits. Lobbying is another advocacy
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strategy, yet it is restricted for 501(c)3 organizations, although it is not prohibited entirely.4 Lobbying is attempting to influence legislation by directly communicating with government officials or using constituents to contact their elected representatives [with the intent to influence legislation] (Kimberlin, 2010, p.166).
There are two types of lobbying: direct and grassroots. According to the IRS, direct lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation through communication with a member or employee of a legislative body, but only when it refers to a specific legislation, intends to influence it, and offers an opinion on that legislation (Treas. Reg. Sections 56.4911 -2(b)(1)). Grassroots lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation through affecting the opinions of the general public with purposeful attention to specific legislation, while also offering a view on the legislation and encouraging the public to take action on that legislation (Treas. Reg. Sections 56.4911-(b)(2)).
Where an advocacy strategy is a more general approach that takes into consideration an organizations audience and mission focus, a tactic is a specific method of achieving results (Nicholson-Crotty, 2009). Strategies are the method, and tactics are the activities used to solve the problem. For example, strategies include service delivery and advocacy while tactics include letters to the editor, issue forums, questionnaires and voter guides (See Table 2.2).
4 501(c)3 organizations cannot claim a substantial part of their programs as lobbying, generally restricting lobbying activities to under 20 percent of their annual budget. Influencing the opinion of school boards, zoning boards, or government agencies is not lobbying since those entities do not create legislation. However, 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are prohibited from lobbying in favor or against a candidate for political office.
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Table 2.2: Examples of Advocacy Tactics
Indirect Tactics Direct (Insider)Tactics
Writing letters to editors Participation in government commissions
Providing or publishing results of nonpartisan analysis Providing testimony to administrative agency
Protest Testifying at legislative committee meetings
Boycotts Contacting lawmakers (about specific legislation)
Issue education (such as public education forums) Requesting public to contact lawmakers
Voter registration
Voter education (such as how to participate in a primary)
Voter Guides
Questionnaires
Forums
A variety of tactics are available to nonprofit organizations that choose to engage in one form of advocacy or another. Though the use of certain tactics is not mutually exclusive (Mosley, 2011), empirical research over the last few decades has found that interest groups are most likely to use direct tactics and interact with lawmakers, though recent studies have shown a trend towards more of a combination of indirect and direct tactics is being used (McCarthy & Zald, 1977; Burstein, 1998; Mosley, 2011). Furthermore, organizational characteristics such as size influences the kind and diversity of tactics used, as larger organizations with greater resources use more tactics and gravitate towards insider tactics specifically (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Mosley, 2011).
Indirect tactics intend to change the policy climate of an issue, while not requiring direct interaction with lawmakers, and include: writing letters to editors, releasing policy reports, protest, boycotts, public education, forums, and participating in coalitions (Mosley, 2011). Indirect tactics are more relevant to those organizations that lack the political network or institutional knowledge to gain access to legislators and lawmakers. Indirect
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tactics are often more popular among small or grassroots organizations who lack the professionalization and resources or lack widespread support for their cause (Jenkins, 2006).
Direct tactics, or insider tactics, are more engaging with the political environment and include: participating in government committees and commissions, providing public testimony, and contacting lawmakers about issues (Mosley, 2011). Mosleys study of 321 healthcare service nonprofit providers demonstrated a direct relationship among use of insider tactics and increased government funding, increased institutionalization measured by level of formalization and professionalization. A benefit of insider tactics, though requiring established connections with policy decision makers, is that the direct access positions the organization to have input on real policy change and details of implementation even after the initial stages of advocacy have been accomplished (Mosley, 2011). An organization can also increase its profile through gaining recognition and legitimacy through its political connections, while those networks and relationships are also valuable in future issues that the organization might be engaging (Mosley, 2011).
An organization has a multitude of tactics to choose from when preparing its advocacy efforts. Just as the institutionalization level of an organization has influenced how organizations can be classified (Andrews & Edwards, 2004), so too has it been linked to the kinds of advocacy tactics an organization uses (Mosley, 2011). Mosley (2011) posits that collaboration is an element of institutionalization, and that an increase in institutionalization leads to the use of collaboration and insider advocacy tactics. The use of collaboration inspires participation in insider advocacy tactics because of increased access to lawmakers, increased knowledge of opportunities and the process, and increased perception of organizational legitimacy (Mosley, 2011). Therefore, not only does advocacy have the
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potential effect of increasing organizational legitimacy, so does collaboration among organizations on complex problems.
Motivation to Advocate
Motivations for engaging in advocacy have been well researched and include increasing organizational networks, advancing client rights and adding legitimacy to programs and organizational reputation (Bass et al., 2007; Kimberlin, 2010; Grasse & Ward, 2015) as well as influencing policy and social change (Nicholson-Crotty, 2011). Though there are numerous barriers to entering into advocacy efforts, there are recourses that nonprofits can pursue to mitigate these barriers. Resources can be more readily available when partnering with other organizations so that small amounts of resources can be aggregated. The possibility exists that 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations might benefit from the shared capacity yielded through collaboration by combining human capital, financial resources, institutional knowledge, technical skills and network connections.
A significant number of research studies have explored the antecedents to advocacy, including motivations and benefits. Motivations for advocacy include increasing networks, increasing legitimacy, enabling more effective service delivery, informing communities of compassionate causes, organizational achievement, monetary incentive and improving their operating environment (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007).
Nonprofits have the ability through advocacy to improve and protect their operating environment. Self-interested organizational advocacy has the express purpose to protect rights of nonprofits at the state and federal level, for both the organization itself and for the broader rights of the sector (Kimberlin, 2010). An organization that advocates is better
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equipped to monitor and navigate the restrictions and regulation that often present as barriers to scope of programs and quality of service delivery.
Progressive advocacy is intended to move forward political interests of clients (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978; Hasenfeld, 1992; Marwell, 2007; Mosley, 2011). An organization that is advocating for its clients rights will also be better prepared for increased quality of service delivery. Nonprofits that are actively engaged in client rights will be creating what Crutchfield and McLeod Grant (2007) call the virtuous cycle (p.34); further adding that when public policy is informed by direct service and [nonprofit organizations] programs are informed by policy work, these organizations are more effective at both (2007, p.34). Organizations that are on the ground delivering direct programs get a closer look at what kinds of programs are truly beneficial and efficient, which is valuable information to the political process that is forming regulations and new policies that affect the services being provided by nonprofits. In turn, organizations that are actively engaged in the policy process, or other forms of advocacy, are gaining knowledge about the operating environment of the programs that are intended to serve client needs, which informs their service delivery through learning about new and innovative policy solutions (See Figure 2.1).
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Policy
Advocacy

r 1 r
Greater impact on the Greater impact through
ground legislation
Grassroots Support Government funding
Channels for Increased credibility and
implementing ideas influence
L A L. A
Direct
Service
Programs
(Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007, p.34)
Figure 2.1: Combining Advocacy and Service Delivery Impact Advancing the needs of constituents is a key focus of advocacy programs, but the value of increasing the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector due to advancing policies that enable, validate and protect nonprofit organizations is equally significant. These alternative benefits to advocacy programs go beyond just program outputs. Outcomes of advocacy programs can potentially yield to increased organizational profile, increased organizational legitimacy and an expanded network of potential partners and political and community connections that can serve useful for future programs and fundraising (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007; Grasse & Ward, 2015).
Barriers to Nonprofit Advocacy
Though the opportunity exists for nonprofits to engage in advocacy efforts, it can be argued that the resource, institutional and legal barriers that exist can be too intimidating (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Boris & Krehely, 2002; Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Kimberlin, 2010; Mosley, 2011). First of all advocacy requires a
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number of organizational resources, including labor, money and time (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007). Second, being an effective influence in the policy process requires that organization members have skills that may be difficult to learn and professional connections that are not easily established (McNamara, 2015). Lastly, there are many complex legal restrictions to nonprofits engaging in advocacy, which can be difficult to navigate.
Some nonprofits might experience doubt about the impact of advocacy, or be discouraged from participation by institutional or technical barriers (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Bass et al., 2007; Nicholson-Crotty, 2007). An example of an institutional barrier would be when nonprofit staff lack legislative connections, where having connections or not can be the difference between having access to policy makers or not. Furthermore, participation in advocacy requires a keen understanding of the legislative process and skills at influencing people (Mosley, 2011), where the lack of such skills is an example of a technical barrier.
Additionally, engaging in advocacy can be heavy on resource necessity, where resources can be financial, human, or informational. Nonprofits often lack the resources required to successfully engage in advocacy programs, creating barriers that are difficult to overcome (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Nicholson-Crotty, 2007). Influencing public opinion often requires an increased program budget and trained staff for implementation of such programs that many nonprofits simply do not have (Berry & Arons, 2003). For example, legislative advocacy can be time consuming with the amount of hours needed to monitor bills and espouse positons.
Although the literature on the influence of public funding on nonprofit advocacy can be conflicting (Neumayr, Schneider & Meyer, 2015), advocacy can be a daunting venture considering the potential for loss of partners or government funding if the advocacy program
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is perceived as too political (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Nicholson-Crotty, 2009). Reduced financial and human resource capital is equally a concern as the loss of donors and volunteers who support the core mission, but perhaps not the issue or cause for which their organization is advocating (Kimberlin, 2010; Mosley, 2011). Considering the amount of resources needed to conduct successful advocacy, and the potential threat of reduced income because of advocacy, it is apparent why some nonprofits choose to avoid advocacy despite its rewards.
Resource dependency theory helps to explain both propensities and barriers for nonprofit organizations to engage in advocacy efforts (Salamon, 1995; Bass et al., 2007). Ample resources are a necessity for successful nonprofit advocacy (Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007). Yet there has been conflicting research in recent years on the influence of funding on advocacy programs. Significant and extensive studies, such as Bass et al. (2007) and Neumayr, Schneider and Meyer (2015) have found that the data can be inconsistent. Bass et al. (2007) and Chaves, Stephens and Galaskiewicz (2004) found a negative relationship among the amount of funding received from government grants and an organizations advocacy participation, primarily due to fear of attracting negative attention and losing those grants (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Nicholson-Crotty, 2009). However, Bass et al. (2007) also found that the amount an organization engages in advocacy increases with the amount of government funding, possibly explained by the increased political capacity of large staffed and large budgeted organizations.
Some nonprofit organizations that receive government funding see an opportunity to receive more funding if they advocate more. Those nonprofit organizations who receive government funding will possibly be more captivated of the policy process where they are
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empowered to advocate for their own benefit. With such an understanding of the system and passion for participation, they are more likely to engage in advocacy.
There are different perspectives on the role of funding sources in nonprofit advocacy. Conversely, Child and Gronbjerg (2007) would argue that funding sources are not an obstacle. The data from their 2007 profile of the Indiana nonprofit sector yielded that there is no statistically significant relationships between government funding and willingness to advocate. Yet Neumayr, Schneider and Meyer (2015) found that public funding does not have a negative impact on nonprofit advocacy. Furthering the variance, Schmid, Bar and Nirel (2008) found that among nonprofits in Israel the source of funding does play a role, as government grants motivate an organizations conformity to policies, serving as an obstacle to advocacy.
Research on the role of funding sources and the types of advocacy nonprofits engage in is more limited, Mosley (2011) found that government funding leads healthcare service nonprofit providers to insider tactics, because of greater access to decision makers and increased legitimacy due to the source of their funds. Such data would lend itself then to the notion that collaboration could be a potential mitigation tool when funding sources are inhibiting participation in advocacy, since the many partners would diversify and dilute the presence of any restrictions.
Nonprofits also suffer from lack of institutional knowledge when deciding to engage in advocacy (Kimberlin, 2010). Advocacy, and more specifically lobbying, requires interacting with a highly professionalized and experienced institution of public policy (Mosley, 2011). Engaging in advocacy requires an understanding of both the constitutional (state and national level) law and of how the inner circles of lawmaking operate. This can be
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prohibitive and overwhelming if nonprofit advocates lack an understanding of how to write letters, create memos, galvanize constituents, organize press conferences, and build coalitions (Bass et al., 2007). Lack of such technical skills and training can be a serious impediment for nonprofit organizations engaging in advocacy. Without such skills, nonprofit organizations will feel less empowered and therefore less likely to advocate. By not engaging in advocacy the organization runs the risk of underachieving and not fulfilling its mission to its capacity.
Bureaucratization can also be an impediment. Increased structure and boundaries can decrease innovation in marginalized communities. As a result they can resort to more conventional approaches and avoid advocacy (Leroux & Goerdel, 2009).
The lack of trained staff can lead some organizations to make use of their publics for advocacy efforts. However, it has been found that direct service organizations often are reluctant to use clients to advocate as they feel clients should be served, not utilized (Donaldson, 2008; Kimberlin, 2010). The concern is that by utilizing clients to achieve advocacy results, the clients will feel taken advantage of or less served and more as tools to achieving an end.
However, there have been attempts by the U.S. government to reduce the potential and power of nonprofit advocacy, most notably with the Istook Amendment in 1995. Understandably there is a potential for friction considering that nonprofit organizations are subsidized by tax dollars, especially 501(c)3 organizations with their additional privilege of donations being exempted to the donor, and their role in influencing public policy (Kimberlin, 2010). It is especially understandable considering that many nonprofits often have a narrow constituent base, and serve very specific interests, though of course are still designated as an appropriate type of service provider for education, civic or health purposes
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for example. The amendment would have prohibited receipt of federal funds, like grants, if the nonprofit spent more than five percent of its privately garnered funds on political activity. Furthermore, as the focus of the study herein is on advocacy and collaboration, the Istook Amendment would have denied grants to nonprofits who associated with other organizations who spent more than 15 percent of their funds on advocacy, effectively discouraging collaborative advocacy (Bass et al., 2007; Kimberlin, 2010). The amendment was ultimately defeated; however, its introduction has certainly brought increased attention to the issue (Kimberlin, 2010). Legislative attempts such as these that are a potential to thwart nonprofit advocacy underscores the research by Smith and Lipsky (1993) and Kimberlin (2010) that found there are significant fears of losing resources when engaging in advocacy. Smith and Lipsky (1993) and Nicholson-Crotty (2009) found that there was a legitimate fear of losing government grants when engaging in advocacy that might be contrary to government positions. Furthermore, Kimberlin (2010) found that there was a fear of losing human and financial capital when engaging in advocacy that had large opposition.
Concerns about losing nonprofit status because of engaging in appropriate lobbying activities are common among nonprofit executives. If a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization were to engage in illegal or excessive lobbying, they would risk their nonprofit designation and the subsequent tax breaks and legal protections enjoyed under their 501(c)3 status. Additionally, many nonprofit executives have trouble linking advocacy efforts to their mission, which of course is of utmost importance in nonprofit organizations (Bass et al., 2007). Mission creep, mission drift and mission disobedience are all errors that are punishable with losing tax exemption status. Such a hurdle can be mitigated with increased manager innovation and knowledge of legal and organizational standards (Bass et al., 2007; Kimberlin, 2010).
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Organizational Attributes of Successful Advocacy
Although significant barriers to nonprofit advocacy exits, some nonprofits are still making the effort to participate in advocacy efforts, though with varying degrees of success. Significant research studies have yielded data on the organizational characteristics that are directly related to successful participation in advocacy. One lens in which to view nonprofit organizations is the policy area in which they focus. Usually defined in a nonprofits mission statement, or the field of activity as referred to by Child and Gronbjerg (2007), can be closely related to whether a nonprofit chooses to engage in advocacy. In Child and Gronbjergs (2007) review of the literature, they found that environmental and health nonprofits show an increased likelihood to engage in advocacy compared to other fields of activity or mission focuses. The environment and health policy arenas are two areas in which at least two things are present. First, these are areas that are in need of citizen engagement to make a positive influence as they are underfunded and underserved by government and the private sector. Second, these are policy arenas in which there are very passionate and engaged publics.
Greater organizational size and greater resource capacity have been proven to lead to increased participation in advocacy programs (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007). Organizations with fewer resources have smaller staff, limiting time for advocacy efforts; whereas increased budget usually means an increase in staff and more time for advocacy. Research has also found that the use of an assortment of advocacy tactics have increased with organizational size as well (Bass et al., 2007; Mosley, 2011).
As has been presented previously in this chapter, research has demonstrated two different perspectives on the role of funding sources on nonprofit advocacy. On the one side, it is argued that government funding can lead to less participation in advocacy due to the
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possibility of antagonizing their major source of funding (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Nicholson-Crotty, 2009; Kimberlin, 2010) while others such as Chaves, Stephens and Galaskiewicz (2004) and Neumayr, Schneider and Meyer (2015) have found the opposite to be true.
While these prominent research studies have highlighted the organizational characteristics that are attributed to advocacy programs or to the success of such advocacy efforts, there is still much to be learned about the types of organizations using collaboration as a tool in their advocacy efforts and the attributes of those organizations.
Conclusion
The barriers to advocacy are significant, and unfortunately the barriers can often be too daunting or difficult to mitigate, especially for organizations with minimal resources. It is possible that organizations suffering such difficulties can find recourse in the collaboration process, creating a more favorable environment for engaging in advocacy. As discussed in the following chapter, collaboration offers organizations a number of benefits through the sharing of financial, human, and other resources with the caveat that outcomes will also be shared. Nonprofits who might avoid advocacy for the lack of resources might otherwise be able to conduct advocacy programs if the power of collaboration is harnessed to deliver those advocacy programs.
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CHAPTER III
NONPROFIT COLLABORATION
As demonstrated in Chapter Two, nonprofit advocacy is not only helpful to the services being delivered by nonprofit organizations (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007), it is also a complex endeavor requiring specific skills and strategies. Nonprofits are increasingly using collaboration as a tool to tackle complex problems (Guo & Acar, 2005; Morris, Gibson, Leavitt & Jones, 2013). Collaboration has numerous definitions (Gray & Wood, 1991; Wood & Gray, 1991) and motivations (Hill & Lynn, 2003; Sowa, 2009). It also has numerous barriers such as collective action problems (Olson, 1965). It is necessary to understand the nuances of nonprofit collaboration in order to identify the potential value it adds to nonprofit advocacy efforts. As there is an extensive set of research on collaboration, this review focuses on collaboration as it can be understood and applied to the study and practice of nonprofit advocacy.
Definitions
There are a number of different variations of collaboration definitions as well as varying interpretations of collaboration processes, levels of formality, and operationalizations (Gray & Wood, 1991; Wood & Gray, 1991). Defining collaboration has proven to be an elusive task for researchers, as such a definition must encompass all observable forms and exclude[s] irrelevant issues (Wood & Gray, 1991, p. 143). The diversity of types, participants, motivations, and benefits of collaboration prove such a task to be difficult. Researchers have discussed whether collaboration is simply understood as the sharing of information, or whether it requires a more structured and committed relationship between participants (Snavely & Tracy, 2000).
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In reviewing seven definitions of collaboration from nine different empirical studies, Wood and Gray (1991) were able to refine the key concepts that were imperative to understanding what collaboration is, who is doing it, and to what end: autonomy, interactive process, shared rules, norms and values, action or decision, domain orientation, and outcomes. Building on their own previous definitions of collaboration, and incorporating research from colleagues, Wood and Gray (1991) offer the following definition of collaboration: Collaboration occurs when a group of autonomous stakeholders of a problem domain engage in an interactive process, using shared rules, norms, or structures, to act or decide on issues related to that domain (p.146).
Collaboration also occurs when a problem is too complex to tackle alone (Wood & Gray, 1991). Collaboration, therefore, goes beyond simply working cooperatively, but also includes a dimension of sharing resources and forming unified definitions and objectives of the problem to achieve desired results. The concept of sharing norms and values and rules amongst members of a collaboration is too important to omit, and underscores the sometimes formal and strategic nature of collaborations. Highlighting the differences of collaboration interpretations, process dimensions such as sharing resources and forming unified visions can be seen as an obstacle by some, and a benefit by others (Arganoff & McGuire, 2003).
Some scholars argue that collaboration is an interchangeable term with other concepts as coordination and cooperation (Williams, 2015). As seen in Figure 3.1, other scholars argue that organizational relationships exist on a continuum varying from informal to multiple levels of formality, established by process functions and degree of resource sharing (Najam, 2000; Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006).
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Cooperation -> Coordination -> Collaboration -> Service Integration
(Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006)
Figure 3.1: Continuum of Organizational Relationships
As Selden, Sowa and Sandfort (2006) explain, on one end of the continuum is cooperation, distinguished by having at its core personal relationships and informal arrangements that act as the cohesion between organizations. According to McNamara (2012), cooperation occurs when organizations have the capabilities to accomplish organizational goals but cho[o]se to work together (p.391). Coordination is further along the continuum, where organizations make an effort to calibrate their actions while maintaining independence (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006, p. 414). McNamara (2012) states that coordination occurs when some assistance from others is needed to achieve organizational goals (p.391). At the other end of the spectrum exists service integration, where organizations work together to provide services to mutual clients (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006).5
In Sowas (2008) study of 20 interagency collaborations of early childhood development she determined that collaborations also have the additional attribute of adding value to the program, further distinguishing it from other forms of multi-partner activities. Furthermore, collaboration should be understood as a process, not just as an outcome of institutionalizing concerted efforts (Sowa, 2008). As scholars have made their attempts at defining the complexity of collaboration, one thing remains clear that an applicable definition of collaboration must be integrated and multi-dimensional and likely will vary along process and structural dimensions.
5 Coalitions are yet another derivative of organizations working together, but is a term less explored in this study since it is more commonly used in policy research circles.
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Collaboration also assumes that both decision making responsibilities and ownership of the ultimate results will be shared (Guo & Acar, 2005). It is possible that in some collaborations, sharing successes is not easily established. Therefore, collaboration occurs when organizations share resources, authority and rewards (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort,
2006, p. 414). It rests between coordination and service integration on Selden, Sowa and Sandforts (2006) continuum.
Some researchers question whether collaboration is about organizational self-interest or cooperative achievement and resource sharing. These competing approaches to collaboration have arguably been addressed by recent scholarship that shows collaboration as a process (Thompson & Perry, 2006). Decades of empirical studies on collaboration have led to the idea of collaboration as an integrated development, beginning with Wood and Grays (1991) widely accepted understanding of collaboration as a three stage process: antecedent, process, and outcome. The first and third stages have been well studied with significant findings, but the middle stage is still somewhat mysterious to scholars (Thompson & Perry, 2006). This three stage process is based predominantly on three intuitive issues: why, how, and what happens in collaboration activities. This integrative process of organizational collaboration is often viewed as cyclical, not linear, emphasizing the time and cross sectional nature of collaboration (Ring & Van de Ven, 1994; Thompson & Perry, 2006). Moving along the various stages of collaboration process either in a linear or cyclical fashion, the process of collaboration takes form as participants move beyond a position of independence and isolation, into a relationship where they conform to mutually beneficial strategies to achieve an end (Ostrom, 1990; Thompson & Perry, 2006). Understanding collaboration as a process suggests that collaboration occurs over time as organizations interact formally and
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informally through repetitive sequences of negotiations, development, of commitments, and execution of those commitments (Thompson & Perry, 2006, p. 21).
Antecedents to collaboration include the willingness to cooperate, previous history of collaboration, and the need to share expertise (Sowa, 2009). Some scholars have argued that there are six steps to accomplish within the antecedent stage: definition of problem, commitment to collaborate, identification of stakeholders and partners, acceptance of legitimacy of those stakeholders, presence of a convener, or strategic decision maker for partnership, and the identification of resources needed and available (Gray, 1989; Logsdon, 1991).
Separating the second stage of collaboration into five key dimensions has proven to be helpful for scholars exploring how organizations engage with others in collaborative efforts. First, governance and administration are important structural dimensions, as when multiple organizations take joint action on an issue they must agree as to how the collaborative will be governed and administered, either through deference to one organizational leader or divided responsibilities. Autonomy is also important to organizations that want to keep control of their own resources and identity, and reconciling the tension between self-interest and collective interest is an integral component to a successful collaborative (Thompson & Perry, 2006). Along those same lines is the mutuality dimension, which describes the complexity of sharing resources and information among participants in a collaborative. Trust and reciprocity is the last of the five dimensions, where organizations often struggle to trust one another and believe that the collaboration will yield mutually beneficial rewards, and organizations will make good faith efforts, be honest and not take advantage of one another (Thompson, Perry & Miller, 2009).
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Common definitions of collaboration identify that there are two or more organizations working together, but how they work together varies greatly depending on the partners and purpose. The process, or how they collaborate, can greatly impact outcomes (Sowa, 2008). Sowa (2008) found that how nonprofits share financial responsibilities, staff time, and both organization level and community level rewards will influence the implementation and results of collaboration. The inclusion process has been demonstrated to be an important factor in managing the process of collaboration. Not only who enters the collaboration, but also when and to what degree they are included can have a heavy influence on trust and commitment issues within a collaboration (Johnston, Hicks, Nan & Auer, 2010). The intensity and depth of the collaboration is influenced, if not directly created by, the process.
Further exploring the literature, some theorists add an additional dimension to the black box of collaboration that of institutional structure (Diaz-Kope, Miller-Stevens & Morris, 2015). Diaz-Kope, Miller-Stevens and Morris (2015) argue that models of collaborative processes, such as Thompson and Perry (2006), are lacking a dimension of institutional structure, which is made up of collaborative memberships. They further posit that different variations of antecedents to collaboration will lead to one of three institutional structures either agency-based, citizen-based, or mixed (Diaz-Kope, Miller-Stevens & Morris, 2015).
These definitions emphasize common characteristics of collaboration that are found in numerous empirical studies. They contribute to the definition of collaboration used in this study, as presented in Chapter One, by establishing a foundation based on empirical research for which to proceed an exploration of collaborative advocacy.
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For the purpose of this study, and to further distinguish collaboration from other multi-organizational relationships, a minimum set of conditions will be required for organizations to be considered as collaborating. Conditions include, but may not be limited to, a minimum of two organizations with a shared goal, shared resources, routinized behavior, and shared rewards.
Types of Collaboration
Organizational level collaboration can take many forms, but is predominantly categorized along three dimensions of organizational sector private, public and nonprofit. Empirical studies on nonprofit collaboration with public sector organizations are plentiful (Mulroy & Shay, 1998; Shaw, 2003; Bryson, Crosby & Middleton Stone, 2006), fueled by recent tendencies of privatization, federalism, and contracting. Cross-sector collaboration is becoming more prevalent in tackling complex problems encountered by nonprofit organizations and public sector agencies alike (Arganoff & McGuire, 2003; Bryson, Crosby & Middleton Stone, 2006). Cross-sector collaboration is defined as the linking or sharing of information, resources, activities, and capabilities by organizations in two or more sectors to achieve jointly an outcome that could not be achieved by organizations in one sector separately (Bryson, Crosby & Middleton Stone, 2006, p.44).
Perhaps the most significant distinguishing characteristics of collaborations from coordination, cooperation and service integration is the degree of formality, which in the context of collaboration is determined by institutional factors like mandating by contracts, grant, or government order (Smith, 2007) as well as duration (Guo & Acar, 2005). Guo and Acar (2005) offer a typology of collaboration based on level of formality that includes eight variations. Formal collaboration types include joint programs, parent subsidiaries, joint
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venture and mergers; while informal variation include information sharing, referral of clients, sharing of office space, and management service organizations. Resource sufficiency and institutional factors have been explored as driving forces of whether an organization is more likely to involve itself in a formal or informal collaboration (Guo & Acar, 2005). Guo and Acar (2005) found formal collaboration most likely occurs when an organization is old, has a large budget, receives government funds but has few other revenue streams, has broad linkages, and is not in education or social services.
The level of intensity of collaboration is another way to distinguish between types of collaboration, by examining an organizations interdependence with other members of the collaborative alliance (Guo & Acar, 2005). Yet another way to discuss a typology of collaborations is by examining what the objective of the collaboration might be, such as a particular program, problem, issue, or client (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006). The activities or action steps taken by a collaboration can also provide a typology, where organizations can partake in client referral, information sharing, strategizing on problems and devising procedures for serving each other (Murray, 1998; Snavely & Tracy, 2000; Guo & Acar, 2005).
Motivations
Multiple theories have fueled the research into motivations of participation in a collaboration (Gray & Wood, 1991; Hill & Lynn, 2003). Hill and Lynn (2003) posit that an organizations motivation to participate in a collaboration can be categorized into two primary groups. First, rational choice theories such as principal agent theory, game theory and teams theory help to explain collaboration motivation due to their focus on exchanges and other interactions to accomplish organizational goals (Hill & Lynn, 2003).
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The second category Hill and Lynn suggest help to explain collaboration motivation are socialized choice theories, which are concerned with relationships other than exchange relationships that might further shared values (Hill & Lynn, 2003, p.66). Examples of socialized choice theories are resource dependency theory, network theory and organization theory. Further building on resource dependency theory, Logsdon (1991) offers two preconditional steps necessary for an organization to collaborate: a high level of interest by the organization in solving a problem, and a high level of interdependence, or its feeling of how the desired outcome is tied to other organizations. Network theory informs us that the benefits of increasing an organizations connections serve as a strong motivation for organizations to engage in advocacy and collaboration (Wood & Gray, 1991; Guo & Acar, 2005).
Collaboration benefits both the program services being delivered and the organization as a whole (Sowa, 2009). Collaboration improves service delivery by leveraging resources and knowledge to mitigate resource and institutional pressures; while organizational level benefits include prolonging survival, achieving legitimacy, and improving strategic position (Gray & Wood, 1991; Sowa, 2009). Furthermore, the benefits of collaboration are derived directly from motivations, with solved problems, shared norms, and a sustained alliance all being desired outcomes of collaboration and indicators of a successful effort (Gray & Wood, 1991; Selsky, 1991;Mulroy& Shay, 1998).
Additional studies show that an organizations need to acquire resources, leverage new ideas and expertise, and satisfy institutional pressures to maximize dollars are also significant motivations (Gray & Wood, 1991; Provan & Milward, 1991; Mulroy & Shay, 1998; Sowa, 2009). Government mandate of collaboration, either as a way to increase an
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organizations strengths, decreed duplication of services, or as an increased measure in evaluation, has been proven to be not only a method of classification of collaboration types, but also a key motivation for why organizations participate in collaborations (Shaw, 2003; Leroux & Goerdel, 2009). Government and nonprofit contracting often mandate collaboration because it is seen to be less expensive, spurs innovation, provides flexibility through large bureaucracy, and extends reach of government without increasing size of government (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Mulroy & Shay, 1998). Beyond a precondition of receiving government grants, or even private grants, scholars of collaboration are able to learn more about the motivations of collaboration by exploring what the goals and benefits might be of such an interdependent effort (Sowa, 2009).
The type of organization can greatly influence the motivation for collaboration as well. Private and public sector agencies have their own motivations for collaboration that run along the same vein of typology. Mulroy and Shay (1998) found that the type of nonprofit organization and its mission can also play a role in motivating an organization to participate in a collaboration, finding that two concepts inform the study of motivation in interorganizational collaboration among nonprofit Health and Human Service organizations -privatization and the relationships between public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Yet another motivation of collaboration can be directly tied to potentially desired outcomes, that of reducing and controlling uncertainty (Trist, 1983; Wood & Gray, 1991). Increased regulation of a problem domain is often the outcome of a collaboration effort, since actors are no longer working in isolation from each other. Instead, they are sharing strategies and information in an effort to control a situation based on joint decisions.
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Increased recognition for the organization can be a primary motivation for nonprofit organizations that wish to raise their profile for hope of gaining increased resources, legitimacy and network connections (Gray & Wood, 1991; Provan & Milward, 1991; Mulroy & Shay, 1998). Organizational legitimacy is understood as increasing an organizations respect, notoriety, social capital, and philanthropic values; and asymmetry is taking a me too attitude where organizations desire to be included in endeavors that other organizations appear to be participating in (Logsdon, 1991). Collaboration has been found to increase perceptions of legitimacy among opinion leaders (Phillips, Lawrence & Hardy, 2000). When legitimacy is both scarce and necessary, organizations can feel environmental pressure to either catch up or conform (Wood & Gray, 1991). Conceptualizing legitimacy as a resource, it is sought after by organizations to increase their value to their clients and to the community (Sowa, 2009).
Barriers
It is important to note that collaboration is not always appropriate for all organizations at all times (Hill & Lynn, 2003). Although collaboration can be enticing for its potential outcomes and benefits, and certainly is driven by a multitude of diverse motivations, there are several impediments that serve as barriers to engaging in a collaborative effort. Depending on the objectives and potential partners of the program, preexisting informal relationships and lack of familiarity with culture and nuances of the sector can all act as reasons for avoiding collaboration (Hill & Lynn, 2003).
The fragility of the collaboration process can be an unattractive reality for many. Successful collaboration depends on multiple people from participating organizations reaching consensus on desired goals, strategies, and leadership while potentially having
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problematic nuances that can become issues to the entire collaborative (Thompson & Perry, 2006). However, the more partners you add in a collaboration the increase there is for potential collective action problems such as free riders (Olson, 1965).
Ambiguity in representativeness can be an issue that wards off potential collaborators as well (Huxham & Vangen, 2000). The question of whether members of a collaboration represent themselves, the organization, or the group can be a difficult one. This becomes not only a philosophical obstacle, but also a logistical one as those directly involved with the collaboration need expertise and knowledge on how to navigate the process of collaboration without losing sight of their true responsibility and loyalties, and how to mitigate problems that arise from the tension of autonomy (Mulroy, 2003). Building on the thread of expertise and knowledge, the procedural requirements often impose by private and public grants and government restrictions on nonprofits can be technical impediments to entering into collaboration (Snavely & Tracy, 2000). Rather than collaboration providing an opportunity for consolidation and decreasing human and financial resources, the transaction costs can actually increase for organizations that enter into collaborations (Wood & Gray, 1991).
Geography and culture can also be serious barriers to forming successful collaborations (Snavely & Tracy, 2000). Especially in rural areas where stakeholders are separated by long distances, the logistics of collaboration can often be too much to overcome. Time is already a scarce resource for many managers and the task of additional meetings with partners can be too time consuming for staff considering the long distances needed to travel in order to meet (Thompson & Perry, 2006).
The scarcity of resources and the level of competition it leads to among nonprofits is yet another barrier to collaboration (Snavely & Tracy, 2000), as nonprofits feel that
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collaborating with others can decrease their uniqueness, reduce their market segment, and decrease potential for funding. The decision of trust can play a role too, as in such a competitive environment for funding it is difficult to trust that collaboration partners will serve the collaboration and not their own self-interest (Wood & Gray, 1991; Mulroy, 2003). The scarcity of resources also can bring about the fear of having to carry the burden of others expenses (Shaw, 2003). If collaborators acknowledge that there are limited resources available to nonprofit organizations, then often as a result they assume they will have to provide for free riders (Olson, 1965; Shaw, 2003).
Collaborative Advocacy
Network perspectives offer an interesting connection between advocacy efforts and the use of collaboration (Mosley, 2011). Connections within the political environment can enable nonprofits to be better positioned for advancing their own political goals when the opportunity arises. Organizations that have collaborated on non-advocacy programs are likely to use those established network connections in future efforts such as advocacy. For example, health service nonprofit organizations are often mandated by government to work with other public and nonprofit agencies to achieve program goals. It is these benefits awarded by collaboration that organizations can make use of to mitigate the barriers to engaging in advocacy.
Furthermore, resource dependency theory informs researchers of possible motivations of collaboration and advocacy to be used together. An organizations participation in collaboration may be motivated by scarce resources, as well as the rise in technological advances, awareness of interdependence, and devolution (Thompson, Perry & Miller, 2009). Those organizations with substantial resources are less likely to risk losing autonomy by
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joining in collaboration efforts (Guo & Acar, 2005), since many of the motivations for nonprofit collaboration are resource driven. If an organization is dependent on government money and that government grant mandates an organization to engage in collaboration in its programs, then an organization is more likely to conform to those demands if it has fewer or scarcer resource streams. In contrast, an organization might not apply for that grant money if they have other options and wish not to participate in collaboration efforts.
Network perspectives and resource dependency theory provide a foundation for using collaboration and advocacy together. Their application is indicative of what collaborative advocacy can do for nonprofit organizations. But what does it look like? Collaborative advocacy is any advocacy effort undertaken by multiple organizations with shared goals in a planned and concerted manner and with shared rewards. Collaborative advocacy has multiple partners from any sector of firms public, private or nonprofit. Collaborative advocacy also has mutual buy in through shared resources, a unified vision, and established rules. Finally, collaborative advocacy also brings organizations together to solve complex problems such as advocating for clients rights, specific issues and the operating environment of the sector.
The previous pages have discussed the motivations, definitions, and barriers of both collaboration and advocacy. But rarely are advocacy and collaboration coupled together in empirical studies, especially not as a recommendation of how to combat the barriers of engaging in nonprofit advocacy. This study aims to conceptualize the two endeavors as able to be joined together to tackle complex problems. Doing so will present and vet the idea of collaborative advocacy to nonprofit researchers and practitioners alike.
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Conclusion
A significant amount of research exists on what motivates nonprofit organizations to engage in collaboration, including the benefits that can be reaped at both the organizational and program level (Mulroy & Shay, 1998; Leroux & Goerdel, 2009). There are multiple barriers to collaboration that also have been well researched such as geographic challenges (Snavely & Tracy, 2000) and collective action issues (Olson, 1965), however few have studied the use and value of collaboration in delivering advocacy programs such as the current study does.
An understanding of collaborations many interpretations, process dimensions, types, benefits and barriers is essential for modern researchers hoping to explore how nonprofit organizations can maximize their capacity. Collaboration could be helpful for improving prevalence, frequency and efficacy of advocacy programs. However, there is still much to be explored about the use and value of the collaboration process and how it relates to advocacy delivery by nonprofit organizations.
Nonprofits are an essential part of service delivery and democracy in the U.S., but they have difficult work to do to maintain that role. Advocacy is an advisable activity to be involved in to increase legitimacy, increase profile, improve operating environment of the organization, and to improve the lives of its clients. Collaboration is an effective recourse for tackling complex problems such as those that often face nonprofits. If coupled together, advocacy and collaboration can be a powerful mix to promote improved client services and effective accomplishment of program and organizational level goals.
Collaborative advocacy is any advocacy effort undertaken by multiple organizations with shared goals, in a planned and concerted manner, and shared rewards. It is possible that
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collaborative advocacy can increase funds, knowledge, potential for program success, organizational profile and organizational legitimacy through the sharing of resources. Organizations that might not otherwise be motivated to, or capable of, engaging in advocacy programs can find additional options to do so by collaborating with other partners, whether from the nonprofit sector, government agencies, or private business.
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CHAPTER IV
METHODOLOGY
As the role of nonprofit organizations in the policy process increases (Bass et al., 2007), the importance of research that explores how nonprofits are delivering advocacy programs also increases. Advocacy is an important yet underutilized role of nonprofit organizations that is not taken advantage of enough (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007; Kimberlin, 2010). Collaboration is attractively positioned to be strategically helpful to nonprofit organizations in its natural alignment with the functional needs of advocacy. Considering advocacy requires multiple resources to be effective (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007), collaboration can be a tool used to garner these resources. To empirically demonstrate this natural alignment between advocacy and collaboration, this study employs a mixed methods approach, including a survey of executive directors of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado as well as follow up interviews of those participants.
Research Purpose
The purpose of this study is to establish empirical evidence for 501(c)3 organizations to consider when choosing whether to advocate or not, and how best to do so, by providing information on how they can use collaboration amidst barriers to entry such as lack of resources and technical and institutional knowledge.6 It does so by exploring the following research questions:
1. How often are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts?
6 As discussed in Chapter Two, institutional knowledge includes knowledge about advocacy arenas, such as the State Capitol, and connections to lawmakers; while technical knowledge is the knowledge of how to write one pagers, letters to the editor, and other tactical efforts.
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2. With whom are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration for advocacy purposes, and how/why are they selecting those partners?
3. Why are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts?
4. What organizational attributes influence participation in collaborative advocacy efforts?
5. What is the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts?
6. What are the expected results of collaborative advocacy efforts?
These six research questions offer a basis of inquiry to gather data that will help to provide nonprofit researchers and managers with the information necessary to understand when and how to use collaboration in their advocacy efforts.
Definitions of Variables and Terms
Following is a review of variables that were analyzed in this exploratory study, including a combination of objective measures and perception measures (Stone & Ostrower, 2007). As this is an exploratory study, the first dimension of this study explores two variables: advocacy and collaboration. By exploring these two variables, it is posited in this study that a third variable can be created, that of collaborative advocacy.
Unit of Analysis. It is equally important to note that the unit of analysis in this research study is the organization and never the individual, though much of the data will be collected from individuals. However, the opinions of those individuals, as leaders of the organization, represent the organization.
Advocacy. The first of the two variables in this exploratory study is advocacy. For the purpose of this study, advocacy is conceptualized in a broad sense, where advocacy is considered to be the process of articulating a position and mobilizing support for it
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(Jenkins, 2006, p. 309). Advocacy has many forms, and due to its multiple manifestations it can be difficult in its identification. Multiple objective sources can be used to identify the prevalence of advocacy activity by a nonprofit organization, such as nonprofit status applications to the IRS, IRS 990 returns, and organization mission statements. Some of these same sources can even be used to identify the frequency of advocacy. However, rarely do they yield information on the type of advocacy, with whom it takes place, and its outputs and outcomes, as is the primary focus of this study. For such detailed information, organizational executives will need to provide personal insight.
Participating organizations in this study were asked to self-select whether they engage in advocacy efforts. A list of advocacy tactics, grounded in previous empirical studies (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Kimberlin, 2010) that are suitable for the recognition and identification of the types of advocacy and the tactics used were provided.
As mentioned in Chapter Two, strategies are general approaches to solving a problem, where tactics are the specific tools being used.
Collaboration. Collaboration has many interpretations among organizational theorists and nonprofit scholars. Considering the definitions provided by previous empirical research, this study employs a definition of collaboration as the sharing of resources with other organizations to accomplish tasks such as complex problems that might not otherwise be possible. Collaboration in this study is measured by organizational responses that confirm or deny their participation in sharing resources, knowledge and connections and unified visions in order to achieve desired ends to a complex problem. Although collaboration has been considered by some researchers to be an advocacy tactic (Miller-Stevens, 2010) this study explores collaboration as a tool used to deliver advocacy programs that employs a
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variety of tactics such as letters to the editor, policy forums, protests, boycotts, and voter guides.
Effectiveness. Effectiveness scholars have struggled to find a common definition of organizational effectiveness and a shared agreement of the necessary attributes and how to measure them (Quinn & Cameron, 1983; Green & Griesinger 1996; Forbes, 1998; Herman & Renz, 1998). Effectiveness is a powerful, yet elusive, concept, in that its varying dimensions and interpretations are relative and often un-empirically justifiable (Forbes, 1998).
Additional objectives of this research are to discover if there are patterns of effectiveness among advocacy programs that make use of collaboration in their delivery.
One way to do this is to explore the perceived effectiveness of an organizations outputs and outcomes (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Program level outputs are the results of the planned advocacy effort, regardless of whether the result is desired or not (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Organizational level outcomes such as increased organizational profile, increased legitimacy, broader networks and stronger partnerships can be results of advocacy efforts that do not necessarily yield a desirable program output. Effectiveness is conceptualized in this study at the program level and the organizational level by considering the value of outputs and outcomes (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). For the purpose of this study, effectiveness will be operationalized as not only accomplishing program goals, such as achieving a desired end of an advocacy campaign, but also the effects on the organization on a broader level than simply program accomplishment. Indicators of organizational level benefits, such as an increase in organizational legitimacy and profile, are measured by perception of the respondent of increased recognition, media attention, potential partners, and donors. By examining an organizations (program level) outputs in comparison
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and contrast to the (organizational level) outcomes this study provides a clearer understanding of what collaborative advocacy looks like. Figure 4.1 shows each variable and the corresponding definition, concept and measurement.
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Variable Definition Concept Measurement
Advocacy Articulating a position and mobilizing support for it (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309). Organizations engage in the policy process to advance their causes Engage in some type of advocacy judicial, administrative, electoral, legislative Tactics used
Collaboration Collaboration occurs when a group of autonomous stakeholders of a problem domain engage in an interactive process, using shared rules norms, or structures, to act or decide on issues related to that domain (Wood and Gray 1991,p.146). Nonprofit organizations can work in conjunction with, or cooperatively with, other nonprofits on programs # of nonprofit organizations engaged in concerted program efforts Frequency/regularity Type of agency collaborating with: public, private, nonprofit Outward management -executive participation in activities that would increase networks, potential partners
Collaborative Advocacy Any advocacy effort undertaken by multiple organizations with shared goals, in a planned and concerted manner, and shared rewards Advocacy can be conducted solo or collaboratively with other organizations Frequency of use of collaboration in an organizations advocacy efforts
Effectiveness The impact of an organization on its stakeholder and environment Results of programs can be at the program level (outputs) or at the organizational level (outcomes) Results of advocacy goals (output) Executive perception of increased profile, increased legitimacy, new donors, media attention, new network connections (outcomes)
Figure 4.1: Variable Concept IV ap
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Substantive Issue Area. Nonprofits serve a population of individuals whose needs are not being met by either government or the market. These individuals all share the same need, or lack of resource, that the nonprofit is trying to fulfill. This shared need then becomes the substance of the mission of that nonprofit. It also defines the operating environment in which the organization will advocate within.
Another way to think of a nonprofits substantive issue area is as a field of activity, such as defined by Child and Gronbjerg (2007), who think of fields as representing broad policy arenas in which similar types of social actors, such as nonprofit organizations, operate (p.261). The substantive issue area, or field of activity, in the current study, is developed into seven categories: arts and culture, civic engagement, education, environment, health, human services and religion. These seven fields of activity are derived from the literature (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007) as well as from researcher observations formed from professional experience.
Outputs and Outcomes. Outputs are a direct consequence of programs, whether successful or not, while outcomes tend to be at the organizational level and can be indirectly related to program outputs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007; Thompson, Perry & Miller, 2009). Advocacy programs are often deemed as having successful outputs when the result of the advocated issue aligns with the organizations position, yet there can be additional benefits. Outcomes can be benefits to the organization, and even the entire nonprofit sector, which are indirectly related to outputs and can be evident even when the program does not yield a direct benefit to the clients being served. Outcomes of collaborative advocacy can exceed those of advocating alone because of the potential for organizational level benefits that go beyond the direct result of the program (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). By
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participating in collaborations organizations can achieve benefits that transcend simply accomplishing a shift in legislative policy (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007).
Sample
The first phase of this study is a quantitative survey with the purpose of creating a state profile of collaborative advocacy. Colorado has an active nonprofit community, with over 25,000 nonprofits in the state and over 19,000 of them 501(c)3 organizations (Urban.org, 2016), yet no state profile exists of collaborative advocacy efforts. The sample of this study is comprised of nonprofit organizations in Colorado that are designated with the IRS as 501(c)3 organizations. The type of tax exemption an organization has received can greatly influence the type of effectiveness criteria used, therefore mixing varying IRS designations in such a study as this would further complicate appropriate measurement models (Herman & Renz, 2008). The sample only targeted nonprofit organizations designated in Colorado, as single state analyses are advantageous because of control for variation in state laws, political culture, economies, and other state level institutional influences (Nicholson-Crotty, 2007). Furthermore, the study will only examine those organizations that have filed a Form 990 with the IRS as of 2011, as that was the parameter of the data provided at the time of doing primary research for this study.
A state profile of collaborative advocacy in Colorado would be beneficial to both researchers and practitioners because Colorado is representative of the national number of nonprofit organizations. When looking at the total nonprofits per 10,000 people in the nation (45.60) and Colorado (49.60) it is apparent how Colorado is similar to the national numbers. The same is true for just 501(c)3 organizations per 10,000 people at the national level (33.90)
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and Colorado (38.40). In both categories total nonprofits and just 501(c)3 organizations -Colorado is just slightly higher than the national numbers.
To create the sample, first a list was generated from the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) that identified all 501 (c)3 organizations in the state of Colorado that had registered with the Colorado Secretary of States office as a nonprofit organization and designated with a 501(c)3 status. NCCS.org is a website that serves nonprofits in a number of capacities, including providing research tools to nonprofit scholars. Next, all organizations with a budget under $50,000 were eliminated. By exploring only organizations with an annual budget of at least $50,000 this study refines the sample to organizations that are most likely to have paid staff and a website. This was helpful in creating a sample that could be identified and contacted. This still left thousands of potential organizations.
To narrow the list, first organizations were selected for an internet search of the executive directors contact information if they were known to the researcher. Then organizations were searched for based on the seven mission categories, such as environment, education, arts and religion. Then geographic locales were searched for, such as Denver, Pueblo, Grand Junction, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. These keywords were used to find a good representation of the nonprofit organizations in each of the states largest communities. Last other organizations within similar networks were identified through searches of the original organizations website. This process is known as snowball sampling (OSullivan, Rassell & Berner, 2003).
If the organization had a website, then the site was searched for the executive directors contact information, either a phone number or an email address. If there was an email address it was immediately added to the sample. If only a phone number was listed
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then several attempts were made to contact the individual by phone in order to retrieve the email address. If the individual was not able to be contacted by phone after several attempts then that organization was eliminated from the sample. This process created a list of 404 organizations (N=404).
There were 2,151 organizations after NCCS filters were applied, such as budget ($50,000), location (Colorado) and nonprofit designation (only 501(c)3 organizations). The author then went through the list alphabetically through the letter L, and then purposefully, to get a total of 404 executive director email addresses. The researcher stopped at the letter L because of time constraints and then just selected other organizations based on personal knowledge of the organization, and keywords such as location.
The organizational characteristics of the survey respondents are difficult to determine since not all respondents answered all questions. However, human services was by far the largest mission category represented, and religious organizations were by far the least represented with no organizations claiming religion as their mission category. Furthermore, staff size was also difficult to determine, but it is apparent that smaller organizations were the most represented, with well over half of the respondents indicating that their staff size was 15 people or fewer. Additionally, over half of the organizations surveyed did not have staff dedicated specifically to advocacy efforts, and fewer than 20% were affiliated with a 501(c)4 organization.
Data Collection
This study employs a mixed methods approach to data collection consisting of two phases. The first phase is a survey to gather quantitative data to establish a state level profile of collaborative advocacy including the frequency that collaborative advocacy is being used.
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Data gathered from the survey informs the second phase of data collection by helping to form questions that delve deeper into the initial responses found in the survey.
Phase two consists of follow up interviews to explore how nonprofits are using collaboration to deliver advocacy programs and the potential benefits added by doing so.
The follow up interviews provide the study with a deeper understanding of how and why nonprofit practitioners are using collaborative advocacy. Such iterative designs will provide greater depth, clarity and accuracy of the information collected since both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods are being used (Caracelli & Green, 1997; Miller-Stevens, 2010). When both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are used, research studies reveal not only elevated perspectives through large scale surveying, but detailed investigation through additional contact with the respondents.
Survey. The first stage of data collection for this study was to administer a survey to the sample of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations through electronic mail. The primary objective of the survey was to gather quantitative data on the type of 501(c)3 organizations using advocacy and collaboration, with whom they were advocating collaboratively, their chosen tactics and the outputs of these programs. Such data yield a valuable profile of collaborative advocacy among 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado.
While maintaining a focus on the organization as a unit of analysis, executive level management were asked to answer the surveys on behalf of their organization via an email message (See Appendix A). A cover letter that preceded the survey was also constructed that included information about the research project, participant rights and contact information for the primary researcher (See Appendix B).
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Since the survey was administered electronically, an email message also needed to be written to accompany each survey. This email included a small amount of information about the research project, a request to participate, contact information for the Human Research Subjects department, and was the same for each member of the sample. The survey and cover letter were then distributed through Survey Monkey to each member of the sample. After two weeks, each member of the sample also received a second email request with a revised version of the email message. The revised version of the email message thanked the individual for their participation in the survey if they had already done so, and reminded them of the value of the project to practitioners and researchers alike and again requested their participation (See Appendix C).
The survey was constructed based on previous advocacy studies that included surveys administered to nonprofit executives such as Berry and Arons (2003), Bass et al. (2007), and Child and Gronbjerg (2007). The electronic survey was created on Survey Monkey (surveymonkey.com), a reputable and widely used tool for similar research studies. The survey was presented in six sections. Various forms of Likert scales were used for close ended questions, and a space for verbal answers was provided for open ended questions. The first section was the Introduction and consent. This section stated the purpose of the research and the participants rights according to the University of Colorados IRB (the Institutional Review Board) (See Appendix D). The section concluded with a question of whether the individual was willing to be a part of the study. The second section was titled Nonprofit Advocacy and asked questions about a nonprofit organizations frequency and tactics of their solo advocacy efforts. Frequency was measured on a scale of weekly, quarterly, annually, and biannually. The third section was titled Collaborative Advocacy and asked similar
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questions about the frequency and tactics of the organizations use of collaboration in their advocacy efforts.
The fourth section was titled Executive Management and asked about the organizations outward management styles (OToole, Meier & Nicholson-Crotty, 2005) and its potential influence on their use of collaborative advocacy. Questions included how many boards does the executive director sit on, and how often executive directors attend networking meetings such as luncheons, happy hours, and panel discussions.
The fifth section of the survey was titled Organizational Attributes and asked questions about organizational characteristics such as an organizations annual budget. Another question asked in this section included the substantive issue category of the organizations mission with the following options: arts and culture, civic engagement, education, environment, health, human services, and religion. These substantive issue areas were replicating other research in the field, such as Child and Gronbjerg (2007). Yet another question asked about the size of the organizations staff measured by a scale of 0-5, 6-15, lb-25, 26-50, 51-100, and 100+. The final section was the Conclusion and Thank You, where the respondents were thanked for their participation and asked if they would be willing to be contacted again for a follow up interview.
The survey was pre-screened by research professionals in the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs, members of the researchers dissertation committee and several members of the nonprofit community. The purpose of the pre-screening was to develop the survey further by incorporating feedback form nonprofit researchers and practitioners.
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In total 404 emails were sent with the Survey Monkey link. Despite rigorous research into contact information for each member of the sample, 20 emails were sent back because for a variety of reasons such as no longer worked at the organization, deceased, or on leave, for a total of 384 emails received by their target contact. Of these 384, 111 opened the survey. However, only 74 participants submitted usable surveys. This is a response rate of 19.2 % (74/384). Most questions received approximately 60-70 responses.
Follow Up Interviews. The survey concluded with a question about whether participants would volunteer to be contacted again for a follow up interview. Of the 74 individuals that took the survey, 23 participants initially indicated their willingness to be contacted again to potentially participate in a follow up interview. All 23 participants were then asked via email to engage in semi-structured interviews over the phone (See Appendix E). Of those 23, six responded back their willingness to schedule the interview. Some of the 23 had moved on to other positions, were involved in other work or personal related activities that were taking up time, did not respond to the email request, or otherwise unwilling to participate.
Interview questions were constructed based on the research areas that could use further investigation after preliminary analysis of the survey data. They included inquiries such as examples of collaborative efforts and how partners were chosen (See Appenidx F). Interviews were recorded with respondents permission using a portable recording device. Data Analysis
Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis were used for this study as both kinds of data were collected. Quantitative statistical methods were used for analysis of the survey instrument, while qualitative methods were used on the follow up interviews.
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Quantitative Analysis. Of the 404 emails sent out to potential respondents, 111 responses from Survey Monkey were received stating that someone had opened the survey. Once the allotted time period for the survey was over, the survey closed and all data was exported into SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 20.0 Graduate Package).
Then a process for cleaning the data was initiated. First, all others from mission category were reclassified into a mission so that all participant entries were classified under a mission category. Then in SPSS, the researcher indicated that all .00 equaled 0 and then also replaced all with 0.
Descriptive statistics were employed to assess frequencies and trends of collaborative advocacy, similarities and differences among solo advocacy compared to collaborative advocacy, and prevalence of types of organizations that participate in collaborative advocacy. Frequencies were run to look for missing information in the data set. Missing data were coded as a 0. Next the researcher ran cross-tabs to further explore patterns of distribution in responses. Then correlations were executed for the purpose of looking for relationships between various survey questions. Correlation is understood as the standardized measure of the relationship between two or more variables (Kim & Mallory, 2014, p.180).
Qualitative Analysis. Qualitative analysis of the follow-up interviews was undertaken with Kings (2004) notion of thematic analysis. According to King (2004), researchers can analyze the data collected in interviews by attempting to tell a story built around the main themes identified. In such a strategy, the write-up or presentation of the interviews is integrated with analysis and interpretation (King, 2004).
All interviews were recorded and then the interviews were transcribed using Microsoft Word. A template was created with, according to Kings (2004) suggestions,
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possible themes that were identified by the researcher before and during the follow up interviews. Additional themes were also identified as the interviews were transcribed. (See Appendix G). This process is knowns as template analysis, which according to King (2004) does not describe a single, clearly delineated method; it refers to a varied but related group of techniques for thematically organizing and analyzing textual data (p.256).
Challenges and Limitations of the Methodology
Sample size is a potential concern considering that response rates are generally less than 50 percent for similar studies (Berry & Arons, 2003; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007).
Previous studies that intended to provide snapshot or profile of a targeted nonprofit community have yielded sample sizes that ranged from 119 organizations, including eight classification types of nonprofits (Leroux & Goerdel, 2009) to 2,206 nonprofit organizations in the state of Indiana (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007). This study will not meet such an ambitious response rate, but a response rate of about 19 percent from a sample of about 400 organizations in Colorado yields a strong enough leveraged sample to serve as a profile snapshot. Sampling bias is also a concern, as the sample population was not randomized, since nonprofits without emails listed on their website were not included in the study.
Weaknesses of data analysis could include ambiguity, as formal and informal units can be a problem (Gerring, 2004). The organization is the actual unit of analysis, but collaborations, or individuals, could be seen as units by audience and respondents. Furthermore, King says that one challenge of data analysis of interviews is drifting towards generalizations (2004, p.268) and another is losing sight of the individual experiences from which the themes are drawn (2004, p.268). Knowledge and awareness of these potential hazards should alone be enough to mitigate their occurrence.
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Conclusion
This study ultimately aims to establish a precedent for how collaboration is used in nonprofit advocacy by exploring patterns among types of nonprofit organizations, substantive issues and program and organizational level benefits. Such an iterative method of data collection and analysis will help to specify conditions and characteristics of collaborative advocacy. Through exploring how nonprofit organizations use collaboration to deliver advocacy programs to the community, the research herein demonstrates that when collaboration is used in advocacy programs the results can be beneficial at both a program and organizational level. This mixed methods exploratory study included a sample of 74 organizations with a response rate of 19.2%. Results follow with a discussion of each research question.
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CHAPTER V
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The results contained herein demonstrate the data collected in this study that were used to answer the research questions proposed in Chapter One. The data are presented by research question followed by a discussion of the data collection methods as stated in Chapter Four.
Research Questions
1. How often are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts? First a baseline was created to have something for which to compare frequency of collaborative advocacy. The survey asked respondents about the frequency of their organizational collaboration. As discussed in Chapter Four, collaboration was defined in the survey as the sharing of resources to tackle a problem that would not otherwise be able to be addressed. As shown in Table 5.1, 56% of surveyed organizations were collaborating at least weekly, and almost 87% were collaborating on some kind of program at least quarterly.
Table 5.1: Frequency of Collaboration (n = 66)
Frequency of Collaboration % Frequency Mean: 1.61 Std:.80
Weekly 56.1 37
Quarterly 30.3 20
Annually 10.6 7
Biannually 3.0 2
* Scale of Frequency of Collaboration: 1 = Weekly, 2 = Quarterly, 3 = Annually, 4 = Biannually
Then participants in the survey were asked about their frequency of use of collaborative advocacy. Collaborative advocacy was defined in the survey as the use of collaboration to engage in advocacy efforts. As shown in Table 5.2, almost 75% of
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respondents were participating in collaborative advocacy at least quarterly. Yet only 33% were collaborating on advocacy programs at least weekly. That is approximately a 23% decrease from how often organizations are simply collaborating. It is possible that the decrease in collaborative advocacy, compared to other forms of collaboration, could be because of the fear of advocacy due to the legal constraints (Kimberlin, 2010), technical challenges (Boris & Krehely, 2002), or resource barriers such as fear of losing government grants (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Nicholson-Crotty, 2009) as discussed in Chapter Two. It is also plausible that the natural alignment of advocacy and collaboration has not been emphasized in the nonprofit community or the literature in the field.
Table 5.2: Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy (n = 65)
Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy % Frequency Mean =1.98 Std =.89
Weekly 33.8 22
Quarterly 40.0 26
Annually 20.0 13
Biannually 6.2 4
* Scale of Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy: 1 = Weekly, 2 = Quarterly, 3 = Annually, 4 = Biannually
Examining the difference between frequency of collaboration and frequency of collaborative advocacy shows that the biggest difference between the frequencies is in the weekly category as seen in Table 5.3. According to survey respondents, 501(c)3 organizations are participating about 22% less frequently in Collaborative Advocacy compared to other forms of collaboration.
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Table 5.3: Differences in Frequency of Collaboration and Collaborative Advocacy
Frequency % Collaboration % Collaborative Advocacy % Difference
Weekly 56.1 33.8 -22.3
Quarterly 30.3 40.0 9.7
Annually 10.6 20.0 9.4
Biannually 3.0 6.2 3.2
Furthering the discussion of how often 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are engaging in collaborative advocacy, it is compelling to examine who is making the decision to do so. Table 5.4 shows that predominantly the executive director is making the decision to participate in collaborative advocacy. This could mean one, or both, of two things. First, the findings are congruent with the literature on nonprofit leadership by Herman and Renz (1998; 2008) that collaborative advocacy would be a strategic level decision since it is being made by the executive director. If it was a philosophical decision, or a policy one, it would be made by the board of directors (Herman & Renz, 1998; Carver, 2006; Herman & Renz, 2008). Second, and not mutually exclusive, is that executive directors are making philosophical and policy decisions that should be reserved for the board of directors, according to Carver (2006).
Table 5.4: Decision Maker on Collaborative Advocacy (n = 69)
Decision Level % Frequency Mean Std
Executive Director 85.5 59 .86 .35
Board 31.9 22 .32 .47
Staff 24.6 17 .25 .43
* Scale of Frequency of Decision Leve 1: 0 = No, 1 = Yes
One reason for the evidence coming out as such could be that executive directors were surveyed, not board members. It is possible that executive directors were more likely to name themselves as responsible for decision making as an ego issue. It would be difficult for
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some individuals to freely state that they were not the person in charge of making decisions even though they held the position of executive director. Another possibility is that there is often a disconnect between the board of directors and the operations of the organization. Therefore, the executive director makes decisions on his/her own presuming they know the organization best and often they do.
In summary, 33% of those surveyed are participating in collaborative advocacy at least weekly, but that is less than the number of participants that are simply collaborating on other types of programs at least weekly. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases it is the executive director that is making the decision to engage in collaborative advocacy, rather than the board of directors or support staff.
2. With whom are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration for advocacy purposes, and how/why are they selecting those partners? The second research question of this study examines the type of organizations with which 501c(3) nonprofit organizations are choosing to advocate collaboratively. Table 5.5 demonstrates that almost all of the organizations that are engaging in collaborative advocacy are selecting other 501(c)3 organizations with whom to work. About 51% of the organizations surveyed are choosing to also work with government agencies.
Table 5.5: Type of Organization with whom Engage in Collaborative Advocacy (n = 69)
Type of Org % Frequency Mean Std
501(c)3 91.3 63 .91 .28
Government Agency 51.4 36 .51 .50
501(c)4 21.4 15 .21 .41
Private Firm 15.7 11 .16 .37
NA 1.4 1 .01 .12
* Scale of Frequency of Type of Organization: 0 = No, 1 = Yes
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Although knowing with whom nonprofits are collaborating on advocacy projects is helpful in understanding collaborative advocacy, there is still more to be learned about how and why nonprofit leaders are selecting their collaborative advocacy partners. It is possible that characteristics of the individuals is as important, if not more important, than characteristics of the organizations being collaborated with. One respondent said, Certainly now we see more opportunities for funders to want us to work together; so one day were competitors, and the next day were collaborators, which requires certain types of individuals. This comment implies that there are specific traits nonprofit leaders are looking for in both the organization and the leaders of those organizations.
Another respondent added, We picked legislators from the committee, then we picked nonprofit partners from their community. This could mean that there is a political strategy as well to how nonprofit leaders are selecting their partners on collaborative advocacy. These responses further support the notion that collaborative advocacy requires a certain level of technical expertise and knowledge by the executive director on how to choose collaborative partners and execute a collaborative advocacy plan.
Yet another factor in how nonprofit leaders select their organizational partners has to do with other policy arrangements the organization may have. Just because two or more organizations agree on a specific policy issue does not mean they share beliefs on others. It is quite possible that partnering organizations could be working on other policy issues with other partners or alone that may be conflicting with potential future partners. However, two or more organizations may wish to engage in collaborative advocacy efforts that influence the operating environment of the sector, which may transcend any political beliefs. A respondent said:
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We agree to disagree on things outside of what were trying to get accomplished. And we all agree on the outcomes. How are we going to get this piece of legislation passed? We may not agree with you on both pieces of legislation, but on this one were going to set aside everything else, and work together to get this done.
This comment reinforces the notion that organization leaders will engage in collaborative advocacy on issues where potential outputs and outcomes are agreed upon. Furthermore, sharing these rewards would be part of a collaborative agreement, as is consistent with other collaboration projects (Wood & Gray, 1991; Sowa, 2009).
In summary, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy with other 501(c)3 organizations, and over half are engaging with government agencies in their collaborative advocacy efforts. Further exploratory data in the form of follow up interviews indicated that organizations are choosing other organizations that share the same values and positons that are relevant to the issue being advocated for, but that does not necessarily mean that they agree on all issues.
3. Why are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts? Research question three asks why nonprofit organizations are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy. Nonprofit organizations have the choice to advocate alone, but some do choose to select partners with which to advocate and agree to share resources and benefits of those efforts. Solo advocacy has proven to be effective for many nonprofit organizations (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Nicholson-Crotty, 2007; Kimberlin, 2010). Yet many nonprofits are choosing to collaborate on advocacy projects as was found in Table 5.2.
As seen in Table 5.6, six possible reasons were provided for engaging in collaborative advocacy. These six reasons were selected for their logical association with the literature on antecedents to both advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg,
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2007) and collaboration (Gray & Wood, 1991; Wood & Gray, 1991; Guo & Acar, 2005). Another respondent said:
Theres a time and place for [solo advocacy] and I think that by and large its really based on the political environment as far as the decision on what to do; and unfortunately its also driven by the inherent nature of some of these orgs that they become really siloed. Theres a time and place where thats needed but theres also moments when thats really difficult to overcome.
Most of the six are resources, with the exception of Invited by Others. Although Invited by Others is not explicitly a resource, it still does lend itself to the notion of developing relationships, which could be considered a resource. If an organization were to deny an offer to join a collaboration, it is possible there could be an adverse influence on its future relationship opportunities. Consequently, with a reduction in relationships, the scope and efficacy of the organization is limited as is total mission delivery as a result of reduced clientele.
Table 5.6: Why Engage in Collaborative Advocacy? (n = 70)
Reason % Frequency Mean Std
Expand Networks 75.7 53 .76 .43
Economies of Scale 71.4 50 .71 .46
Share Expertise 87.1 61 .87 .34
Gain Knowledge 72.9 51 .73 .45
Gain Legitimacy 60.0 42 .60 .49
Invited by Others 68.6 48 .69 .47
* Scale of Frequency of Reason: 0 = No, 1 = Yes
Sharing Expertise, a commodity that is not always readily available to smaller nonprofit organizations with minimal budget and staff, stood out as the most commonly given reason with 87% of the respondents selecting it. That expertise is necessary because advocacy is complex and challenging. Specific skills and knowledge of how to navigate the
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appropriate level of government is required such as knowing which legislative body to address city council, county level, or the state assembly.
Resources drive organizational capacity, and it makes sense both logically and theoretically (Berry & Arons, 2003) that nonprofit leaders would comment on the relationship between resources and collaborative advocacy. One respondent noted, A lack of resources got us involved. A lack of resources in general is why there are all these collaborations. This response underscores the primary theme throughout the data that organizations lack resources which inhibits certain activities, yet that same lack of resources are what encourages collaboration.
Gain Legitimacy is another of the six options that respondents could have selected,
yet chose the least at 60%. According to one participant in the study, seeing is doing. If the
organization is not actively seen as engaging in advocacy programs that benefit their clients,
then they lose legitimacy. The respondent said:
We are fine if we do not receive any money for advocacy. The reason we do it is we feel like its part of our mission and our values, to say that we are working to end poverty and to get people to buy in if we are not actually working on issues that systemically impact peoples lives.
The participants in the study also recognized the benefit received from increasing
legitimacy and profile. Yet another respondent added:
Given the size of our staff and the relative newness of our organization I think we have to be collaborative in just about every effort that we undertake if we want to be successful, and so that is in the organizational as a whole and has been from the get go, there is nothing I would change about our culture because that is pretty well
established...theres a level of a cumulative effect that success breeds more
success... .the more that we do well the more that people will want to participate and the more that we will be in demand.
In the current study, the reason for engaging in collaborative advocacy is separate from the purpose, where purpose in the survey was defined as to whose interest the
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collaborative advocacy is dedicated. Predominantly nonprofit organizations are engaging in collaborative advocacy to support their clients interests, as seen in Table 5.7. However, occasionally nonprofit organizations could choose to engage in collaborative advocacy because of the need to improve the influence that nonprofit organizations have on political and community leaders. One respondent added, Weve tried to advocate politically on the behalf of our combined causes to make elected and potentially elected city officials aware of the role that nonprofits play in the community as well as in the county.
Table 5.7: Purpose of Collaborative Advocacy (n = 66)
Purpose Lowest Priority Somewhat Moderate Highest Priority Mean Std
Clients Interest 3.0 (2) 6.1(4) 10.6 (7) 80.3(53) 3.68 .73
Enhance Organizational Operating Environment 7.6 (5) 24.2 (16) 39.4 (26) 28.8 (19) 2.89 .91
Board Of Director Interests 42.4 (28) 33.3 (22) 19.7 (13) 4.5 (3) 1.86 .89
* Scale of Purpose of Collaborative Advocacy: 1 = Lowest Priority, 2 = Somewhat, 3 = Moderate, 4 = Highest Priority
It is possible that this survey question could have been written to include an option of major donors driving the decision, as one respondent said, Its typically funders that drive collaborative efforts. This comment is congruent with the literature which states that collaboration is often a mandate of grants (Shaw, 2003; McNamara, 2015).
To further explore the question of why nonprofits are choosing to engage in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts, this study asked why organizations are not engaging in collaborative advocacy. As Table 5.8 shows, about 39% of the respondents said that they were unwilling to carry the burden of the expenses of others. As is discussed in
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previous scholarly research, one reason organizations are fearful of engaging in collaboration is they are concerned that they will carry a larger portion of the expenses relative to other organizations in the collaboration (Olson, 1965; Shaw, 2003).
Table 5.8: Why Not Collaborative Advocacy? (n = 70)
Reason % Frequency Mean Std
Geographic Challenges 31.4 22 .31 .47
Difficulties in Sharing Rewards/Successes 18.6 13 .19 .39
Unwilling to Share Technical Skills, Trade Secrets, or Soft Property 17.1 12 .17 .38
Lack of Resources to Share with Others 30.0 21 .30 .46
Unwilling to Carry Burden of Expenses of Others 38.6 27 .39 .49
* Scale of Frequency oi Reason: 0 =No, 1 = Yes
The second most common response was the issue of geography. As discussed in Chapter Three, geography can be a barrier to entry for collaboration. Not all organizations are located in populated metro areas, in fact many are located in rural areas where the populations suffer from a lack of needed benefits due to their isolation. Here nonprofits are as important as anywhere else. However, as Snavely and Tracy (2000) discuss, the isolation that causes underserved populations also acts as a barrier to engaging in collaboration and advocacy. Rural nonprofits are less able to meet with and work on programs with urban nonprofits due to the distance, and are further isolated form the legislative process, which is occurring in state capitols in urban settings.
The third most common response from participants for why they might not choose to join into a collaborative advocacy effort was Lack of Resources to Share with Others. It
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appears from interview responses that there is some focus on the balance of resource
contributions and decision making authority. Fear of not being able to have much decision
making authority because the organization does not have much in the way of resources to
offer, or at least an uncomfortable feeling of not being considered an authority equal, can
prevent nonprofit leaders from joining into collaborative advocacy efforts. One respondent
supported this with the following observation:
One of the things that are difficult in a collaborative efforts is sometimes the resources are not balanced, we have much more staff and budget than other partners yet we are equal in terms of the decision making process, the steering committee we try to reach consensus on any decision we make, so there is a pull there between contributing a lot and the support for the effort and being equal parts in the decision making.
Congruent with the research by Bass et al. (2007), who found that the number one barrier cited by nonprofits is lack of resources to engage in public policy (p. 29), there are barriers to entry to solo advocacy that participants in this study self-selected that were evident in their organizations (See Table 5.9). The top five of the possible selections from the survey are all resources, indicating yet again that advocacy is a resource dependent activity. For example, Lack of Staff Time was indicated at over 80% at least occasionally; and Lack of Funding at about 69% at least occasionally. Contrary to the literature on advocacy where Herman & Renz (1998; 2008) found that entering into advocacy programs were a strategic decision and should be made by the board of directors, barriers such as Board of Directors Prohibits was a barrier infrequently encountered by those surveyed in this study. This could be because of frequent approval of solo advocacy by the board of directors, or that some boards are not involved with strategic level decision making like choosing to engage in advocacy.
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Table 5.9: Barriers to Entry to Solo Advocacy (n=74)
Barrier to Solo Advocacy Never Rarely Occasionally Often Mean Std
Lack of Funding 11.0 (8) 19.2 (14) 41.1 (30) 28.8 (21) 2.88 .96
Lack of Technical Knowledge 17.6 (13) 28.4 (21) 45.9 (34) 8.1(6) 2.45 .88
Lack of Staff Time 5.4 (4) 9.5 (7) 33.8 (25) 51.4 (38) 3.31 .86
Lack of Connections to Community 13.7 (10) 32.9 (24) 37.0 (27) 16.4 (12) 2.56 .93
Lack of Connections to Lawmakers 11.4 (8) 35.7 (25) 37.1 (26) 15.7 (11) 2.57 .89
Board Of Directors Prohibits 75.0 (54) 12.5 (9) 6.9 (5) 5.6 (4) 1.43 .85
Fear of Appearing Partisan 27.0 (20) 35.1 (26) 21.6 (16) 16.2 (12) 2.27 1.04
Fear of Losing Funding 32.9 (24) 45.2 (33) 12.3 (9) 9.6 (7) 1.99 .92
* Scale of Frequency of Barrier: 1 = Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Occasionally, 4 = Often
Additionally, Fear of Losing Funding was another barrier that was barely evident. As was discussed in Chapter Two, there is some concern in the nonprofit community about losing funds for fear of appearing partisan or alienating government grant makers (Nicholson-Crotty, 2009). Smith and Lipsky (1993), Kimberlin (2010), and Mosley (2011) all found that there was some fear of losing resources, whether it be financial or human, as a backlash to participating in advocacy programs. Furthermore, although there have been conflicting conclusions among other researchers, Bass et al. (2007) and Chaves et al. (2004) both found a negative relationship between money received from government and advocacy participation.
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These barriers, as demonstrated above, are going to act as deterrents to nonprofits entering into advocacy activities (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007). Nonprofit leaders need to be assured of proper resources, appropriate authority, and security from negative repercussions before entering into advocacy programs. Otherwise the risk can be too high.
Therefore it is not surprising there is a relationship between how often the specific barriers to advocacy are prevalent to the executive directors of the surveyed nonprofit organizations, and the frequency of the surveyed nonprofits engaging in collaborative advocacy. Table 5.10 shows the relationship, or lack thereof, between barriers to entry to solo advocacy and frequency of collaborative advocacy. Respondents that were engaging in collaborative advocacy frequently also claimed that Fear of Appearing Partisan was a barrier to engaging in solo advocacy, indicating that the more survey participants were selecting this barrier to solo advocacy, the more they were engaging in collaborative advocacy. One possible reason for this statistically significant correlation is that participating in collaborative advocacy can offer a veil of privacy to organizations that may wish to stay out of the public spotlight but still engage in advocacy.
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Table 5.10: Pearsons Correlation of Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy and Barrier to
Solo Advocacy (n = 74)
Variable Freq. Collaborative Advocacy Pearsons r p value
Fear of Appearing Partisan .229 .069*
Lack of Connections to Influential Members of the Community .197 .119
Lack of Technical Knowledge -.077 .540
Lack of Staff Time -.074 .559
Lack of Connections to Lawmakers .110 .398
Board of Directors Prohibits Engaging in Advocacy .100 .434
Fear of Losing Funding .016 .897
Lack of Funding -.131 .302
*p < .10
Congruent with the research on advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007), it is posited in this study that various barriers to advocacy exist which can be mitigated by engaging in collaboration to achieve advocacy goals. As demonstrated in Table 5.11, participants in the survey responded that at least a few of the barriers to entry for advocacy are in fact being mitigated by collaboration. At least 70% of the survey participants believed that at least occasionally barriers such as Lack of Funding, Lack of Technical Knowledge and especially Lack of Staff Time are being mitigated by collaboration. Financial resources, human capital and technical knowledge of howto engage successfully in advocacy programs are all necessary to achieving advocacy goals (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007).
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Table 5.11: Barriers to Advocacy Mitigated by Collaborative Advocacy (n = 65)
Barrier Mitigated Never Rarely Occasionally Often Mean Std
Lack of Funding 10.9 (7) 15.6 (10) 50.0 (32) 23.4 (15) 2.86 .91
Lack of Technical Knowledge 12.3 (8) 16.9 (11) 44.6 (29) 26.2 (17) 2.85 .96
Lack of Staff time 3.1(2) 6.3 (4) 50.0 (32) 40.6 (26) 3.28 .72
Lack of connections to community 6.3 (4) 38.1 (24) 36.5 (23) 19.0 (12) 2.68 .86
Lack of Connections to Lawmakers 7.8 (5) 34.4 (22) 32.8 (21) 25.0 (16) 2.75 .93
BOD Prohibits 65.6 (40) 16.4 (10) 13.1 (8) 4.9 (3) 1.57 .90
Fear of Appearing Partisan 38.7 (24) 25.8 (16) 27.4 (17) 8.1(5) 2.05 1.0
Fear of Losing Funding 42.4 (25) 32.2 (19) 15.3 (9) 10.2 (6) 1.93 1.0
* Scale of Frequency of Mitigation: 1 =' Sever, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Occasionally, 4 = Often
Most of the barriers that are mitigated by collaborative advocacy are capacity issues -internal and external. Organizational capacity is the ability of an organization to achieve its goals through drawing on resources, abilities and competencies (Doherty, Misenr &
Cuskelly, 2014) such as adaptability, financial and human resources, and managerial, learning and collaboration competencies (Bryan, 2011). Capacity issues are conditions of the organization that enable it, or prohibit it, from accomplishing its mission goals. Internal capacity components would be resources such as number of staff and technical skills of that staff. External capacity components would be opinions of the public and connections to
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lawmakers. The two exceptions to capacity issues according to this survey are the options of Board of Directors Prohibits and Fear of Appearing Partisan.
The barriers that respondents said were mitigated by collaborative advocacy were then run through further analysis to reveal that two of them were correlated with frequency of collaborative advocacy. This demonstrates, as seen in Table 5.11, that Lack of Technical Knowledge and Lack of Staff Time are not only mitigated by collaborative advocacy, but that as seen in Table 5.12 mitigation is related to how often the organization will choose to participate in collaborative advocacy programs. Based on the literature discussed in Chapters Two and Three, and the responses of survey participants as presented in Tables 5.9, 5.10 and 5.11, the negative relationship is an unexpected result. Possibilities for the negative relationship rather than a positive relationship could be a product of the wording of the questions and a lack of understanding of the inquiry by the respondents.
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Table 5.12: Pearsons Correlation of Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy and Barrier
Mitigated by Collaborative Advocacy (n = 64)
Variable Freq. Collaborative Advocacy Pearsons p value
Lack of Technical Knowledge -.209 .097*
Lack of Staff Time -.235 .064*
Lack of Funding -.143 .262
Lack of Connections to Influential Members of the Community .091 .480
Lack of Connections to Lawmakers .048 .708
Board of Directors Prohibits Engaging in Advocacy -.134 .308
Fear of Appearing Partisan -.110 .399
Fear of Losing Funding .015 .913
*p < .10
In summary, executive directors are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy efforts for a variety of reasons, where all possible selections in the survey were selected at least 60% of the time. Executive directors are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy for the purpose of their clients interests. Additionally, congruent to the literature, they are also choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy to advance the reach of the organization and the scope of the sector. Those who are not engaging in collaborative advocacy are not doing so because of geographic challenges, lack of resources to share in the collaboration, and the unwillingness to carry the burden of collaborative partners. The three top barriers to advocacy that are mitigated by engaging in collaborative advocacy, according to the executive directors surveyed, are Lack of Staff Time, Lack of Funding and Lack of
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Technical Knowledge. Finally, the research indicates that there is a correlation between how often an organization engages in collaborative advocacy and two barriers, Lack of Technical Knowledge and Lack of Staff Time that are mitigated by engaging in collaborative advocacy.
4. What organizational attributes influence participation in collaboration for advocacy efforts? Child and Gronbjerg (2007) identified six organizational attributes in which they hypothesized would be related to nonprofit advocacy. Child & Gronbjergs six attributes were: field of activity, size, funding sources, age, IRS status and technology. Of these six, they found that four were helpful in predicting engagement in advocacy. In the current study, five of these same six attributes were used to explore relationships with collaborative advocacy (did not use technology). Additionally, budget and 501(c)4 affiliation were also included. None of the seven total attributes that were used in this study had a correlation with frequency of collaborative advocacy.
The first thing this finding postulates is that Indiana and Colorado are different states, and therefore the corresponding results are different. Second, solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy are different beings. Previous studies were measuring any kind of advocacy, possibly mixing both solo and collaborative advocacy efforts in the empirical data collection gathering. By parsing out the different kinds of advocacy, whether it be solo or in collaboration with other organizations, the results were different.
An interesting observation about the relationship between frequency of collaborative advocacy and 501(c)4 affiliation, as was demonstrated in Table 5.5, is that only about 21% of 501(c)3 organizations were collaborating on advocacy projects with 501(c)4 organizations. One could posit that there is a possibility that executive directors are choosing to partner with
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other 501(c)3 organizations and government agencies rather than their own 501(c)4 organization.
5. What is the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts? To answer the fifth research question once again a baseline was needed to compare the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts. Survey participants were asked about their perceived effectiveness of the organizations solo advocacy efforts. As seen in Table 5.13, almost 39% of the respondents believed that their organizations solo advocacy efforts were not at all effective or only somewhat effective. About 61% of the survey participants believed their organizations solo advocacy efforts were moderately or highly effective. This could be because those solo advocacy efforts were not of a complex nature, or those organizations could be rich with resources and are able to advocate without the assistance of collaboration.
Table 5.13: Perceived Effectiveness of Organizations Solo Advocacy (n = 75)
Level of Perceived Effectiveness % Frequency Mean: 2.77 Std:.78
Not at all Effective 2.7 2
Somewhat Effective 36.0 27
Moderately Effective 42.7 32
Highly Effective 18.7 14
* Scale of level of perceived effectiveness: 1 = h ot at all Effective, 2 = = Somewhat Effective,
3 = Moderately Effective, 4 = Highly Effective
As was discussed earlier, some researchers such as Hill and Lynn (2003) argue that collaboration is not appropriate all the time. Demonstrating this, over 68% of participants surveyed perceived the effectiveness of their organizations collaborative advocacy to be moderately or highly effective (See Table 5.14). This is a substantial statistic as it is good news for those organizations thinking of engaging in collaborative advocacy, but it is only a six percent increase from perceived effectiveness of solo advocacy efforts.
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Table 5.14: Perceived Effectiveness of Organizations Collaborative Advocacy (n = 66)
Level of Perceived Effectiveness % Frequency Mean: 2.92 Std:.79
Not at all Effective 1.5 1
Somewhat Effective 30.3 20
Moderately Effective 42.4 28
Highly Effective 25.8 17
* Scale of level of perceived effectiveness: 1 = h ot at all Effective, 2 = = Somewhat Effective,
3 = Moderately Effective, 4 = Highly Effective
More research is still needed on what specific organizational resources are needed to make for successful collaborative advocacy. One respondent added, The structure, the way in which we govern ourselves as c3s, that organizations need to have a certain amount of internal capacity built and internal commitment and awareness in order to collaborate effectively.
As seen in Table 5.15, the differences between perceived effectiveness of solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy are not that vast. As seen in Table 5.15, there was only a slight increase in perceived effectiveness of organizations collaborative advocacy efforts compared to the organizations solo advocacy efforts. One plausible explanation for this is that nonprofit organizations are successfully choosing when to collaborate and when not to collaborate on advocacy efforts.
Table 5.15: Differences in Perceived Effectiveness of Solo Advocacy Compared to Collaborative Advocacy___________________________________________________________
Level of Perceived Effectiveness % Solo Advocacy % Collaborative Advocacy % Difference
Not at all Effective 2.7 1.5 -1.2
Somewhat Effective 36.0 30.3 -5.7
Moderately Effective 42.7 42.4 -0.3
Highly Effective 18.7 25.8 7.1
In summary, a great deal of data were collected on the perceived effectiveness of solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy, as well as the expected outputs and outcomes of each.
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Over 61% of respondents thought that solo advocacy was at least moderately effective. Additionally, over 68% thought that collaborative advocacy was at least moderately effective.
6. What are the expected results of collaborative advocacy efforts? To explore nonprofit leaders expected results from solo advocacy efforts compared to collaborative advocacy efforts the results were grouped into two categories: that of program level results and organizational level results. These two groupings are congruent with the literature on effectiveness and outcome measurement (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). It is posited in the literature that there are two different varieties of results from a program that which can be a direct consequence of the program (outputs) and that which can be a benefit to the organization as a whole regardless of the success or failure of the program efforts (outcomes) (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). The point being that when a program fails, or does not achieve its desired outputs, there can be more elevated organizational level results that can still be achieved.
It is logical then, as illustrated in Table 5.16, that Program Success is a very highly perceived consequence of solo advocacy programs. It is also interesting that Government and Legislative Connections are a highly expected result from solo advocacy programs. Without having collaborative partners to lean on, for their government connections for example, the onus is on the organization to establish their own connections in order to have success.
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Table 5.16: Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) from Participating in Solo Advocacy
(n = 75)
Expected Results % Frequency Mean Std
Program Success 78.7 59 .79 .41
Professional Connections 54.7 41 .55 .50
Government/Legislative Connections 66.7 50 .67 .47
Media Recognition 41.3 31 .41 .50
New Donors 30.7 23 .31 .46
New Clients 16.0 12 .16 .37
Increased Organizational Profile 52.0 39 .52 .50
Increased Organizational Legitimacy 46.7 35 .47 .50
Additional Funding 44.0 33 .44 .50
* Scale of Frequency of Expected Results: 0 = No, 1 = Yes
As is evident in Table 5.17, expected organizational level results from solo advocacy programs are similar to that of program level results. It is also possible that outputs and outcomes are the same for solo advocacy programs since the additional benefits that can be obtained through collaboration are not relevant. Another interesting observation is that some survey participants possibly had a keen understanding of the differences between outputs and outcomes since there was a noticeable 10% decrease in Program Success from expected program level results compared to expected organizational level results.7
7 This observation points to a weakness in the survey construction, since Program Success should not have been an option in Table 5.17 or 5.20.
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Table 5.17: Expected Organizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Participating in Solo
Advocacy (n = 75)
Expected Results % Frequency Mean Std
Program Success 68.0 51 .68 .47
Professional Connections 54.7 41 .55 .50
Government/Legislative Connections 68.0 51 .68 .47
Media Recognition 48.0 36 .48 .50
New Donors 40.0 30 .40 .49
New Clients 20.0 15 .20 .40
Increased Organizational Profile 69.3 52 .69 .46
Increased Organizational Legitimacy 61.3 46 .61 .49
Additional Funding 50.7 38 .51 .50
* Scale of Frequency of Expected Results: 0 = No, 1 = Yes
When examining the expected program level results of collaborative advocacy programs, as in Table 5.18, it is interesting that the values are very similar to that of Table 5.16: Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) of Solo Advocacy. The lack of statistical differences between the two sets of survey question responses could be because nonprofit executive directors deem no additional benefits from the successful completion of an advocacy effort due to collaboration. The benefits received for using collaboration on advocacy efforts could be more at the outcome, or organizational, level.
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Full Text

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EXPLORING THE USE AND VALUE OF COLLABORATION IN NONPROFIT ADVOCACY by JASON SCOTT MACHADO B.A., Fairfield University 1998 M P A University of Colorado Denver, 2006 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the Univers ity of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Public Affairs 2016

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ii 2016 JASON SCOTT MACHADO ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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iii This thesis for the Doctor of P hilosophy degree by Jason Sco tt Machado has been approved for the School of Public Affairs b y Chris Weible, Chair Jessica E. Sowa Adviso r Stephen R. Block Katrina L. Miller Stevens Date : December 17, 2016

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iv Machado, Jason Scott (Ph.D., Public Affairs) Exploring the Use and Value of Collaboration in Nonprofit Advocacy Thesis directed by Professor Chris Weible ABSTRACT Nonprofit organizations can engage in at least three primary activities service delivery, revenue distribution through grantmaking, and advocacy. Through these act ivities nonprofit organizations play a role in the poli cy process and democracy. It is argued by researchers that advocacy is key to being highly impactful on an organization s success Yet advocacy has numerous barriers to entry, considering it is an e specially demanding activity ation, simultaneously, is a recourse used for tackling complex problems such as advocacy. T here is a natural alignment between advocacy and collaboration, where advocacy barriers can be mitigated by the use of collaboration on advocacy programs. This mixed methods study includes a survey of over 7 0 executive directors of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado, as well as six follow up interviews, to e xplore the role of collaborati on in nonprofit advocacy. Results of this study support cl aims that advocacy has barriers to entry. The study posi ts that those barriers can be mitigated by collaboration. Furthermore, this study finds that executive directors of 501(c)3 organizations i n Colorado are using collaboration as a mitigation tool to combat advocacy barriers, that those decisions are being made predominantly by the executi ve director. The research herein also finds that 501(c)3 organizations are cho o sing to engage in collabora tive advocacy with other 501(c)3 organizations, and they are doing it for the reason of expanding knowledge, sharing expertise and gai n ing legitimacy, among other reasons. Those that are engaging in collaborative advocacy are do i ng so for the purpose of t

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v operating environment of the organization. Those who are not en g aging in collaborative advoca cy are primarily avoiding it because of their unwillingness to carry the burden of expenses of others, and for ge ographic reasons such as living in rural areas Engaging in collaborative advocacy also has benefits that go beyond organizational outputs. C ollaborative advocacy was found to be at least moderately effective at accomplishing goals the majority of the tim e, which was the same as was found for solo advocacy. The form and content of this abstract are approved I recommend its publication. Approved: Chris Weible

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vi I dedicate this disserta tion to my loving wife Deborah, and my two wonderful children Tristan and Jackson, whose love and support have be e n instrumental through out this endeavor.

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vii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS There are a number of people for without whose sincere commitment throughout this dissertat ion process I would not have be e n able to succeed. I would l ike to thank Dr. Jessica Sowa for her expertise, wisdom, and guidance. She has been a terrific advisor and has gone above and beyond to see that I succeed in this endeavor. I would also like to thank Dr. Christopher Weible for his detailed feedback, endl ess support and comradery. It has been an especially rewarding experience to have him as a professor and then a committee member. I eventually became a student of his in t he Ph.D. program. From i nstructor to dissertation committee, he has always been willing to give his valuable time to my endeavors. I have appreciated the insightful feedback and constructive revisions to both my teaching materials and my dissertation. I would especially like to thank Dr. Katrina M iller Stevens, whose friendship guidance and instruction through earning my Ph D has been instrumental, invalu able and genuinely appreciated. I would also like to thank Dean Paul Teske who although is not on my committee, has provided me with multiple opportunities to gain additional knowledge and experience in the field of Publ ic Affairs Thanks for believing in me. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank the SPA Staff, and specifically Dawn Sa vage and Antoinette Sandoval, who have assisted me with countless tasks and without whose support this would have never been possible.

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vii TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I INTRO D U CTION Research Questions .. .4 O .. .5 .. .6 Practical Relevance .. .. Conclusion .. 12 II NONPROFIT ADVOCACY .. 15 Understanding Advocacy ......... ..... .... .................................................. ... ........ .... 16 Definitions and Types of Advocacy 16 Strategies and Tactics 18 Motivations to Advocate .. 22 Barrie rs to Nonprofit Advocacy 24 Organizational Characteristics of Successful Advocacy 30 Conclusion .. 31 III NONPROFIT COLLABORATION ..32 .. 32 ... 38 Motivations .. 39 Barriers ... 42 Collaborative Advocacy 44 Conclusion ... 46 IV METHO DOLOGY .. .. 48 48 Definitions of Variables and Terms 49 49

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viii 49 50 51 54 54 Sample 55 57 Survey 58 Follow Up 61 Data Analysis 61 Quantitative Analysis 62 Qualitative Analysis 62 Challenges and Limitations of the Methodology 63 64 V RESULTS AND DISCUSSION .. 65 R esearch Q uestion 1 ................ ....... ............................................................ ..65 Research Question 2 ........................... ........ ....... ...68 Research Question 3 ................ .......................... .. ...70 Research Question 4 .......... ............................... ........................... .. .82 Research Question 5.. ................ .......... ........ ................... ......................... .... ...83 Research Question 6 .............. .......... .................................. ........................... .85 VI CONCLUSION S ..92 Contribution to the Study of Nonprofit Advocac y and Collaboration (Theoretical .92 .95 Contribution to the Field of Public Affairs ...................................... ........ ...... .97 Challenges and Limitations .97 .99

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ix 101 10 3 APPENDIX A. 111 B Surve 112 C Email Invitation #2 113 D. Institutional Review Board Approval Certificate 114 E. Email Invitation for Follow Up Interviews 118 119 121

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x FIGURES FIGURE 2 .1 24 3.1 Continuum of Organizational Relationships 34 4.1 Variable Concept M 53

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xi TABLES TABLE 2.1 Advocacy Definition, Classifications, Types and Strategies 18 2.2 Examples of Advocacy Tactics 20 5.1 Frequency of Collaboration 65 5.2 Frequency o 66 5.3 .. 67 5.4 Decision M 67 5.5 Type of Organization with Whom Engage in Collaborat .. 68 5.6 Why Engage in Collaborative Advocacy? ............................................. .......................... 71 5.7 Purpose of Collaborative Advocacy 73 5.8 Why Not Collaborative Advocacy? .............. .............................................. .................... .. 74 5.9 Barriers to Entry to Solo Advocacy 76 5.10 Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy and Barriers to Solo Advocacy 78 5.11 Barriers to Advocacy Mitigated by Collaborative Advocacy 5.12 81 5.13 Perceived Effect iveness of Organiza 5.14 5.15 Differences in Perceived Effectiveness of Solo Advocacy Compared to Collaborative 84 5.16 Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) from P articipating in Solo Advocacy 86 5.17 Expected Organizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Participating in Solo 87 5.18 Expected Program Level R esults (Outputs) from Participating in Collaborative 5.19 Comparing Output Differences Between Solo Advocacy (Ta ble 5.16 ) and Collaborative A dvocacy (Table 5.18 .89

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xii 5.20 Expected O rganizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Participating in Collaborative 5.21 Comparing Outcome Differences Between Solo Advocacy (Table 5.17 ) and C ollaborative A dvocacy (Table 5.20 .91

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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Nonprofit organizations play a significant role in delivering public services where at times the market and government fail to do so (Salamon, 1995 ; Salamon, 2012; Weisbr od, 1978 ) or where the market is inviting because of varied or lacking quality and content of available services An additional but equally important activity nonprofits can engage in is advocacy (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007) and in doing so nonprofit organizations play a role in influencing the policy proce ss (Bass, Arons, Guinane & Carter 2007 ). Advocacy can be defined p osition (Jenkins, 2006 p. 309 ). Advocacy can be conducted by an organization alone, or in combination with other organizations to varying degrees. However, many nonprofits do not engage in advocacy due to the barriers that exist, especially to those organizations with limited resources (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Kimberl i n, 2010; Mosley, 2011 ). C ollaborating on advocacy p rograms, where collaboration can be defined as the sharing of resources to accom plish complex problems (Gray, 1989 ; Guo & Acar, 2005 ), is a potentially rewarding alignment for those organizations hesitant or rest ricted from engaging in advocacy. Recent scholarship has argued that high achieving nonprofit organizations should be conducting both direct service programs and engaging in advocacy (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007). r and against public policies directed toward elected officials, government agencies, and the courts is a long standing tradition. It p.394). Yet influencing the policy process can be

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2 frus trating and difficult and a large amount of friction against change can exist Through advocacy nonprofits can have a positive being through taking favorable stances on i ssues that affect their stakeholders (Kimberlin, 2010; Nicholson Crotty, 2011) as well as the policy environment in which those organizations operate (Child and Gronbjerg, 2007). B y prior itizing both nonprofit advocacy and service delivery nonprofits a re better equipped to serve their clients and manage their complicated and heavily regulated operating environment. By learning about issues from the policy side and relaying that information to fron t line workers, nonprofits are in a better position to d eliver efficient and effective services to their clients (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007) Simultaneously, the information and experience garnered by front line workers is conveyed to organizational advocates so the organization can better influence the ir specific policy field as well as the operating environment of the nonprofit sector (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). However, nonprofit advocacy is potentially overwhelming to some nonprofit organizations, resulting in less frequent p articipation in a dvocacy efforts than is possible, or recommended by researchers (Boris & Krehely, 2002 ; Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007 ) This lack of participation is partially due to b arriers that exist to engaging in advocacy, such as lack of resources, technical kno wledge or established legislative connections all of which are needed for successful advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al. 2007 ; Child & Gronbjerg 2007 ; McNamara, 2015 ). Nonprofit organizations are increasingly looking to collaboration to explor e complex problems, and to meet requirements set upon them by grantors, don ors and public agencies (Guo & Acar 2005). Although collaboration is not the appropriate recourse for all problems

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3 (Hill & Lynn, 2003), i t is possible that collaboration could be an option for nonprofit organizations to mitigate the barriers to engaging in advocacy bec ause of the additional funds knowledge, legitimacy and networks that collaboration s offer Collaborative advocacy, therefore, may be an advisable or ganizational str ategy for nonprofit organizations to improve their ability to engage in advo cacy to improve the well being of their clientele and positively affect their policy environment Without a firm understanding of what collaborative advocacy is, what it looks like and why it is beneficial nonprofit managers are without the knowledge they need to best serve their clients. M ore research is needed on collaborative advocacy in order to help nonprof i ts achieve greater mission delivery By engaging in collaborative advocacy, nonprof i ts will be better informed on the policy side of their programs ; and by engaging in program delivery will be better informed to advocate (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007) Through further research nonprofit practitioners will have a gre ater understanding of how and when to use collaborative advocacy. This study advances the nonprofit literature on both collaboration and advocacy by fill ing that void with both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis The research questi ons are addressed by conducting a mixed methods study consisting of a survey and follow up interviews of e xecutive d irectors of 501(c)3 nonprof i t organizations in Colorado 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are one of almost 30 types of nonprofit designatio ns as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS ). 1 1 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations, which are yet another type o f d esignation provided by the IRS are social welfare and local associations of employees and are included as a component of the data collection but are not of primary interest in this study.

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4 This study explores the use and value of collaborative advocacy efforts of 501(c)3 organizations because they are a common type of nonprofit organization, not only in Colorado but across the nation N onprofit organizations are a significant contributo r to the economy, with over 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the United States in 2012, and over 1 million of them 501(c)3 organizations. I n Colorado alone in 2012 (urban.org, 2016) there were ov er 25,000 nonprof its and over 19,000 of them 501( c ) 3 organization s Nationally, nonprofit o rganizations account for over nine percent of total emplo yment, three trillion dollars in total assets, and almost 65 milli on volunteer s annually as of 2014 (McKeev er, 2015 ). Additionally, 501(c)3 organizations are unique in that they are the only type of nonprofit that receives tax exemption for their expenses as well as on their income, while donors receive a tax exemption for making donations By exploring the e xpectation s and perceptions of these nonprofit leaders a clearer understanding of what c ollaborative advocacy is including its organizational attributes and its perceived effectiveness, scholars will be able to take advantage of additional research in a f ield that is lacking just that, while nonprofit managers will be empowered to lead highly impactful nonprofit organizations Research Question s The purp ose of this study is to advance the research on nonprofit collaboration and nonprofit advocacy by expl oring to what extent and how, nonprofit organizations are using collaboration in their advocacy programs. To ac hieve this end, this study examine s the frequency of collaborative advocacy, types of partners, advocacy tactics used collaboratively and the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts. The importance of nonprofit advocacy and the pote ntial for increased use by participating in collaboration drives the primary research questions of this study:

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5 1. How often a re nonprofit organizati ons participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts ? 2. With whom a re nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration for advocacy purpose s and how/why are they selecting those partners ? 3. Why are nonprofit organizati ons participa ting in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts ? 4 What organizational attributes influence participation in collabor ative advocacy efforts? 5 What is the perceive d effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts? 6. What are the expected resul ts of collaborative advocacy efforts ? Operational Definitions Advocacy is understood to be Advocacy programs can be delivered individually by a nonprofit organi zation, or can be conducted in partnership with other nonprofits, government agencies, or private sector businesses ( Berry & Arons, 2003; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Machado, Miller S t evens & Jannou Menefee 2015 ) Collaboration is a more difficult concept to define, as it is de pendent on degrees of participation, commitment, expectations, timeline, goals, structure and process among the organizations included (Thompson & Perry 2006 ) Collaboration can be defined with a common emphasis on two or more organ izations sharin g resources to achieve solutions to complex problems (Wood & Gray 1991; Guo & Acar, 2005 ). Many definitions of collaboration include offering the potential for sharing technical and institutional knowledge (Powell, 1990; Alter & Hage, 199 3 ) in addition to human and financial resources ( Snavely &

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6 Tracy, 2000 ) This sharing of resources often makes possible the achievement of desirable ends that would not otherwise be possible when operating alone. Collaboration can be understood as a proce ss (Sowa, 2008 ; Morris & Miller Stevens, 2015) which can improve service delivery potential by providing opportunities to nonprofit organizations that would not otherwise be able to because of a lack financial, human, technical or other form of resources ( Wood & Gray 1991; Sowa 2008 ) T he process of collaboration, by which there are multiple approaches, provides for opportunities to refine visions, share responsibility and improve strategies and tactics to better achieve program outcomes (Wood & Gray 19 91; Sowa 2008). The process of collaboration also improves the beneficial yield of advocacy programs by creating the potential for rewards that extend beyond direct success or failure of advocacy including outcomes such as increased organizational profi le and legitimacy (Grasse & Ward, 2015 ) Collaborative advocacy is perhaps yet to be defined in the nonprofit literature and empirical research. For the purpose of this study, collaborative advocacy is any advocacy effort that is conducted in collabor ation with other organizations, rather than advocacy efforts that are conducted solo. Collaborative advocacy includes multiple organizations with shared vision and goals of how to address a complex problem such as advocacy. Theoretical Significance Though barriers to both collaboration and advocacy exis t, they are not insurmounta ble. It is possible that t he barriers to advocacy can be mitigated by the benefits and opportunities awarded by participating in collaboration due to the ir natural alignment. Res earch dependency theory informs us that when organizations have limited resources, or are too narrowly dependent on revenue streams, their impact and effectiveness can be limited

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7 (Nicholson Crotty, 2007; Mosley, 2011; Nicholson Crotty, 2011 ) This is prev alent in the lack of advocacy efforts by 501(c)3 organizations, as advocacy strains both financial and human resource capital (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007 ) Collaboration processes can provide organizations with the much needed support through shared resources. Furthermore, scholars have argued that increasing networks and institutional connectio ns through shared resources creates a more effective environment for achieving program goals ( Selsky, 1991; Diaz Kope & Miller Stevens 2014 ) Buildi ng on this theoretical foundation the role of collaboration in advoca cy programs is explored so that nonprofit organizations can mitigate concerns about entering into advocacy efforts such as a lack of human resources, influential political connections, t echnical writing skills of the employees, and funding to fill all these voids By doing so, this study fills research gaps in the literature. This stu dy contributes to the knowledge base in the field of nonprofit management in three ways. st contribution is that it takes efforts to fill the gap in the literature by presenting a unique study that explores organizational advocacy and collaboration trends across all mission themes while focusing on one specific state. N onprofit organizations that participate in advocacy are often categorized into two classifications, those that have advocacy as their core mission, and those that undertake advocacy programs that are secondary to other program provisi on (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007 ) Altho ugh there is some research that focuses on advocacy within specified mission areas such as health service providers (Nicholson Crotty, 2007; Nicholson Crotty, 2009) there is little research on advo cacy across all types of substantive issue areas of 501(c) 3 nonprofit organizations Literature on nonprofit advocacy and collaboration between nonprofits and various other or ganizational actors is a trending field (Guo & Acar, 2005 ) but how and to what extent

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8 nonprofits are using collaboration in their advocac y efforts has yet to be explored. The research contained herein contributes to the existing literature on nonprofit organizational behavior and the role of nonprofits in the po licy process. C ollaborative advocacy is a less explored concept, perhaps sti l l yet to be established in empirical research among the field. As such, a second contribution of this dissertation is to establish a clearer and empirically established understanding of collaborative advocacy. This study employs the use of the term collab orative advocacy to be understood as those advocacy programs undertaken by nonprofit organizations in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations, government agencies or private secto r firms (Machado, Miller Stevens & Jannou Menefee, 2015) As has b een p reviously noted, there is a void in the nonprofit literature regarding collaboration and advocacy, and how they can be used in tandem. The research presented herein, using the term collaborative advocacy and demonstrating the rewards from combining t he two often separated concepts, is a unique and necessary addition to the current research. By filling the void through an exploratory study of collaboration and its use and value in advocacy, this study is advan cing the body of literature i n the field. Furthermore, b y contextualizing collaborative advocacy and bounding the phenomenon this study provide s a clarifying definition and operationalization of collaborative advocacy. In identifying the potential successes that can be yielded from advocacy prog rams, it is important to distinguish between outputs and outcomes which is a third contribution to the field of nonprofit research Outputs are a direct consequence of programs, whether successful or not, while outcomes tend to be at the organizational l evel and can be indirectly related to program outputs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007 ; Thompson, Perry & Miller

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9 2009 ) A better understanding of the theoretical linkages between advocacy and its benefits at the organizational level as well as the progr am level is needed if advocacy is to be better utilized. This study aims to il luminate these processes by identifying criteria and specify ing conditions under which collaborative advocacy leads to both desired program outputs and organizational outcomes To do so, this study explores how i ncreasing organizational profile and legitimacy raising public awareness, making new connections with influential policy leaders that can be tapped for future endeavors, and creating strong partnerships with government agencies that can increase access for advancing the goals of the organization can all be potential outcomes of collaborative advocacy. Practical Relevance I t is essential for the effectiv e satisfaction of interested stakeholders that nonprofits do all they can to maximize their capacity to deliver services to clients To accomplish their goals nonprofit organizations must do more than just provide direct client services to fulfill their potential for impactful mission delivery (Crutchfiel d & McLeod Grant, 2007) Clients should be served through programs that both directly and indirectly advance their needs. Through advocacy nonprofit organizations can proactively advance their clients being as well as maintain and favorably alter the regulatory en vironment of the organization (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007 ). Nonprofit advocacy either alone or collaboratively, is a method available to better serve clients and to be more responsible stewards of public funding and government sub sidization becau se of their tax exemption status By advocating for causes that increase mission delivery as well as for a more accommodating operating environment, nonprofit organizations can more aggressively a nd purposefully m aximize their capacity to serv e clients

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10 Advocacy can be a p owerful activity for nonprofits who stri ve to deliver more effective programs to their clients, yet advocacy can be an intimidating proposition to nonprofit leaders because of the often confusing legal restrictions, primarily associat ed with lobbying (Crutchfiel d & McLeod Grant, 2007) Organizations can claim advocacy as their core mission and still qualify for tax exemptions status under section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code or can include advocacy efforts as one of their mission driven programs. It is most certainly withi n their legal rights for 501(c)3 organizations to engage in a number of forms of ad vocacy in an unlimited capacity. 2 N onprofit managers who understand how to mitigate the barriers to entry to advocacy through collabor ation will be empowered to influence the capacity and effectiveness of their organizations. This study contributes to the practice of nonprofit management in four ways. Its first contribution is to encourage nonprofi t leaders to engage in advocacy activi ties at appropriate times despite the many barriers that exist. T o take full advantage of all opportunities av ai la mission nonprofits should understand if, how and when to participate in advocacy Advocacy yields increas ed understanding of client needs, increased reco gnition in the community, improved funding opportunities and the potential for a more accommodating operating environment including regulatory restrictions (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007 ) Ultimately c l ients can be better serv ed and programs delivered more efficiently and effectively when p rograms are inform ing advocacy and advocacy is informing programs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007 ) 2 Although there are regulations in place to prevent 501(c)3 organ izations from engaging in particular types of advocacy efforts that would jeopardize the sanctity of their tax exemption status, such as lobbying for a political candidate.

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11 Second, this study encourages the use of collaboration as a to ol to mitigate the barriers to advocacy, and as a result help 501(c)3 organizations fulfill their service delivery capacity. In addition to the s everal barriers that prevent 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations from engaging in advocacy programs the value tha t can be achiev ed at the organizational level is often overlooked Collaboration has been well researched and demonstrated to be of use to organizations in a number of contexts. It has been established that collaboration can serve nonprofits in assisting with resource consolidation when resources are scarce, in increasing access to untapped markets, and to sharing knowledge where lack of information or skills can be an impediment to achieving program success ( Wood & Gray 1991 ; Thompson & Perry, 2006; Smi th, 2007; Sowa, 2008 ) In addition to program and organizational level benefits from advocating, organizations have a financial motivation for engaging in collaboration to deliver services. Nonprofit grants often require collaboration as part of program d elivery to receive funding ( Shaw, 2003; McNamara, 2015) so a better understanding of how and when to use collaboration in program delivery would be of great benefit to practitioners. A third contribution of this study is to empirically demonstrate t he benefits at both the program and organizational levels that can be achieved from collaborative advocacy Clients benefit when an organization advocates for specific public nee ds; yet the benefits at the organizational level cannot be overlooked even whe n the specific advocacy programs may not yield the desired results By providing evidence, nonprofit practitio ners are more likely to commit to the idea of collaborative advocacy. A fourth contribution of this study is to provi de Colorado with a state le vel profile of collaborative advocacy Considering there are well over one million nonprofits nationwide, state level profiles are more manageable than a national profile, while still being re vealing

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12 and sign ificant ( Hall 2006). Profiles of nonprofit ad vocacy in Indiana (Child & Gronbjerg 2007) and Michigan (Leroux & Goerdel 2009) and have significant ly contributed to the knowledge base in the field of nonprofit studies and helped to guide nonprofit practitioners in their strategic planning. Conclu sion To fulfill their obligation to perform at the most effective and efficient level of client satisfaction nonprofits have to make use of all resources and opportunities available to them This includes engaging their publics, the government and the private sector to create and extend access to services for clients This can be accomplished through advocating for cl ient and organizational rights which yields a better operating environment to deliver the Nonprofit organizati ons are legally needs and also for the privileges of the entire sector as they operate amidst a changing regulatory environment. Not only are nonprofits allowed to advocate on behalf of their public and the se ctor, but are encouraged to d o so (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007 ). However, numerous barriers exist that prevent nonprofits f r om advocating as they should (Berry & Arons 2003; Bass et al 2007) It is suggested in this study that collaboration offer s a method of miti gating the barriers through shared resources, including funds, knowledge and networks. Advocacy is a complex problem due to the multiple parties involved such as lawmakers, legislators, and special interests. The complexity of advocacy i s further evident in the technical knowledge required to condu ct successful advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Mosley, 2011 ). Entering into advocacy efforts mandates a keen

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13 understanding of how to navigate the policy process. Such an under standing requires skills such as writing, communicating and establishing connections both with other nonprofit as well as various political bodies. Though c ollaboration is not appropriate for all service delivery programs and is a strategic decision that is made for t he more complex issues (Hill & Lynn 2003) it is an appropriate recourse for nonprofit organizations interested in advocacy An organization that is advocating for its clients will both better understand how to serve them, and better under stand how to improve the legal and political environment to make service provision more effective (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007) Knowing how to best make use of collaborative advocacy is important for managers so they can be b etter stewards of their organization s mission Understanding how collaboration can be used to mitigate barriers to engaging in advocacy efforts will empower nonprofit managers and benefit the study of nonprofit management through advancing the body o f literature This study contributes to the field of nonprofit research in three ways. First, it aims to fill the literature gap in studies about nonprofit collaboration, nonprofit advocacy, and specifically collaborative advocacy. Second, it strives to present a definition and operationalization of collaborative advocacy. Last, it provides a snapshot of perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy at both the program and organizational level. This study also contributes to the practice of nonprofi t management in four ways. First it encourages the use of advocacy by all nonprofits regardless of the barriers to entry. Second, it encourages the use of collaboration to mitigate those barriers. Third, it

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14 demonstrates beneficial outputs and outcomes of collaborative advocacy. Last, it provides the first Colorado state profile of collaborative advocacy for nonprofit managers to refer to. The following chapters proceed first with a discussion of nonprofit advocacy containing definitions motivations bar riers and organizational characteristics of successful advocacy efforts. Next follows a discussion of nonprofit collaboration again composed of definitions motivations, and barriers with special attention on collaborative advocacy. Chapter F our present s the methodology of this study, including discussion of the latent variables, data collection met h ods, data analysis and limitations Chapter F ive contains the results and discussion of the research questions posed in Chapter One. Last, Chapter S ix offe rs conclusions and closing thoughts about collaborative advocacy and its potential use and value in nonprofit organizations.

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15 CHAPTER II NONPROFIT ADVOCACY 3 There are at least three primary activities that nonprofits engage in: service delivery redist ribution of funds and advocacy. advocacy can be an advisable undertaking to achieve maximum organizational capacity (Crutchfield & Mcleod Grant, 2007). An often admired and respected dimension of the Am erican democratic sy s tem is the freedom it gives the American peo p their o wn particular visi o n of the ld & Gronbjerg, 2007, p. 260). in the United States and policy advocacy is therefore one of the principal functions and contributions By participating in advocacy, nonprofit organizations are playing a role in influen cing the policy process (Bass et al., 2007). Salamon (2002) survey in the late 1980s of 3,400 nonprofit organizations f ound that just over 80 percent had not engaged in advocacy. Yet Bass et al 1,728 nonprofit organizations found tha t about 75 percent had engaged in at least one advocacy tactic, demonstrating that nonprofit organizations have been increasingly engaging in advocacy efforts over the last few decades either as secondary programs or as their core mission. A s advocacy incr eases, it becomes of greater importance to unders tand better its costs and benefits as well as how to better deliver advocacy programs. 3 Portions of this chapter were pre viously published in Machado, Miller Stevens & Jannou Menefee (2015) and are included with the permission of the copyright holder.

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16 Though a large number of nonprofits are engaging in a dvocacy, still many do not because of barriers to entry such as v arying understandings of what constitutes advocacy, difficulty in navigating government regulations, and a lack of resources (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Nicholson Crotty, 2009) Yet, the motivations for advocacy are well documented, including increasing organi zational profile and legitimacy as well as leading to more effec tive service delivery (Berry & Arons 2003; Bass et al 2007; Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007; Kimberlin 2010; Mosley 2011 ; Grasse & Ward, 2015 ). Nonprofit organizations that include advo cacy programs in their service delivery are in a position to improve their operating environment as well as create more eff ective programs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007). In order to understand advocacy, it is important to clearly define what it is an d it is not while also identifying the factors that support or inhibit advocacy activities. Understanding Advocacy Defini t io ns and Types of Advocacy Many n onprofit organizations represent groups of people that would not otherwise have a voice, or would ot herwise have difficulty being heard ( Hall, 2006 ) Therefore their inherent purpose for existence is to be a vessel for perpetuating and advancing the rights, causes and privileges of underrepresented groups of people. Such activities can often take the form of advocacy, which has a number of different interpretations T his study assumes an expansive definition of advocacy that goes beyond the activities intended to influence public policy, and includes behavior that stimulates civic and political parti cipation. In a broad sense, advocacy is considered to be the process of

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17 Advocacy can be on behalf of one individual client, such as a child in need of hea lth care not covered under current interpretation of public policy; but is more frequently occurring on behalf of a broader constituent base (Kimberlin 2010). Both of these styles are recognized as progressive advocacy, in contr ast to advocacy that is intended to advance th e needs of the organizational operatio ns or the nonprofit sector that enables the existence of tax exempt entities ( Donaldson 2008 ; Kimbelrin 2010 ). An understanding of advocacy can be further refined when considering how it is occurring and the target a udience of the message (See Table 2. 1) For example, advocacy can focus on the policy process, recognized as legislative or political advocacy, including arguing for or against a p osition to government officials and m onitoring legislation (Reid 1999 ). A dvocacy can also take the form of engaging in the process of defining rules and procedures, known as administrative advocacy (Nicholson Crotty 2011). Judicial advocacy is a nother form, where organization s advocate to the judicial branch on interpretation s of judicial rulings and monitoring proceedings ( Bo ris & Mosher Williams 1998). Yet another type of advocacy includes engaging the public to be more civically involved in nonpartisan electoral activities through voter education and encouraging communica tion with legislators commonly referred to as electoral advocacy (Boris & Mosher Williams 1998). By further examining to whom the advocacy efforts are directed, the definition of advocacy becomes clearer.

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18 Table 2. 1: Advocacy Definition, Classificati on s Types and Strategies Advocacy Definition Advocacy Classification Advocacy Types Advocacy Strategies position and mobilizing support for 309); including stimulating civic participation and influencing legislati on. Progressive (on behalf of client) Administrative Issue Advocacy Organizational (on behalf of organization, such as improving regulation of nonprofit sector) Electoral Agenda Setting Legislative Lobbying Judicial The target audience is not the only influence on the type of advocacy in which an organization engages. The variance in types of 501(c)3 organizations, from social movement organizations to health service providers, will result in different organizational characteristics that will have an influence on the type of advocacy they are able, and willing, to conduct. For example, Mosley (2011) found that the level of institutionalization of an organization does not limit the amount of advocacy in which an organization engages, where i nst itu tionalization is defined as a presence of professionalization, formalization and collaboration within a field (Mosley, 2011). Level of institutionalization is just one of many organizational characteristics that have been explored to be connected with n onprofit (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007 ; Child & Gronbjerg, 20 07 ). Strategies and Tactics. Advocacy strategies include issue identification and agenda setting defined as research and education on social problems and solutions that are relevant to their target public and tha t are mission related (Boris & Krehely 2 002). Issue identification and agenda setting can occur without limits. Lobbying is another advocacy

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19 strategy yet it is restricted for 501(c)3 organi zations, although it is not prohibited entirely 4 rectly communicating with government officials or using constituents to contact their elected representatives [with the intent to 2010, p.166). There are two types of lobbying: direct and grassroots According to the IRS, direct lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation through communication with a member or employee of a legislative body, but only when it refers to a specific legislation, intends to influence it, and offers an opinion on that legislation (Trea s. Reg. Sections 56.4911 2(b)(1)). Grassroots lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation through affecting the opinions of the general public with purposeful attention to specific legislation, while also offering a view on the legislation and encour aging the public to take action on that legislation (Treas. Reg. Sections 56.4911 (b)(2)). Where an advocacy strategy is a more general approach that takes into consideration a specific method of ac hieving results (Nicholson Crotty, 2009) Strategies are the m ethod, and tactics are the activities used to solve the problem. For exa mple, strategies include service delivery and advocacy while tactics include letters to the editor, issue forums, questi onnaires and voter guides (See Table 2 .2 ). 4 501(c)3 organizations cannot claim a substantial part of their programs as lobbying, generally restricting lobbying activities to under 20 percent of their annual budget Influencing the opinion of school boards, zoning boards, or government agencies is not lobbying since those entities do not create legislation. However, 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are prohibited from lobbying in favor or against a candidate for po litical office.

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20 Table 2 .2 : Examples of Advocacy Tactics Indirect Tactics Direct (Insider) Tactics W riting letters to editors Participation in government commissions Providing or publishing results of nonpartisan analysis Prov iding testimony to administrative agency Protest Testifying at legislative committee meetings Boycotts Contacting lawmakers (about specific legislation) Issue education (such as public education forums) Requesting public to contact lawmakers Voter regi stration Voter education (such as how to participate in a primary) Voter Guides Questionnaires Forums A variety of tactics are available to nonprofit organizations that choose to engage in one form of advocacy or another. Though the use of cer tain tactics is not mutually exclusive (Mosley 2011), empirical research over the last few decades has found that interest groups are most likely to use direct tactics and interact with lawmakers, though recent studies have shown a trend towards more of a combination of indirect and direct tactics is being used (McCarthy & Zald 1977; Bu r stein 1998; Mosley 2011). Furthermore, organizational characteristics such as size influences the kind and diversity of tactics used, as larger organizations with great er resources use more tactics and gravitate towards insider tactics specifically ( Berry & Arons 2003 ; Bass et al., 2007; Mosley 2011 ). Indirect tactics intend to change the policy climate of an issue, while not requiring direct interaction with lawmakers and include: writing letters to editors, releasing policy reports, protest, boycott s, public education, forums, and participating in coalitions (Mosley 2011). Indirect tactics are more relevant to those organizations that lack the political network or institutional knowledge to gain access to legislators and lawmakers. Indirect

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21 tactics are often more popular among small or grassroots organizations who lack the professionalization and resour ces or lack widespread support f or their cause (Jenkins 2006) Direct tactics, or insider tactics, are more engaging with the political environment and include: participating in government committees and commissions, providing public testimony, and contac ting lawmakers about issues (Mosley 2011). Mosl of 321 h ealthcare s ervice n onprofit providers demonstrated a direct relationship among use of insi der tactics and increased government funding, increased institutionalization measured by level of formalization and professionalization. A benefit of inside r tactics, though requiring established connections with policy decision makers, is that the direct access position s the organization to have input on real policy change and details of implementation even after the initial stages of advocacy have been acco mplished (Mosley 2011). An organization can also increase its profile through gaining recognition and legitimacy through its political connections, while those networks and relationships are also valuable in future issues that the organization might be e ngag in g (Mosley 2011). An organization has a multitude of tactics to choose from when preparing its advocacy efforts Just as the institutionalization level of an organization has influenced how organization s can be classified (Andrews & Edwards 2004), so too has it been linked to the kinds of advocacy tactics a n organization uses (Mosley 2011). Mosley (2011) posits that collaboration is an element of institutionalization, and that an increase in institutionalization leads to the use of collaboration a nd insider advocacy tactics. The use of collaboration inspires participation in insider advocacy tactics because of increased access to lawmakers, increased knowledge of opportunities and the process, and increase d perception of organizational legitimacy (Mosley 2011). Therefore, not only does advocacy have the

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22 potential effect of increasing organizational legitimacy, so does collaboration among organizations on complex problems. Motivation to Advocate Motivations for engaging in advocacy have been well researched and include increasing organizational ne tworks, advancing client rights and adding legitimacy to programs and organizational reputation ( Bas s et al., 2007; Kimberlin 2010 ; Grasse & Ward, 2015 ) as well as influencing policy and social change (N icholson Crotty, 2011). Though there are numerous barriers to entering into advocacy efforts, there are recourses that nonprofits can pursue to mitigate these barriers. Resources can be more readily available when partnering with other organizations so t hat small amounts of resources can be aggregated. The possibility exists that 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations might benefit from the shared capacity yielded through collaboration by combining human capital, financial resources, institutional knowledge, te chnical skills and network connections. A significant number of research studies have explored the antecedents to advocacy, including motivations and benefits. Motivations for advocacy include increasing networks, increasing legitimacy, enabling more e ffective service delivery, i nforming communities of compassionate causes, organizational achievement, monetary incentive and improving their operating environment ( Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg 2007 ). Nonprofits have the abili ty through advocacy to improve and protect their operating environment. Self interested organizational advocacy has the express purpose to protect rights of nonprofits at the state and federal level, for both the organization itself and for the broader ri ghts of the sector (Kimberlin 2010). An organization that advocates is better

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23 equipped to monitor and navigate the restrictions and regulation that often present as barriers to scope of programs and quality of service delivery. Progressive advocacy is intended to move forward political interests of clients (Pfe ffer & Salancik, 1978; Hasenfeld 1992; Marwell 2007 ; Mosley 2011). An organization service deli very. Nonprofits that are actively engaged in client rights will be creating what Crutchfield and McLeod (p.34) ; further adding that ograms are informed by policy work, these organizations are 2007 p.34 ). Organizations that are on the ground delivering direct programs get a closer look at what kinds of programs are truly beneficial and efficient, which is valu able information to the political process that is forming regulations and new policies that affect the services being provided by nonprofits. In turn, organizations that are actively engaged in the policy process, or other forms of advocacy, are gaining k nowledge about the operating environment of the programs that are intended to serve client needs which informs their service delivery through learning about new and innovative policy solutions (See Figure 2.1).

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24 (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007, p.34) Figure 2.1: Combining Advocacy and Service Delivery Impact Advancing the needs of constituents is a key focus of advocacy programs, but the value of increasing the effectiveness of the nonprofit sector due to advancing policies that enable, validate and p rotect nonprofit organizations is equally significant. These alternative benefits to advocacy programs go beyond jus t program outputs. Outcomes of advocacy programs can potentially yield to increased organizational profile, increased organizational legiti macy and an expanded network of potential partners and political and community connections that can serve useful for future programs and fundraising (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007 ; Grasse & W ard, 2015 ) Barriers to Nonprofit Advocacy Though the opportu nity exist s for nonprofits to engage in advocacy efforts, it can be argued that the resource, institutional and legal barriers that exist ca n be too intimidating ( Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Boris & Krehely 2002 ; Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Kimberlin, 2010; Mosley, 2011 ) First of all advocacy requires a Policy Advocacy -Greater impact through legislation -Government funding -Increased credibility and influence Direct Service Programs -Greater impact on the ground -Grassroots Support -Channels for implementing ideas

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25 number of organizational resources, including labor, money and time (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007). Second, being an effective influence in the policy process req uires that organization members have skills that may be difficult to learn and professional conne ctions that are not easily establish ed (McNamara, 2015) Lastly, there are many complex legal restrictions to nonprofits engaging in advocacy, which can be di fficult to navigate. Some nonprofits might experience doubt about the impact of advocacy, or be d iscouraged from participation by institutional or technical barriers (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Bass et al., 2007; Nicholson Crotty, 2007). An example of an ins titutional barrier would be when nonprofit staff lack legislative connections, where having connections or not can be the difference between having access to policy makers or not. Furthermore, participation in advocacy requires a keen understanding of the legislative process and skills at influencing people (Mosley, 2011), where the lack of such skills is an example of a technical barrier. Additionally, engaging in advocacy can be heavy on resource necessity, where resources can be financial, human, or i nformational. Nonprofit s often lack the resources required to successfully engage in advocacy programs, creating barriers that are difficult to overcome (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Nicholson Crotty, 2007) Influencing public opinion often re quires an increased program budget and trained staff for implementation of such programs that many nonprofits simply do not have (Berry & Arons, 2003). For example, legislative advocacy can be time consuming with the amount of hours needed to monitor bill s and espouse positons. Although the literature on the influence of public funding on nonprofit advocacy can be conflicting (Neumayr, Schneider & Meyer, 2015), advocacy can be a daunting venture considering the pot ential for loss of partners or governmen t funding if the advocacy program

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26 is perceived as too political (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Nicholson Crotty, 2009) Reduced financial and human resource capital is equally a concern as the loss of donors and volunteers who support the core mission, but perhap s not the issue or cause for which thei r organization is advocating (Kimberlin, 2010; Mosley, 2011). Considering the amount of resources needed to conduct successful advocacy, and the potential threat of reduced income because of advocacy, it is apparent w hy some nonprofits choose to avoid advocacy despite its rewards. Resource dependency theory helps to explain both propensities and barriers for nonprofit organizations to engage in advocacy efforts (Salamon 1995; Bass et al ., 2007). Ample resources are a necessity for success ful nonprofit advocacy ( Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007 ). Yet there has been conflicting research in recent years on the influence of funding on advocacy programs. Significant and extensive studies, such as Bass et al (2 007) and Neumayr, Schneider and Meyer (2015) have found that the data can be inconsistent. Bass et al (2007) and Chaves Stephens and Galaskiewicz (2004) found a negative relationship among the amount of funding received from government grants and an org due to fear of attracting negative attention and losing those grants (Smith & Lipsky, 1993 ; Nicholson Crotty, 2009 ) However, Bass et al (2007) also found that the amount an organization engages in advocacy i ncreases with the amount of government funding, possibly explained by the increased political capacity of large staffed and lar ge budgeted organizations Some n onprofit organizations that receive government funding see an opportunity to receive more fund ing if they advocate more Those nonprofit organizations who rece ive government funding will possibly be more captivated of the policy process where they are

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27 empowered to advocate for their own benefit. With such an understanding of the system and passio n for participation, they are more likely to engage in advocacy. There are different perspectives on the role of funding sources in nonprofit advocacy. Conversely Child and Gronbjerg (2007) would argue that fund ing sources are not an obstacle. The data f r om their 2007 profile of the Indiana nonprofit sector yielded that there is no statistically significant relationships between government funding and willingness to advocat e. Yet Neumayr, Schneider and Meyer (2015) found that public funding does not ha ve a negative impact on nonprofit advocacy. Furthering the variance Schmid, Bar and Nirel (2008) found that among nonprofits in Israel the source of funding does play a role, as as an obstacle to advocacy. R esearch on the role of funding sources a n d the types of advocacy nonprofits engage in is more limited, Mosley (2011) found that government funding leads h ealthcare s ervice n onprofit p rovider s to insider tactics, because of g reater access to decision makers and increased legitimacy due to the source of their funds. Such data would lend itself then to the notion that collaboration could be a potential mitigation tool when funding sources are inhibiting participation in advocac y, since the many partners wou ld diversify and dilute the pres ence of any restriction s. Nonprofits also suffer from lack of institutional knowledge when deciding to engage in advocacy (Kimberlin, 2010) Advocacy, and more specifically lobbying, requires interacting with a highly professionalized and experienced institution of public policy (Mosley 2011). Engaging in advocacy requires an understanding of both the constitutional (state and national level) law and of how the inner circle s of lawmaking ope rate. This can be

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28 prohibitive and overwhelmi ng if nonprofit advocates lack an understanding of how to write letter s, create memos galvanize constituents, organize press conferences, and build coalitions (Bass et al ., 2007). Lack of such technical skills and training can be a serious impediment for nonprofit organizations engaging in advocacy. Without such skills, nonprofit organizations will feel less empowered and therefore less likely to advocate. By not engaging in advocacy the organization runs the risk of underachieving and not fulfilling its mission to its capacity. Bureaucratization can also be an impediment. I ncreased structure and boundaries can decrease innovat ion in marginalized communities. As a result they can resort to more conventional approache s and avoid advocacy (Leroux & Goerdel 2009). The lack of trained staff can lead some organizations to make use of the ir publics for advocacy efforts. H owever it has been found that direct service organizations often are reluctant to use clie nts to advocate as they feel clients should be served, not utilized ( Donaldson 2008 ; Kimberlin 2010 ) The concern is that by utilizing clients to achieve advocacy results, the clients will feel taken advantage of or less served and more as tools to achi eving an end. However, t her e have been attempts by the U S government to reduce the potential and power of nonprofit advocacy, most notably with the Istook Amendment in 1995. Understandably there is a potential for friction considering that nonprofit orga nizations are subsidized by tax dollars, especially 501 ( c ) 3 organizations with their additional privilege of donations being exempted to the donor, and their role in influencing public policy (Kimberlin 2010). It is especially understandable considering that many nonprofits often have a narrow constituent base, and serve very specific interests, though of course are still designated as an appropriate type of service provider f or education, civic or health purposes

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29 for example The amendment would have prohibited receipt of federal funds, like grants, if the nonprofit spent more than five percent of its privately garnered funds on political activity. Furthermore, as the focus of the study herein is on advocacy and collaboration, the Istook Amendment wou ld have denied grants to nonprofits who associated with other organizations who spent more than 15 percent of their funds on advocacy, effectively discouraging collaborative advocacy (Bass et al., 2007 ; Kimberlin 2010 ). The amendment was ultimately defea ted; however, its introduction has certainly brought increased attention to the issue (Kimberlin, 2010) Legislative attempts such as these that are a potential to thwart nonprofit advocacy underscores the research by Smith and Lipsky (1993) and Kimberlin (2010) that found there are significant fears of losing resources when engaging in advocacy. Smith and Lipsky (1993) and Nicholson Crotty (2009) found that there was a legitimate fear of losing government grants when engaging in advocacy that might be co ntrary to government positions. Furthermore, Kimberlin (2010) found that there was a fear of losing human and financial capital when engaging in advocacy that had large opposition. Concerns about losing nonprofit status because of engaging in appro priate lobbying activities are common among nonprofit executives. If a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization were to engage in illegal or excessive lobbying, they would risk their nonprofit designation and the subsequent tax breaks and legal protections enjoyed under t heir 501(c)3 status Additionally, m any nonprofit executives have trouble linking advocacy efforts to their mission, which of course is of utmost importance in nonprofit organizations (Bass et al., 2007). Mission creep, mission drift and mission disobedi ence are all errors that are punishable with losing tax exemption status. Such a hurdle can be mitigated with increased manager innovation and knowledge of legal and organizational standards (Bass et al., 2007; Kimberlin 2010).

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30 Organizational Attribut es of Successful Advocacy Although significant barriers to nonprofit advocacy exits, some nonprofits are still making the effort to participate in advocacy efforts, though with varying degrees of success. Significant research studies have yi elded data on the organizational characterist ics that are directly related to successful participation in advocacy. One lens in which to view nonprofit organizations is the policy area in which they focus statement, or the fiel d of activity as referred to by Child and Gronbjerg ( 2007 ) can be closely (2007) review of the literature, they found that environmental and health nonprofits show an increased likelihood to engage in advocacy compared to other fields of activity or mission focuses. The environment and health policy arenas are two areas in which at least two things are present. First, these are areas that are in need of citizen engage ment to make a positive influence as they are underfunded and underserved by government and the private sector. Second, these are policy arenas in which there are very passionate and engaged publics. Greater organizational size an d greater resource capaci ty have been proven to lead to increased participation in advocacy programs (Child & Gronbjerg 2007). Organizations with fewer resources have smaller staff, limiting time for advocacy efforts; whereas increased budget usually means an increase in staff a nd more time for advocacy. Research has also found that the use of an assortment of advocacy tactics have increased with organizational size as well (Bass et al ., 2007; Mosley 2011). As has been presented previously in this chapter, r esearch has demons trated two different perspectives on the role of funding sources o n nonprofit advocacy. On the one side, it is argued that government funding can lead to l ess participation in advocacy du e to the

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31 possibility of antagonizing their ma jor source of funding ( Smith & Lipsky 1993; Nicholson Crotty, 2009 ; Kimberlin, 2010 ) while others such as Chaves, Stephens and Galaskiewicz ( 2004) and Neumayr, Schneider and Meyer (2015) have found the opposite to be true. While these prominent research studies have highlight ed the organizational characteristics that are attributed to advocacy p rograms or to the success of su ch advocacy efforts, there is still much to be learned about the types of organizations using collaboration as a tool in their advocacy efforts and the at tributes of those organizations C onclusion The barriers to advocacy are significant, and u nfortunately the barriers can often be too daunting or difficult to mitigate, especially for organizations with minimal resources. It is possible that organizations suffering such difficulties can find recours e in the collaboration process, creating a more favorable environ ment for engaging in advocacy. As discussed in the following chapter, collaboration offers organizations a number of benefits through the sharing of financial, human, and other resources with the caveat that outcomes will also be shared. Nonprofits who might avoid advocacy for the lack of resources might otherwise be able to conduct advocacy programs if the power of collaboration is harnessed to d eliver those advocacy programs.

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32 CHAPTER III NONPROFIT COLLABORATION As demonstrated in C hapter Two, nonprofit advocacy is not only helpful to the services being delivered by nonprofit organizations (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007), it is also a complex endeavor requiring specific skills and strategies. Nonprofits are increasingly using collaboration as a tool to tackle complex problems (Guo & Acar, 2005; Morris, Gibson, Leavitt & Jones, 2013). Collaboration has numerous definitions (Gray & Wood, 1991; Wood & Gray, 1991) and motivations (Hill & Lynn, 2003; Sowa, 2009) It also has numerous barriers such as collective action problems (Olson, 1965). It is necessary to understand the nuances of nonprofit collaboration in order to id entify the potential val ue it adds to nonprofit advocacy efforts. A s there is an extensive set of research on collaboration, this review focuses on collaboration as it can be understood and applied to the study and practice of nonprofit advocacy. Definitions There are a number o f different variations of collaboration definitions as well as varying interpretations of collaboration processes, levels of formality, and operationalizations (Gray & Wood, 1991; Wood & Gray, 1991) Defining collaboration has proven to be a n elusive tas k for exclude Gray 1991, p 143). The diversity of types, participants motivations, and benefits of collaboration prove s uch a task to be difficult. Researchers have discussed whether collaboration is simply understood as the sharing of information, or whether it require s a more structured and committed relationship b etween participants (Snavely & Tracy 200 0).

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33 In reviewing seven definitions of c ollaboration from nine different empirical studies, Wood and Gray (1991) were able to refine the key concepts that were imperative to understanding what collaboration is, who is doing it, and to what end: autonomy, interactive process, shared rules, norms and values, action or decision, domain orientatio n, and outcomes Building on their own previous definitions of collaboration, and incorporating research from colleagues, Wood and Gray (1991) offer the following definition of occurs when a group of autonomous stakeholders of a problem domain engage in an interactive process, using shared rules norms, or structures, to act or Collaboration also occurs when a problem is too com plex to tackle alone (Wood & Gray, 1991). Collaboration, therefore, goes beyond simply working cooperatively, but also includes a dimension of sharing resources and forming unified definitions and objectives of the problem to achieve desired results. The concept of sharing norms and values and rules amongst members of a collaboration is too important to omit, and underscores the sometimes formal and strategic nature of collaborations. Highlighting the differences of collaboration interpretations, process dimensions such as sharing resources and forming unified visions can be seen as an obstacle by some, and a benefit by others (Arganoff & McGuire, 2003) Some scholars argue that collaboration is an interchangeable term with other concepts as coordinatio n and cooperation (Williams, 2015). As seen in Figure 3.1, o ther scholars argue that organizational relationships exist on a continuum varying from informal to multiple levels of formality, established by process functions and degree of resource sharing ( Najam, 2000; Selden, Sowa & Sandfort 2006)

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34 Cooperation Coordination C ollaboration S ervice I ntegration (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006) Figure 3.1: Continuum of Organizational Relationships As Selden, Sowa and Sandfort (2006) explain, o n one end of the continuum is cooperation, distinguished by having at its core personal relationships and informal arrangements that act as the cohesion between organizations. According to McNamara (2012), cooperation occurs pabilities to accomplish organizational goals but cho[o]se to Coordination is further along the continuum, where organizations (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort 200 6 p. 414) At the other end of the spectrum exists service integration, where organizations work together to provide se rvices to mutual clients (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort 2006 ) 5 development she determined that collaborations also have the additional attribute of adding value to the program, further distinguishing it from other forms of multi partner activities. Furthermore, collaboration should be understood as a process, not just as a n outcome of institutionalizing concerted efforts (Sowa 2008). As scholars have made their attempts at defining t he complexity of collaboration, one thing remains clear that an applicable definition of collaboration must be integrated and multi dimensional and likely will vary along process and structural dimensions. 5 Coalitions are yet another derivative of organizations working together, but is a term less explored in this study since it is more commonly used in policy research circles.

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35 Collaboration also assumes that both decision ma king responsibilities and ownership of the ultimate results wi ll be shared (Guo & Acar 2005). It is possible that in some collaborations, sharing successes is not easily established. Therefore, c ollaboration occurs (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort 2006 p. 414). It rests between coordination and service integration on Selden, Sowa and Some researchers question whether collabor ation is about organizational self interest o r cooperative a chievement and resource sharing. These competing approaches to collaboration have arguably been addressed by recent scholarship that shows collaboration as a process (Thompson & Perry 2006). Decades of empirical s tudies on collaboration h ave le d (1991) widely accepted understanding of collaboration as a three stage process: antecedent, process, and outcome. The first and third stages have been well s tudied with significant findings, but the middle stage is still somewhat mysterious to scholars (Thompson & Perry 2006). This three stage process is based predominantly on three intuitive issues: why, how, and what happens in collaboration activities. T his integrative process of organizational collaboration is often viewed as cyclical, not linear, emphasizing the time and cross sectional nature of collaboration ( Ring & Van de Ven, 1994; Thom p son & Perry 2006). Moving along the various stages of collabor ation process either in a linear or cyclical fashion, the process of collaboration takes form as participants move beyond a position of independence and isolation, into a relationship where they conform to mutually beneficial strategies to achieve an end ( Ostrom 1990; Thompson & Perry 2006). Understanding collaboration as a process suggests that collaboration occurs over time as organizations interact formally and

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36 informally through repetitive sequences of negotiations, development, of commitments, and e p son & Perry 2006 p. 21). Antecedents to collaboration include the willingness to cooperate, previous history of collaboration, and the need to share exper tise (Sowa, 2009 ). Some scholars have argued that t here are six steps to accomplish within the antecedent stage: definition of problem, com mitment to collaborate, identification of stakeholders and partners, acceptance of legitimacy of those sta keholders, presence of a convener or strategic decision maker for part nership, and the identification of resources needed and available (Gray 1989; Logsdon 1991 ). Separating the second stage of collaboration into five key dimensions has proven to be helpful for scholars exploring how organizations engage with oth ers in c ollaborative efforts. First, g overnance and administration are important structural dimensions, as when multiple organizations take joint action on an issue they must agree as to how the collaborative will be governed and administered, either through defe rence to one organizational leader or divided responsibilities. Autonomy i s also important to organizations that want to keep control of their own resources and identity, and recon ciling the tension between self interest and collective interest is an inte gral component to a successful collaborative (Thom pson & Perry 2006). Along those same lines is the mutuality dimension, which describes the complexity of sharing resources and information among participants in a collaborative. Trust and reciprocity is t he last of the five dimensions, where organizations often struggle to trust one another and believe that the collaboration will yield mutually beneficial rewards, and organizations will make good faith efforts, be honest and not take advantage of one anoth er (Thompson, Perry & Miller 2009 ).

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37 Common definitions of collaboration identify that there are two or more organizations working together, but how they work together varies greatly depending on the partners and purpose. The process, or how they collab orate, can greatly impact outcomes (Sowa 2008). Sowa (2008) found that how nonprofits share financial responsibilities, staff time, and both organization level and community level rewards will influence the implementation and results of collaboration. T he inclusion process has been demonstrated to be an important factor in managing the process of collabor ation. Not only w ho enters the collaboration, but also when and to what degree they are included can have a heavy influence on trust and commitment iss ues within a collaboration (Johnston, Hicks, Nan & Auer, 2010 ). The intensity and de pth of the collaboration is influenced, if not directly created by, the process. Further exploring the literature, some theorists add an additional dimension to the t h at of in stitu tional structure (Diaz Kope, Miller Steve ns & Morris, 2015). Diaz Kope, Miller Stevens and Morris (2015) argue that models of collaborative processes, such as Thompson and Perry (2006), are lacking a dimension of i nstitutional structure, which is made up of collaborative memberships. They further posit that different variations of antecedents to collaboration will lead to one of three institutional structures either agency based, citizen based, or mixed ( Diaz Kop e, Miller Steve ns & Morris, 2015). These definitions emphasize common characteristics of collaboration that are found in numerous empirical studies. They contribute to the definition of collaboration used in this study, as presented in Chapter One, by est ablishing a foundation based on empirical research for which to proceed an exploration of collaborative advocacy.

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38 For the purpose of this study, and to further distinguish collaboration from other multi organizational relationships, a minimum set of condit ions will be required for organizations to be considered as collaborating. Conditions include, but may not be limited to, a minimum of two organizations with a shared goal, shared resources, routinized behavior, and shared rewards. Types of Collaboration Organizational level collaboration can take many forms, but is predominantly categorized along three dimensions of organizational sector priva te, public and nonprofit. Empirical studies on nonprofit collaboration with public se ctor organizations are pl entiful (Mulroy & Shay, 1998; Shaw, 2003; Bryson, Crosby & Middleton Stone, 2006) fueled by recent tendencies of privatization, federalism, and contracting Cross sector collaboration is becoming more prevalent in tackling complex problems encountered by nonprofit organizations and public sector agencies alike (Arganoff & McGuire, 2003; Bryson, Crosby & Middleton Stone, 2006). Cross sector collaboration is defined as information, resources, activities, and capabilities by organ izations in two or more sectors to achieve jointly an outcome that could not be achieved by organizations in one sector Stone, 2006 p.44 ). Perhaps the most significant distinguishing characteristics of collaboration s from coordination, cooperation and service integration is the degree of formality, which in the context of collaboration is determined by institutional factors like mandating by contracts, grant, or government order (Smith 20 07) as well as duration (Guo & Acar 2005). Guo and Acar (2005) offer a typology of collaboration based on level of formality that includes eight variations. Formal collaboration types include joint programs, parent subsidiaries, joint

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39 venture and mergers; while informal variation include information sharing, referral of clients, sharing o f office space, and management service organizations. Resource sufficiency and institutional factors have been explored as driving forces of whether an organization is more likely to involve its elf in a formal or informal collaboration (Guo & Acar 2005). Guo and Acar (2005) found formal collaboration most likely occurs when an organization is old, has a large budget, receives government funds but has few other revenue streams, has broad linkage s, and is not in education or social services The level of intensity of collaboration is another way to distinguish between types of collaborative alliance (Guo & Acar 2005). Yet another way to discuss a typology of collab orations is by examining what the objective of the collaboration might be, such as a part icular program, problem, issue, or cl ient (Selden, Sowa & Sandfort, 2006). The activities or action steps tak en by a collaboration can also provide a typology, where organizations can partake in client referral, information sha ring, strategizing on problems and devising procedures for serving each oth er ( Murray 1998; Snavely & Tracy, 2000; Guo & Acar 2005). Mot ivations Multiple theories have fueled the research into motivations of participation in a collab oration (Gray & Wood 1991 ; Hill & Lynn, 2003). Hill and Lynn (2003) posit that an ed into two primary groups First, rational choice theories such as principal agent theory, game theory and teams t heory help to explain collaboration motivation due to their focus on exchanges and other interactions to accomplish organizational goals (Hi ll & Lynn, 2003).

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40 The second category Hill and Lynn suggest help to explain collaboration motivation are s relationships that might further shar e d value 2003 p.66 ). Examples of socialized choice theories are resource dependency theory network theory and organization theory. Further b uilding on resource dependency theory, Logsdon (1991) offers two pre conditional steps necessary for an organization to collaborate: a high level of interest by the organization in solving a problem, and a high level of interdependence, or its feeling of how the desired outcome is tied to other organizations. Network theory informs us that t he benefits of incr easing an o serve as a strong motivation for organizations to engage in advocacy and collaboration (Wood & Gray 1991; Guo & Acar 2005) Collaboration benefit s both the program services be ing delivered and the organization as a whole (Sowa 2009). Collaboration improves service delivery by leveraging resources and knowledge to mitigate resource and institutional pressures; while organizational level benefits include prolonging survival, achieving legitimacy, and improving strategic positio n ( Gray & Wood, 1991; Sowa 2009). Furthermore, the benefits of collaboration are derived directly from motivations, with solved problems, shared norms, and a sustained alliance all being desired outcomes of collaboration and indicators of a successful e ffort (Gray & Wood 1991 ; Selsky, 1991; Mulroy & Shay, 1998 ). new ideas and expertise, and satisfy institutional pressures to maximize dollars are also significant motivatio ns ( Gray & Wood, 1991; Provan & Milward, 1991; Mulroy & Shay, 1998 ; Sowa 2009 ). Government mandate of collaboration, either as a way to increase an

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41 evaluation, has been proven to be not only a method of classification of collaboration types, but also a key motivation for why organizations participate in col laborations ( Shaw, 2003; Leroux & Goerdel 2009). Government and nonprofit contracting often mandate collabora tion because it is seen to be less expensive, spurs innovation, provides flexibility through large bureaucracy, and extends reach of government without increasi ng size of government (Smith & Lipsky 1993; Mulroy & Shay 1998). Beyond a precondition of rec eiving government grants, or even private grants, scholars of collaboration are able to learn more about the motivations of collaboration by exploring what the goals and benefits might be of such a n interdependent effort (Sowa 2009). The type of organiz ation can greatly influence the motivation for collaboration as well. Private and public sector agencies have their own motivations for collaboration that run along the same vein of typology. Mulroy and Shay (1998) found that the type of nonprofit organi zation and its mission can also play a role in motivating an organization to participate in a collaboration, finding that two concepts inform the study of motivation in interorganizational collaboration among nonprofit Health and Human Service organization s privatization and the relationships between public sector agencies and nonprofit organizations. Yet another motivation of collaboration can be directly tied to potentially desired outcomes, that of reducing and controlling uncertainty (Trist 1983; Woo d & Gray 1991). Increased regulation of a problem domain is often the outcome of a collaboration effort, since actors are no longer working in isolation from each other. Instead, they are sharing strategies and information in an effort to control a situ ation based on joint decisions.

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42 Increased recognition for the organization can be a primary motivatio n for nonprofit organizations that wish to raise their profile for hope of gaining increased resources, leg itimacy and network connections ( Gray & Wood, 19 91; Provan & Milward, 1991; Mulroy & Shay 1998). to be included in endeavors that other organizations appear to be participating in (Logsdon 1991). Collaboration has been found to increase perceptions of legitimacy amo ng opinion leaders ( Phillips, Lawrence & Hardy 2000). When legitimacy is both scar ce and necessary, organizations can feel environmental pressure to either catch up or co nform (Wood & Gray 1991). Conceptualizing legitimacy as a resource, it is sought after by organizations to increase their value to their clients and to the community (Sowa 2009) Barriers It is important to note that collaboration is not always appropriate for all organizations at all times (Hill & Lynn, 2003) Although collaboration can be enticing for its potential outcomes and benefits, and certainly is driven by a multitude of diverse motivations, there are several impediments that serve as barriers to engaging in a collaborative effort. D epending on the objectives and potential partners of the program pree xisting informal relationships and lack of familiarity w ith culture and nuances of the sector can all act as reasons for avoiding collaboration (Hill & Lynn 2003). The fragility of the collaboration process can be an unattractive reality for many. Successful collaboration depends on multiple people from pa rticipating organizations reaching consensus on desired goals, strategies, and leadership while potentially having

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43 problematic nuances that can become issues to the entire collaborative (Thom p son & Perry 2006). However, the more partners you add in a col laboration the incr ease there is for potential collective action problems such as free riders (Olson, 1965). Ambiguity in representativeness can be an issue that wards off potential collaborators as well (Huxham & Vangen 2000). The question of whether me mbers of a collaboration represent themselves, the organization, or the group can be a difficult one. This becomes not only a philosophical obstacle, but also a logistical one as those directly involved with the collaboration need expertise and knowledge on how to navigate the process of collaboration without losing sight of their true responsibility and loyalties, and how to mitigate problems that arise f r om the tension of autonomy (Mulroy 2003 ). Building on the thread of expertise and knowledge, the pr ocedural requirements often impose by private and public grants and government restrictions on nonprofits can be technical impediments to entering into collaboration (Snavely & Tracy 2000). Rather than collaboration providing an opportunity for consolida tion and decreasing human and financial resources, the transaction costs can actually increase for organizations that ent er into collaborations (Wood & Gray 1991). Geography and cultu re can also be serious barriers to forming succes sful collaborations (Sn avely & Tracy 2000). Especially in rural areas where stakeholders are separated by long distances, the logistics of collaboration can often be too much to ov ercome. Time is already a scarce resource for many managers and the task of additional meetings with partners can be too time consuming for staff considering the long distances needed to travel in order to meet (Thompson & Perry 2006). The scarcity of resources and the level of competition it leads to among nonp rofits is yet another barrier to coll aboration (Snavely & Tracy, 2000) as nonprofits feel that

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44 collaborating with others can decrease their uniqueness, reduce their market segment, and decrease potential for funding. The decisio n of trust can play a role too, as in such a competitive enviro nment for funding it is difficult to trust that collaboration partners will serve the colla boration and not their own self interest (Wood & Gray 1991; Mulroy 2003). The scarcity of resources also can bring about the fear of having to carry the burden of available to nonprofit organizations, then often as a result they assume they will have to provide for free riders (Olson, 1965; Shaw, 2003). Collaborative Advoc acy N etwo rk perspectives offer an interesting connection between advocacy efforts and the use of collaboration (Mosley 2011). Connections within the political environment can enable nonprofits to be better positioned for advancing their own political goa ls when the opportunity arises. Organizations that have collaborated on non advocacy programs are likely to use those established network connections in future efforts such as advocacy. For example, health service n onprofit organizations are often mandat ed by government to work with other public and nonprofit agencies to achieve program goals. It is these benefits awarded by collaboration that organizations can make use of to mitigate the barriers to engaging in advocacy. Furthermore, r esource dependen cy theory informs researchers of possible motivations of collaboration and advocacy to be used together. collaboration may be motivated by scarce resources, as well as the rise in technological advances, awareness of int erdependence, and devolution (Thompson, Perry & Miller 2009 ). T hose organizations with substantial resources are less likely to risk losing autonomy by

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45 joining i n collaboration efforts (Guo & Acar 2005) since many of the motivations for nonprofit colla boration are resource driven If an organization is dependent on government money and that government grant mandates a n organizat ion to engage in collaboration i n its programs, then an organization is more likely to conform to those demands if it has fewe r or scarcer resource streams. In contrast, an organization might not apply for that grant money if they have other options and wish not to participate in collaboration efforts. Network perspectives a nd r esource dependency the o ry prov i de a foundation f or u sing collaboration and advocacy together. Their application is indicative of what collabor ative advocacy can do for nonprofi t organizations. But what do e s it look like? Collaborative advocacy is any advocacy effort undertaken by multiple organizatio ns with shared goals in a planned and concerte d manner and with shared rewards. Col laborative advocacy has multiple partners from any sector of firms public, private or nonprofit. Col laborative advocacy also has mutual buy in through shared resources, a unified vision, and established rules. Fin ally, collaborative advocacy also bring s organizations togethe r to solve complex problems such as ad specific issues and the operating environment of the sector The previous pages h ave discussed the motivations, definitions, and barriers of both collaboration and advocacy. But rarely are advocacy and collaboration coupled together in empirical studies, especially not as a recommendation of how to combat the barriers of engaging in n onprofit advocacy. This study aims to conceptualize the two endeavors as able to be joined together to tackle complex problems. Doing so will present and vet the idea of collaborative advocacy to nonprofit resea rchers and practitioners alike.

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46 Conclusion A significant amount of research exists on what motivates nonprofit organizations to engage in collaboration, including the benefits that can be reaped at both the organizational and program level ( Mulroy & Shay 1998 ; Leroux & Goerdel 2009 ) There are multiple barriers to collaboration that also have been well researched such as geographic challenges (Snavely & Tracy 2000) and collective action issues (Olson, 1965), however few have studied the use and value of collaboration in delivering advocacy prog rams such as the current study does s, types, benefits and barriers is essential for modern researchers hoping to explore how nonprofit organ izations can maximize their capacity Collaboration could be helpful for improving prevalence, frequency and efficacy of advocacy programs However, there is still much to be explored about the use and value of the collaboration process and how it relates to advocacy delivery by nonprofit o rganizations. Nonprofits are an essential part of service delivery and democracy in the U.S. but they have difficult work to do to m aintain that role Advocacy is an advisable activity to be involved in to increase legitimacy, increa s e profile, improve o perating environment of the organization, and to impr ove the lives of its clients. Collaboration is an effective recourse for tac k ling co mp lex problems such as those that often face nonprofits If coupled together, advocacy and collaboration can be a pow erful mix to promote improved client services and effective accomplishment of program and organizational level goals. Collaborative advocacy is any advocacy effort undertaken by multiple organizations with shared goals, in a planned and concerted manner a nd shared rewards It is possible that

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47 collaborative advocacy can increase funds knowledge, potential for program success, organizational profile and organizational legitimacy through the sharing of resources. Organizations that might not otherwise be m otivated to, or capable of, engaging in advocacy programs can find additional options to do so by collaborating with other partners, whether from the nonprofit sector, government agencies, or private business.

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48 CHAPTER IV METHODOLOGY As the role of n onprofit organizations in the policy process increases (Bass et al., 2007) the importance of research that explores how nonprofits are delivering advocacy programs also increase s. Advocacy is an important yet underutilized role of nonprofit organizations that is not taken advantage of enough ( Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007; Kimberlin 2010 ). Collaboration is attractively positioned to be strategically helpful to nonprofit organizations in its natural alignment with the functional needs of advocacy. Con sidering advocacy requires multiple resources to be effective (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007) collaboration can be a tool used to garner these resources. To empirically demonstrate this natural alignment between advocacy and collaboration, this study employs a mixed methods approach, including a survey of executive directors of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado as well as follow up interviews of those participants Research Purpose The purpose of this study is to establis h empirical evi dence for 501(c)3 organizations to consider when choosing whether to advocate or not, and how best to do so, by providing information on how they can use collaboration amidst barriers to entry such as lack of resources and technical and institutional knowl edge 6 It does so by exploring the following research question s : 1. How often a re nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts ? 6 As discussed in Chapter Two, institutional knowledge includ es knowledge about advocacy arenas, such as the State Capitol, and connections to lawmakers; while technical knowledge is the knowledge of how to write one pagers, letters to the editor, and other tactical efforts.

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49 2. With whom a re nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration for advoca cy purpose s and how/why are they selecting those partners ? 3. Why are nonprofit organizati ons participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts? 4. What organizational attributes influence participation in collabor ative advocacy efforts? 5 What is the perceive d effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts? 6. What are the expected resul ts of collaborative advocacy efforts ? These six research questions offer a basis of inquiry to gather data that will help to provide nonprofit researche rs and managers with the information necessary to understand when and how to use collaboration in their advocacy efforts. Definitions of Variables and Terms Following is a re view of variables that were analyzed in this exploratory study, including a co mbin ation of objective measures and perception measures (Stone & Ostrower 2007). As this is an exploratory study, the f irst dimension of this study explores two variable s: advocacy and collaboratio n. By exploring these two variables, it is posited in this s tudy that a third variable can be created, that of collaborative advocacy. Unit of Analysis It is equally important to note that the unit of analysis in this rese arch study is the organization and never the individual though much of the data will be col lected from individuals. However, the opinions of those individuals, as leaders of the organizat ion, represent the organization. Advocacy The first of the two variables in this exploratory study is advocacy. For the purpose of this study, advocacy is c onceptualized in a broad sense, where advocacy is

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50 (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309). Advocacy has many forms, and due to its multiple manifestations it can be difficult in its i dentification. Multiple objective sources can be used to identify the prevalence of advocacy activity by a nonprofit organization, such as nonprofit status applications to the IRS, IRS 990 returns, and organization mission statements. Some of these same sources can even be used to id entify the frequency of advocacy. However, rarely do they yield information on the type of advocacy, with whom it takes place, and its outputs and outcomes as is the primary focus of this study For such detailed informatio n, organizational executives will need to provide personal insight. Participating organizations in t his study were asked to self select whether th ey engage in advocacy efforts. A list of advocacy tactics, grounded in previ ous empirical studies (Berry & Arons 2003; Bass et al ., 2007; Kimberlin 2010) that are suitable for the recognition and identification of the types of advo cacy and the tactics used were provided. As mentioned in Chapter Two, strategies are general approaches to solving a problem, whe re tactics are the specific tools being used. Collaboration Collaboration has many interpretations among organizational t heorists and nonprofit scholars. Considering the definitions provided by previous empirical research, this study employs a defi n it io n of collaboration as the sharing of resources with other organizations to accomplish tasks such as complex problems that might not other wise be possible Collaboration in this study is measured by organizational responses that confirm or deny their parti cipation in sharing resources, knowledge and connections and unified visions in order to achieve desired ends to a complex problem. Although collaboration has been considered by some resea rchers to be an advocacy tactic (Miller Stevens, 2010) this study ex plore s collaboration as a tool used to deliver advocacy programs t hat employs a

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51 variety of tactics such as letters to the editor, policy forums, protests, boycotts, and voter guides. Effectiveness Effectiveness scholars have struggled to find a common definition of organizational effectiveness and a shared agreement of the necessary attributes and how t o measure them ( Quinn & Cameron 1983 ; Gree n & Griesinger 1996; Forbes, 199 8; Herman & Renz, 1998 ). Effectiveness is a powerful, yet elusive, concept, i n that its varying dimensions and interpretations are relative and often un empirically justifiable (Forbes, 199 8). Additional objectives of this research are to discover if there are patterns of effectiveness among advocacy programs that make use of coll aboration in their delivery. outputs and outcomes (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Program level outputs are the results of the planned advocacy effort, regardless of w hether the result is desired or not (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). Organizational level outcomes such as increased organizational profile, increased legitimacy, broader networks and stronger partnerships can be results of advocacy efforts that do not necessarily yield a desirable program output. Effectiveness is conceptualized in this study at the program level and the organizational level by considering the v alue of outputs and outcomes (C rutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). For the purpose of this st udy, effectiveness will be operationalized as not only accomplishing program goals, such as achieving a desired end of an advocacy campaign, but also the effects on the organization on a broader level tha n simply program accomplishment. Indicators of org anizational level benefits such as an increase in organiza t ional legitimacy and profile, are measured by perception of the respon dent of increased recognition, media attention, potential partners, outputs in comparison

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52 and contrast to the (organizational level) outcomes this study provides a clearer understanding of what collaborative advocacy looks like. Fi g ure 4.1 shows each variable and the corresponding definition, concept and measurement.

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53 Variable Definition Concept Measurement Advocacy rticulating a position and mobilizing (Jenkins, 2006, p. 309). Organizations engage in the policy process to advance their causes Engage in some type of advocacy judici al, administrative, electoral, legislative Tactics used Collaboration occurs when a group of autonomous stakeholders of a problem domain engage in an interactive process, using shared rules norms, or structures, to act or decide on issues related to ( Wood and Gray 1991, p.146). Nonprofit organizations can work in conjunction with, or cooperatively with, other nonprofits on programs # of nonprofit organizations engaged in concerted program efforts Frequency/regularity Type o f agency collaborating with: publ ic, private, nonprofit Outward management executive participation in activities that would increase networks, potential partners Collaborative Advocacy Any advocacy effort undertaken by multiple organizations with share d goals, in a planned and concerted manner, and shared rewards Advocacy can be conducted solo or collaboratively with other organizations Frequency of use of collaboration in an efforts Effectiveness The impact of an organization o n its stakeholder and environment Results of programs can be at the program level (outputs) or at the organizational level (outcomes) Results of advocacy goals (output) Executive perception of increased profile, increased legitimacy, new donors, media at tention, new network connections (outcomes) Figure 4.1: Variable Concept Map

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54 Substantive Issue Area Nonprofits serve a population of individuals whose needs are not being met by either government or the market. These individuals all share the same ne ed, or lack of resource, that the nonprofit is trying to fulfill. This shared need then becomes the substance of the mission of that nonprofit. It also defines the operating environment in which the organization will advocate within. Another way to thi policy arenas in which similar types of social actors, such as nonprofit organizations, (p.261). The substantive issue area, or field of activity, in the current study, is de veloped into seven categories: arts and culture, civic engagement, education, environment, health, human services and religion. These seven fiel ds of activity are deriv ed from the literature (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007) as well as from researcher observations formed from professional experience. Outputs and Outcomes Outputs are a direct consequence of programs, whether successful or not, while outcomes tend to be at the or ganizational level and can be indirectly related to program outputs (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant 2007 ; Thompson, Perry & Miller, 2009 ). Advocacy programs are often deemed as having successful outputs when the result of the advocated issue aligns with the position, yet there can be additional benefits. Outcomes can be benefit s to the organization and even the entire nonprofit sector which are indirectly related to outputs and can be evident even when the program does not yield a direct ben efit to the clients being served. Outcom es of collaborative advocacy can exceed those of advocating alone because of the potential for organizational level benefits that go beyond the direct result of the program (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). By

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55 pa rticipating in collaborations organizations can achieve benefits that transcend simply accomplishing a shift in legislative policy (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007) Sample T he first phase of this study is a quantitative survey with the purpose of creat ing a state profile of collaborative advocacy Colorado has an active nonpr ofit community, with over 25,000 nonprofits in the state and over 19,000 of them 501(c)3 organizations (Urban .org 2016 ) yet no state profile exists of collaborative advocacy effo rts. The sample of this study is comprised of nonprofit organizations in Colorado that are de signated with the IRS as 501(c)3 organizations. The type of tax exemption an organization has received can greatly influence the type of effectiveness criteria u sed, therefore mixing varying IRS designations in such a study as this would furthe r complicate appropriate measurement model s (Herman & Renz 2008). The sample only target ed nonprofit organizat ions designated in Colorado as single state analyses are adva ntageous because of control for variation in state laws, political culture, economies, and other state level institutional influences (Nicholson Crotty 2007). Furthermore, the study will only examine those organizations that have filed a Form 990 with t he IRS as of 2011 as that was the parameter of the data provided at the time of doing primary research for this study. A state profile of collaborative advocacy in Colorado would be beneficial to both researchers and prac titioners because Colorado is rep resentative of the national number of nonprofit organizations. When looking at the total nonprofits per 10,000 people in the nation (45.60) and Colorado (49.60) it is apparent how Colorado is similar to the national numbers. The same is tru e for just 501 ( c)3 organizations per 10,000 people at the national level (33.90)

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56 and Colorado (38.40). In both categories total nonprofits and just 501(c)3 organizations Colorado is just slightly higher than the national numbers. To create the sample, first a list was generated from the N ational Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) that identified all 501(c)3 organizations in the state of Colorado and designated with a 501(c)3 status. NCCS.org is a website that serves nonprofits in a number of capacities, including providing research tools to nonprofit scholars. Next all organizations with a budget under $50,000 were eliminated. By exploring only organizations with an annual budget of at least $50,000 this study refines the sample to organizations that are most likely to have paid staff and a website. This was helpful in creating a sample that could be identified and contacted. This still left thousands of potential o rganizations. To narrow the list, f irst organizations were selected for an internet search of the if th ey were known to the researcher Th en organizations were searched for based on the seven mission categories such as environment, education, arts and religion. Then geographic locales were searched for, such as Denver, Pueblo, Grand Junction Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. These keywords were used to find a good representation of the nonprofit organizations communities. Last other organizations within similar networks were identified through searches This process is known as snowball sampling van, Rassell & Berner, 2003). If t he organization had a website, then the site was searched for the executive email address it was immediately added to the sample. If only a phone number was listed

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57 then several attempts were made to contact the individual by phone in order to retrieve the email address. If the individual was not able to be contacted by phone after several attempts then that organization was eliminated from the sample. This process created a list of 404 organizations (N=404) There were 2 151 org anization s after NCCS filters were applied such as budget ($50,000 ) location (Colorado) and no nprofit designation (only 501(c)3 organizations). The author then w ent through the list alph abetically through the l to get a tot al of 404 executive director email addresses. The researcher stopped at the letter knowledge of the organization and keywords such as location. The organizational characteristics of the survey respondents are difficult to determine since not all respondents answered all questions. However, human services was by far the largest mission category represented, and religious organizations were by far the least represented with no organizations claiming religion as their mission category. Furthermore, staff size was also difficult to determine, but it is apparent that smaller organizations were the m ost represented, with well over half of the responde nts indicating that their staff size was 15 people or fewer. Additionally, over half of the organizations surveyed did not have staff dedicated specifically to advocacy efforts, and fewer than 20% were af filiated with a 501(c)4 organization. Data Collection This study employ s a mixed methods approach to data collection consisting of two phases. The first phase is a survey to gather quantitative data to establish a state level profile of collaborative advo cacy including the frequency that collaborative advocacy is being used

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58 Dat a gathered from the survey inf orms the second phase of data co llection by helping to form questions that delve deeper into the initial responses found in the survey. Phase two cons ists of follow up interviews to explore how nonprofits are using collaboration to deliver advocacy programs and the potential benefits added by doing so The follow up interviews provide the study with a deeper understanding of how and why nonprofit pract itioners are using collaborative advocacy. Such iterative designs will provide greater depth, clarity and accuracy of the info rmation collected since both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods are being used (Caracelli & Green 1997 ; Miller Steven s, 2010 ). When both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are used, research studies reveal not only elevated perspectives through large scale surveying, but detailed in vestigation through additional contact with the respondents. Surv ey The first stage of data co llection for this study was to administer a survey to the sample of 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations th rough electronic mail. The primary objective of the survey was to gather quantitative data on t he type of 501(c)3 organiza tions using advocacy and collaboration, with whom they were advocating collaboratively their chosen tactics and the outputs of the se programs. Such data yield a valuable profile of coll aborative advocacy among 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado. While maintaining a focus on the organization as a unit of analysis, ex ecutive level management were asked to answer the surveys on behalf of their organization via an email message (See Appendix A) A cover letter that preceded the survey was also con structed that included information about the research project, participant rights and contact information for the primary researcher (See Appendix B)

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59 Since the survey was administered electronically, an email message also needed to be written to accompany each survey. This email included a small amount of information about the research project, a request to participate, contact information for the Human Research Subjects department, and was the same for each member of the sample. The survey and cover lett er were then distributed through Survey Monkey to each member of the sample After two weeks, each member of the sample also received a second email request with a revised version of the email message. The revised version of the email message thanked the individual for their participation in the survey if they had already done so, and reminded them of the value of the project to practitioners and researchers alike and again requested thei r participation (See Appendix C ). The survey was constructed based on previous advocacy studies that included surveys administered to nonprofit executiv es such as Berry and Arons ( 2003 ) Bass et al. (2007), and Child and Gronbjerg (2007). The electronic survey was created on Survey Monkey (surveymonkey.com) a reputable and wid ely used tool for similar research studies The survey was presented in six sections. Various forms of Likert scales were used for close ended questions, and a space for verbal answers was provided for open ended questions The first section was the Introduction and consent. This section stated the purpose of the research Re view Board) (See Appendix D ). The section concluded with a question of whether the i ndividual was willing to be a part of the study. The second section was titled Nonprofit solo advocacy efforts. Frequency was measured on a scale of weekly, quar terly, annually, and biannually. The third section was titled Collaborative Advocacy and asked similar

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60 advocacy efforts. The fourth section was titled Executiv e Management and asked about the oole, Meier & Nicholson Crotty, 2005) and its potential influence on their use of collaborative advocacy. Questions included how many boards does the executive director sit on, a nd how often executive directors attend networking meetings such as luncheons, happy hours, and panel discussions. The fifth section of the survey was titled Organizational Attributes and asked questions about organizational characteristics such as an org nnual budget. Another question asked in this section included the substantive issue category of the education, environment, health, human se rvices, and rel igion. These substantive issue areas were replicating other research in the field, such as Child and Gronbjerg (2007). Yet another question asked about 5, 6 15, 16 25, 26 50, 51 100, and 100+. The final section was the Conclusion and Thank You, where the respondents were thanked for their participation and asked if they would be willing to be contacted again for a follow up interview. The survey was pre screened by resear ch professionals in th e University of Colorado several members of the nonprofit community The purpose of the pre screening was to develop the survey further by incorporating feedback form nonprofit researchers and practitioners.

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61 In total 404 emails were sent with the Survey Monkey link. Despite rigorous research into contact information for each member of the sample, 20 emails were sent back because for a variety of reasons such as no lon ger worked at the organization, deceased, or on leave, for a total of 384 emails received by their target contact. Of these 384, 111 opened the survey. However only 74 participants submitted usable surveys This is a response rate of 19.2 % (74/384). M ost questions received approximately 60 70 responses. Follow Up Interviews. The survey concluded with a question about whether participants would volunteer to be contacted again for a follow up interview. Of the 74 individuals that took the survey, 23 pa rticipants initially indicated their willingness to be contacted again to potentially participate in a follow up interview. All 23 participants were then asked via email to engage in semi structured interviews over the phone (See Appendix E) Of those 23 six responded back their willingness to schedule the interview. Some of the 23 had moved on to other positions, were involved in other work or personal related activities that were taking up time, did not respond to the email request, or otherwise unwil ling to participate. Interview questions were constructed based on the research areas that could use further investigation after preliminary analysis of the survey data. They included inquiries such as examples of collaborative efforts and how partners w ere chosen (See Appenidx F). Interviews were using a portable recording device Data Analysis Both quantitative and qua litative data analysis were u s ed for this stu dy as both kinds of data were colle cted. Quantita tive statistical methods were used for analysis of the survey instrument, while qualitative methods were used on the follow up interviews.

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62 Quantitative Analysis Of the 404 emails sent out to potential respondents, 111 responses from Survey Monkey were re ceived stating that someone had opened the survey. Once the allotted time period for the survey was over, the survey closed and all data was exported into SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 20.0 Graduate Package). Then a process for cleani were reclassified into a mission so that all participant entries were classified under a mission als o Descriptive statistics were employed to assess frequencies and trends of collaborative advocacy, similarities and diffe rences among solo advocacy compared to collaborative advocacy, and prevalence of types of organizations th at participate in collaborative advocacy Frequencies were run to look for missing information in the data set. Missing data were tabs to further explore patterns of distri bution in responses. Then correla tions were executed for the purpose of looking for relationships betwee n various survey questions the relationship between two or more variables (Kim & Mallory, 2014, p.180). Qualitative Analysis Qualitative analysis of the follow up interviews was undertaken analyze the data collected in interviews by attempting to tell a story built around the main themes identified. In such a strategy, the write up or presentation of the interviews is integrated with analysis and interpretation (King, 2004). All interviews were recorded and then the interviews were transcribed using Microsoft Word. A template was created

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63 possible themes that were identified by the researcher before and during the follow up interviews. Additional themes were also identified as the interviews were transcribed. (See Appendi x G ). This process i s knowns as template analysis, which according to King (2004) ed method; it refers to a varied but related group Challen ges and Lim i tations of the Methodology S ample size is a potential concern considering that response rates are generally less than 50 percent for similar studies ( Berry & Arons, 2003; Child & Gronbjerg, 2007 ). Previous studies that intended to provide snapshot or pr ofile of a targeted nonprofit community have yielded sample sizes that ranged from 119 organizations, including eight classification types of nonprofits (Leroux & Goerdel 2009) to 2,206 nonprofit organizations in the state of India na (Child & Gronbjerg 2 007). This study will not meet such an ambitious response rate, but a response rate of about 19 percent from a sample of about 400 organizations in Colora do yield s a strong enough leveraged sample to serve as a profile snapshot. Sampling bias is also a c oncern, as the sample population was not randomized, since nonprofits without emails listed on their website were not included in the study. Weaknesses of data analysis could include ambiguity, as formal and informal units can be a problem (Gerring, 2004 ). The o rganization is the actual unit of analysis, but collaborations, or individuals, coul d be seen as units by audience and respondents hazards should alone be enough to mitigate their occurrence.

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64 Conclusion This study ultim ately aims to establish a precedent for how collaboration is used in nonprofit advocacy by exploring patterns among types of nonprofit org anizations, substantive issues and program and organizational level benefits S uch an iterative method of data collection and analysis wil l help to specify conditions and characteristics of collaborative advocacy Through exploring how nonprofit organizations use collaboration to deliver advocacy programs to the com munity, the research herein demonstrate s that when collabora tion is used i n advocacy programs the results can be beneficial at both a program and organizational level. This mixed methods exploratory study included a sample of 74 organizations with a response rate of 19.2%. Results follow with a discus sion of each research question.

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65 CHAPTER V RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The results contained herein demonstrate the data collected in this study that were used to answer the research questions proposed in Chapter One. The data are presented by resea rch question followed by a discussion of the data collection methods as stated in Chapter Four. Research Questions 1. How often are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts? First a baseline was created to h ave something for which to compare frequency of collaborative advocacy. The survey asked respondents about the frequency of their organizational collaboration. As discussed in Chapter Four, collaboration was defined in the survey as the sharing of resour ces to tackle a problem that would not otherwise be able to be addressed. As shown in Table 5.1, 56% of surveyed organizations were collaborating at least weekly, and almost 87% were collaborating on some kind of program at least quarterly. Table 5.1: Fre quency of Colla boration (n = 66) Frequency of Collaboration % Frequency Mean: 1.61 Std: .80 Weekly 56.1 37 Quarterly 30.3 20 Annually 10.6 7 Biannually 3.0 2 Scale of Frequency of Collaboration: 1 = Weekly, 2 = Quarterly, 3 = Annually, 4 = Bian nually Then participants in the survey were asked about their frequency of use of collaborative advocacy. Collaborative advocacy was defined in the survey as the use of collaboratio n to engage in advocacy efforts As shown in Table 5.2, almost 75% of

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66 re spondents were participating in collaborative advocacy at least quarterly. Yet only 33% were collaborating on advocacy programs at least weekly. That is approximately a 23% decrease from how often organizations are simply collaborating. It is possible t hat the decrease in collaborative advocacy, compared to other forms of collaboration, could be because of the fear of advocacy due to the legal constraints (Kimberlin, 2010) technica l challenges (Boris & Krehely, 2002) or resource barrier s such a s fear o f losing government grants (Smith & Lipsky, 1993; Nicholson Crotty, 2009) as discussed in Chapter Two. It is also plausible that the natural alignment of advocacy and collaboration has not been emphasized in the nonprofit community or the literature in th e field. Table 5.2: Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy (n = 65) Frequency of Collaborative Advocacy % Frequency Mean = 1.98 Std = .89 Weekly 33.8 22 Quarterly 40.0 26 Annually 20.0 13 Biannually 6.2 4 Scale of Frequency of Collaborative Advoc acy: 1 = Weekly, 2 = Quarterly, 3 = Annually, 4 = Biannually Examining the difference between frequency of collaboration and frequency of collaborative advocacy shows that the biggest difference between the frequencies is in the weekly c ategory as seen i n Table 5.3. According to survey respondents, 501(c)3 organizations are participating about 22% less frequently in Collaborative Advocacy compared to other forms of collaboration.

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67 Table 5.3: Differences in Frequency of Collaboration and Collaborative A dvocacy Frequency % Collaboration % Collaborative Advocacy % Difference Weekly 56.1 33.8 22.3 Quarterly 30.3 40.0 9.7 Annually 10.6 20.0 9.4 Biannually 3.0 6.2 3.2 Furthering the discussion of how often 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations are engaging i n collaborative advocacy, it is compelling to examine who is making t he decision to do so. Table 5.4 shows that predominantly the executive director is making the decision to participate in collaborative advocacy. This could mean one, or both, of two thi ngs. First, the findings are congruent with the literature on nonprofit lead ership by Herman and Renz (1998; 2008 ) that collaborative advocacy would be a strategic level decision since it is being made by the executive director. If it was a philosophical decision, or a policy one, it would be made by the board of directors ( Herman & Renz, 1998; Carver, 2006; Herman & Renz, 2008 ). Second, and not mutually exclusive, is that executive directors are making philosophical and policy decisions that should be r eserved for the board of dire ctors, according to Carver (2006 ). Table 5.4 : Decision Maker o n Collaborative Advocacy (n = 69 ) Decision Level % Frequency Mean Std Executive Director 85.5 59 .86 .35 Board 31.9 22 .32 .47 Staff 24.6 17 .25 .43 Scale of F requency of Decision Level: 0 = No, 1 = Yes One reason for the evidence coming out as such could be that executive directors were surveyed, not board members. It is possible that executive directors were more likely to name themselves as responsible for decision making as an ego issue. It would be difficult for

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68 some individuals to freely state that they were not the person in charge of making decisions even though they held the position of executive director. Another possibility is that there is often a disconnect between the board of directors and the operations of the organization. Therefore, the executive director makes decisions on his/her own presuming they know the organization best and often they do. In summary, 33% of those surveyed are partic ipating in collaborative advocacy at least weekly, but that is less than the number of participants that are simply collaborating on other types of programs at least weekly. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases it is the executive director that is m aking the decision to engage in collaborative advocacy, rather than the board of directors or support staff. 2. With whom are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration for advocacy purposes, and how/why are they selecting those partners? The second research question of this study examines the type of organizations with which 501c(3) nonprofit organizations are choosing to advo cate collaboratively. Table 5.5 demonstrates that almost all of the organizations that are engaging in collaborative a dvocacy are selecting other 501(c)3 organizati ons with whom to work. About 51 % of the organizations surveyed are choosing to also work with government agencies. Table 5.5 : Type of Organization with whom Engage in Collaborative Advocacy (n = 69) Type of Org % Frequency Mean Std 501(c)3 91.3 63 .91 .28 Government Agency 51.4 36 .51 .50 501(c)4 21.4 15 .21 .41 Private Firm 15.7 11 .16 .37 NA 1.4 1 .01 .12 Scale of Frequency of Type of Organization: 0 = No, 1 = Yes

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69 Although knowing with whom nonpro fits are collaborating on advocacy projects is helpful in understanding collaborative advocacy, there is still more to be learned about how and why nonprofit leaders are selecting their collaborative advocacy partners. It is possible that characteristics of the individuals is as important, if not more important, than characteristics of the organizations being collabor ated with. One respondent said, competito for in both the organization and the leaders of those organizations. Anoth er respon dent added, strategy as well to how nonprofit leaders are selecting their partners on collaborative advocacy. Th ese responses further support the notion that collaborative advocacy requires a certain level of technical expertise and knowledge by the executive director on how to choose collaborative partners and execute a collaborative advocacy plan. Yet another fact or in how nonprofit leaders select their organizational partners has to do with other policy arrangements the organization may have. Just because two or more organizations agree on a specific policy issue does not mean they share beliefs on others. It is quite possible that partnering organizations could be working on other policy issues with other partners or alone that may be conflicting with potential future partners. However, two or more organizations may wish to engage in collaborative advocacy effo rts that influence the operating environment of the sector, which may trans cend any political beliefs. A respondent said :

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70 And we all agree on the outcomes. How are we goin g to get this piece of legislation passed? We may not agree with you on both pieces of legislation, but on this one This comme nt reinforces the notion that organization leader s will engage in collaborative advocacy on issues where potential outputs and outcomes are agreed upon. Furthermore, sharing these rewards would be part of a collaborative agreement, as is consistent with other collaboration projects (Wood & Gray, 1991; S owa, 2009 ) In summary, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy with other 501(c)3 organizations, and over hal f are engaging with government agencies in their collaborative advocacy efforts. Further ex ploratory data in the form of follow up interviews indicated that organizations are choosing other organizations that share the same values and positons that are relevant to the issue being advocated for, but that does not necessarily mean that they agree on all issues. 3. Why are nonprofit organizations participating in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts? Research question three asks why nonprofit organizations are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy. Nonprofit organizations have the choice to advocate alone, but some do choose to select partners with which to advocate and agree to share resources and benefits of those efforts. Solo advocacy has proven to be effective for many n onprofit organizations (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007; Nichols on Crotty, 2007 ; Kimberlin, 2010 ). Yet many nonprofit s are choosing to collaborate on advocacy projects as was found in Table 5.2. As seen in Table 5.6 six possible reasons were provided for engaging in collaborative advocacy. These six reasons were s elected for their logical association with the literature on antecedents to both advocacy (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Child & Gronbjerg,

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71 2007) and collaboration ( Gray & Wood, 1991; Wood & Gray, 1991; Guo & Acar, 2005). Anot her respondent said : based on the political environment as far as the decision on what to do; and bec a resource, it still does lend itself to the notion of developing relationships, which could be considered a resource. If an organization were to deny an offer to join a collaboration, it is possible there could be an adverse influence on its future r elat ionship opportunities. Consequently, with a reduction in relationships, the scope and efficacy of the organization is limited as is total mission delivery as a result of reduced clientele. Table 5.6 : Why Engage in Collaborative Advocacy? (n = 70 ) Reason % Frequency Mean Std Expand Networks 75.7 53 .76 .43 Economies of Scale 71.4 50 .71 .46 Share Expertise 87.1 61 .87 .34 Gain Knowledge 72.9 51 .73 .45 Gain Legitimacy 60.0 42 .60 .49 Invited by Others 68.6 48 .69 .47 Scale of Frequency of Reason: 0 = No, 1 = Yes nonprofit organizations with minimal budget and staff, stood out as the mo st commonly given reason with 87 % of the respondents selecting it. That expertise is necessary because advocacy is complex and challenging. Specific skills and knowledge of how to navigate the

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72 appropriate level of government is required such as knowing which legislative body to address city council, county level, or the state assembly. Resources drive organizational capacity, and it makes sense both logically and theoretically (Berry & Arons, 2003) that nonprofit leaders would comment on the relationship between resources and collaborative advocacy. One respond ent noted, of res ources got us involved. A lack of resources in general is why there are all these organizations lack resources which inhibits certain activities, yet that same lack of resources are what encourages collaboration. ected, yet chose the least at 60 %. According to one participant in the study, seeing is doing. If the organization is not actively seen as engaging in advocacy programs that benefit their clients, then they lose legitimacy. T he respondent said : ay that we are working to end poverty and to get people to buy in if we are not actually working on issues that The participants in the study also recognized the benefit received from increasi ng legitimacy and profile. Yet another responde nt added : have to be collaborative in just about every effort that we undertake if we want to be successful, and so that is in the organizational as a whole and has been from the get go, there is nothing I would change about our culture because that is pretty well ant to participate and In the current study, the reason for engaging in collaborative advocacy is separate from the purpose, where purpose in t he survey was defined as to whose interest the

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73 collaborative advocacy is de dicated. Predominantly nonprofit organizations are engaging in interests, as seen in Table 5.7 However, occasionally nonprofit organizations could choose to engage in collaborative advocacy because of the need to improve the influence that nonprofit organizations have on political and community leaders. One re spondent added, behalf of our combined causes to make elected and potentially elected city officials awa re of the role that nonprofits play in the com munity as well as in the county Table 5.7 : Purpose of Collaborative Advocacy (n = 66) Purpose Lowest Priority Somewhat Moderate Highest Priority Mean Std Interest 3.0 (2) 6.1 (4) 10.6 (7) 80.3 (53) 3.68 .73 Enhance Organizational Operating Environment 7.6 (5) 24.2 (16) 39.4 (26) 28.8 (19) 2.89 .91 Board Of Director Interests 42.4 (28) 33.3 (22) 19.7 (13) 4.5 (3) 1.86 .89 Scale of Purpose of Collaborative Advocacy: 1 = Lowest Priority, 2 = Somew hat, 3 = Moderate, 4 = Highest Priority It is possible that this survey question could have been written to include an option of major donors driving the decision, as one r espondent said, omment is congruent with the literature which states that collaboration is often a mandate of grants (Shaw, 2003; McNamara, 2015). To further explore the question of why nonprofits are choosing to engage in collaboration as part of their advocacy efforts this study asked why organizations are not engaging in collaborative advocacy As Table 5.8 shows, about 39% of the respondents said that they were unwilling to carry the burden of t he expenses of others. As is discussed in

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74 previous scholarly research one reason organizations are fearful of engaging in collaboration is they are concerned that they will carry a larger portion of the expenses relative to other organizations in the col laboration (Olson, 1965; Shaw, 2003). Table 5.8 : Why Not Collaborative Advocacy? (n = 70 ) Reason % Frequency Mean Std Geographic Challenges 31.4 22 .31 .47 Difficulties in Sharing Rewards/Successes 18.6 13 .19 .39 Unwilling to Share Technical Skills, Trade Secrets, or Soft Property 17.1 12 .17 .38 Lack of Resources to Sh are with Others 30.0 21 .30 .46 Unwilling to Carry Burden of Expenses of Others 38.6 27 .39 .49 Scale of Frequency of Reason: 0 = No, 1 = Yes The second most common response was the issue of geography. As discussed in Chapter T hree, geography can be a barrier to entry for collaboration. Not all organizations are located in populated metro areas, in fact many are located in rural areas where the populations suffer from a lack of needed benefits due to their isolation. Here nonprofits are as important as anywhere else. However, as Snavely and Tracy (2000) discuss, the isolation that causes underserved populations also acts as a barrier to engaging in collaboration and advocacy. Rural nonprofits are less able to meet with and work on programs with urb an nonprofits due to the distance, and are further isolated form the legislative process, which is occurring in state capitols in urban settings. The third most common response from participants for why they might not choose to join into a collaborative

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75 appears from interview responses that there is some focus on the balance of resource contributions and decision making authority. Fear of not being able to have much decision making authori ty because the organization does not have much in the way of resources to offer, or at least an uncomfortable feeling of not being considered an authority equal, can prevent nonprofit leaders from joining into collaborative advocacy efforts. One responden t supported this with the follow ing observation : resources are not balanced, we have much more staff and budget than other partners yet we are equal in terms of the decision making process, the steering committee we try to reach consensus on any decision we make, so there is a pull there between contributing a lot and the support for the effort and being equal parts in the decision Congruent with the research by Bass et al. (2007) who barrier cited by nonprofits is lack of resources to engage in public there are barriers to entry to solo advocacy that participants in this study self selected that were evident in their organ izations (See Table 5.9 ) The top five of the possible selections from the survey are all resources, indicating yet again that advocacy is a resource dependent activity. a Contrary to the literature on ad vocacy where Herman & Renz (1998; 2008 ) found that entering into advocacy programs were a strategic decision and should be made by the board of directors, barriers su ch as was a barrier infrequently encountered by those surveyed in this study. This could be because of frequent approval of solo advocacy by the board of directors, or that some boards are not involved with strategic level d ecision making like choosing to engage in advocacy.

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76 Table 5.9: Barriers to Entr y to Solo Advocacy (n=74) Barrier to Solo Advocacy Never Rarely Occasionally Often Mean Std Lack of Funding 11.0 (8) 19.2 (14) 41.1 (30) 28.8 (21) 2.88 .96 Lack of Technica l Knowledge 17.6 (13) 28.4 (21) 45.9 (34) 8.1 (6) 2.45 .88 Lack of Staff Time 5.4 (4) 9.5 (7) 33.8 (25) 51.4 (38) 3.31 .86 Lack of Connections to Community 13.7 (10) 32.9 (24) 37.0 (27) 16.4 (12) 2.56 .93 Lack of Connections to Lawmakers 11.4 (8) 35.7 ( 25) 37.1 (26) 15.7 (11) 2.57 .89 Board Of Directors Prohibits 75.0 (54) 12.5 (9) 6.9 (5) 5.6 (4) 1.43 .85 Fear of Appearing Partisan 27.0 (20) 35.1 (26) 21.6 (16) 16.2 (12) 2.27 1.04 Fear of Losing Funding 32.9 (24) 45.2 (33) 12.3 (9) 9.6 (7) 1.99 .92 Scale of Frequency of Barrier: 1 = Never, 2 = Rare ly, 3 = Occasionally, 4 = Often as another barrier that was barely evident. As was discussed in Chapter Two, there is some concern in the nonprofit community about losing funds for fear of appearing partisan or alienating government grant makers (Nicholson Crotty, 2009). Smith and Lipsky (1993), Kimberlin (2010), and Mosley (2011) all found that there was some fear of losing resources, whether it be financial or hu man, as a backlash to participating in advocacy programs. Furthermore, although there have been conflicting conclusions among other researchers, Bass et al. (2007) and Chaves et al. (2004) both found a negative relationship between money received from gov ernment and advocacy participation.

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77 These barriers, as demonstrated above, are going to act as deterrents to nonprofits entering into advocacy activities (Boris & Krehely, 2002; Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007). Nonprofit leaders need to be assured of proper resources, appropriate authority, and security from negative repercussions before entering into advocacy programs. Otherwise the risk can be too high. Therefore it is not surprising there is a relationship between how often the specific barri ers to advocacy are prevalent to the executive directors of the surveyed nonprofit organizations and the frequency of the surveyed nonprofits engaging in collaborative advocacy Table 5.10 shows the relationsh ip or lack thereof, between barriers to entr y to solo advocacy and frequency of collaborative advocacy. Respondents that were engaging in collaborative advocacy frequently also claimed that w as a barrier to engaging in solo advocacy indicating that the more survey part i cipants were selecting this barrier to solo advocacy, the more they were engaging in collaborative advocacy. One possible reason for this statistically significant correlation is that participating in collaborative advocacy can offer a veil of privacy to organizations that may wish to stay out of the public spotlight but still engage in advocacy.

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78 Table 5.10: Solo Advocacy (n = 74) ___________________________________ ______________________________________ __ Variable Freq. Collab orative Advocacy r p value ______________________________________________ _____________________________ Fear of A p pearing Partisan .229 .069* Lack of Connections to Influential Members of the Community .197 .119 Lack of Technical Knowledge .077 .540 Lack of Staff Time .074 .559 Lack of Connections to Lawmakers .110 .398 Board of Directors Prohibits Engaging in Advocacy .100 .434 Fear of Losing Funding .016 .897 Lack of Funding .131 .302 ______________________________________________ _____________________________ p < .10 Congruent with the research on a dvocacy ( Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007 ), it is posited in this study that various b arriers to advocacy exist which can be mitigated by engaging in collaboration to achieve advocacy goals As demonstrated in Table 5.11 participants in the survey responded that at least a few of the barriers to entry for advocacy are in fact being mitiga ted by collaboration. At least 70% of the survey participants believed especially Financial resour ces, human capital and technical knowledge of how to engage successfully in advocacy programs are all necessary to ac hieving advocacy goals (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007).

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79 Table 5.11 : Barriers to Advocacy Mitigated by Collaborative Advocacy (n = 65) Barrier Mitigated Never Rarely Occasionally Often Mean Std Lack of Funding 10.9 (7) 15.6 (10) 50.0 (32) 23.4 (15) 2.86 .91 Lack of Technical Knowledge 12.3 (8) 16.9 (11) 44.6 (29) 26.2 (17) 2.85 .96 Lack of Staff time 3.1 (2) 6.3 (4) 50.0 (32) 40.6 (26) 3.28 .72 Lack of connections to community 6.3 (4) 38.1 (24) 36.5 (23) 19.0 (12) 2.68 .86 Lack of Connections to Lawmakers 7.8 (5) 34.4 (22) 32.8 (21) 25.0 (16) 2.75 .93 BOD Prohibits 65.6 (40) 16.4 (10) 13.1 (8) 4.9 (3) 1.57 .90 Fear of Appearing Partisan 38.7 (24) 25.8 (16) 27.4 (17) 8.1 (5) 2.05 1.0 Fear of Losing Funding 42.4 (25) 32.2 (19) 15.3 (9) 10.2 (6) 1.93 1.0 Scale of Frequency of Mitigation: 1 = Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Occasionally, 4 = Often Most of the barriers that are mitigated by collaborative advocacy are capacity issues internal and external. Organizational capacity is the ability of an organization to achieve its goals through drawing on resources, abilities and competencies (Doherty, Misenr & Cuskelly, 2014) such as adap tability, financial and human resources, and managerial, learning and collaboration competencies (Bryan, 2011). Capacity issues are conditions of the organization that enable it, or prohibit it, from accomplish ing its mission goals Internal capacity com ponents would be resources such as number of staff and technical skills of that staff. External capacity components would be opinions of the public and connections to

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80 lawmakers. The two exc eptions to capacity issues according to this survey are the optio ns of The barriers that respondents said were mitigated by collaborative advocacy were then run through further analysis to reveal that two of them were correlated with frequency of collabo rative advocacy. This dem onstrates, as seen in Table 5.11 that as seen in Table 5.12 mitigation is related to how often the organization wil l choose to participate in collaborative advocacy programs. Based on the literature discussed in Chapters Two and Three, and the responses of survey participants a s presented in Tables 5.9, 5.10 and 5.11 the n egative relationship is an unexp ected result. Possibilities for the negative relationship rather than a positive relationship could be a product of the wording of the questions and a lack of understanding of the inquiry by the respondents.

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81 Table 5.12 : equency of Collaborative Advocacy and Barrier Mitigated by Collaborative Advocacy (n = 64) ______________________________________________ _____________________________ Variable F req. Collaborative Advocacy p value _______________________________ _______________ _____________________________ Lack of Technical Knowledge .209 .097* Lack of Staff Time .235 .064* Lack of Funding .143 .262 Lack of Connections to Influential Members of the Community .091 .480 Lack of Connecti o ns to Lawmakers .048 .708 Boa rd of Directors Prohibits E ngaging in Advocacy .134 .308 Fear of Appearing Pa r tisan .110 .399 Fear of Losing Funding .015 .913 ______________________________________________ _____________________________ *p < .1 0 In summary, executive directors are choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy efforts for a variety of reasons, where all possible selections in the survey were selected at least 60 % of the time. Executive directors are choosing to engage in collabor ative advocacy also choosing to engage in collaborative advocacy to advance the reach of the organization and the scope of the sector. Those who are not enga ging in collaborative advocacy are not doing so because of geographic challenges, lack of resources to share in the collaboration, and the unwillingness to carry the burden of collaborative partners. The three top barriers to advocacy that are mitigated b y engaging in collaborative advocacy, according to the

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82 how often an organizati on engages in collaborative advocacy and two barriers that are mitigated by engaging in collaborative advocacy. 4. What organizational attributes influence participation in collaboration for advocacy efforts? Child and Gronbjerg (2007) identified six organi zational attributes in attributes were: field of activity, size, funding sources, age, IRS status and technol ogy. Of these six, they found that four were helpful in predicting engagement in advocacy In the current study, five of these same six attributes were used to explore relationships with collaborative advocacy (did not use technology) Additionally, bud get and 501(c)4 affiliation were also included. None of the seven total attributes that were used in this study had a correlation with frequency of collabo rative advocacy. The first thing t h is finding postulates is that Indiana and Colorado are differen t states and therefore the corresponding results are different Second, solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy are different beings. Previous studies were measuring any kind of advocacy, possibly mixing both solo and collaborative advocacy efforts in the empirical data collection gathering. By parsing out the different kinds of advocacy, whether it be solo or in collaboration with other organizations, the results were different. An interesting observation about the relationship between frequency of c ollaborative advocacy and 501(c)4 affiliation as was demonstrated in Table 5.5 is that only about 21 % of 501(c)3 organizations were collaborating on advocacy projects with 501(c)4 organizations. One could posit that there is a possibility that executive directors are choosing to partner with

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83 other 501(c)3 organizations and government agencies rather than their own 501(c)4 o rganization. 5. What is the perceived effectiveness of co llaborative advocacy efforts? To answer the fifth research question once ag ain a baseline was needed to compare the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy efforts. Survey participants were asked about their orts. As seen in Table 5.13 almost 39 % of the r not at all effective or only somewhat effective. About 61% of the survey participants co uld be because those solo advocacy efforts were not of a complex nature, or those organizations could be rich with r esources and are able to advocate without the assistance of collaboration. Table 5.13 : Perceived Effectiveness of Organization acy (n = 75) Level of Perceived Effectiveness % Frequency Mean: 2.77 Std: .78 Not at all Effective 2.7 2 Somewhat Effective 36.0 27 Moderately Effective 42.7 32 Highly Effective 18.7 14 Scale of level of perceived effectiveness: 1 = Not at all Effective, 2 = Somewhat Effective, 3 = Moderately Effective, 4 = Highly Effective As was discussed earlier, some researchers such as Hill and Lynn (2003) argue that collaboration is not appropriate all the time. Demonstrating this, over 68% of participan ts moderately or highly effective (See T able 5.14) This is a substantial statistic as it is good news for those organizations thinking of engaging in collaborative advocacy, but it is only a six percent increase from perceived effectiv eness of solo advocacy efforts.

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84 Table 5.14 Level of Perceived Effectiveness % Frequency Mean: 2.92 Std: .79 Not at all Effective 1.5 1 Somewhat Effective 30.3 20 Moderately Effective 42.4 28 Highly Effective 25.8 17 Scale of level of perceived effectiveness: 1 = Not at all Effective, 2 = Somewhat Effective, 3 = Moderately Effective, 4 = Highly Effectiv e More research is still needed on what specific organizational resources are needed to make for successful collaborative advocacy. On e respondent added, in which we govern ourselves as c3s, that organizations need to have a certa in amount of internal capacity built and internal commitment and awareness in o rder to collaborate effectively As seen in Table 5.15, the differences between perceived effectiveness of solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy are not that vas t. As seen in Table 5.15, there was only compared to the organizations solo advocacy efforts. One plausible explanation for this is that nonprofit organizations are success fully choosing when to collaborate and when not to collaborate on advocacy efforts. Table 5.15: Differences in P erceived Effectiveness of Solo Advocacy C ompare d to Collaborative A dvocacy Level of Perceived Effectiveness % Solo Advocacy % Collaborative Ad vocacy % Difference Not at all Effective 2.7 1.5 1.2 Somewhat Effective 36.0 30.3 5.7 Moderately Effective 42.7 42.4 0.3 Highly Effective 18.7 25.8 7.1 In s ummary, a great deal of data were collected on the perceived effectiveness of solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy, as well as the expected outputs and outcomes of each.

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85 Over 61% of respondents thought that solo advocacy was at least moderately effective. Additionally, over 68% thought that collaborative advocacy was a t least moderately ef fective. 6. What are the expected resul ts of collaborative advocacy efforts ? To explore results from solo advocacy efforts compared to collaborative advocacy efforts the results were grouped into two categories: that of progr am level results and organizational level results. These two groupings are congruent with the literature on effectiveness a nd outcome measurement (Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007 ). It is posited in the literature that there are two different varieties o f results from a program that which can be a direct consequence of the program (outputs) and that which can be a benefit to the organization as a whole regardless of the success or failure of the program efforts (outcomes) (Crutchfi e ld & McL eod Grant 20 07 ). The point being that when a program fails, or does not achieve its desired outputs, there can be more elevated organizational level result s that can still be achieved. It is logical then, as il lustrated in Table 5.16 y highly perceived consequence of solo advocacy programs. and Legislative C Without having collaborative partners to lean on, for their government connections for example, the onus is on the organization to establish their own connec tions in order to have success.

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86 Table 5.16 : Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) from Partic ipating in Solo Advocacy (n = 75 ) Expected Results % Frequency Mean Std Program Success 78.7 59 .79 .41 Professional Connections 54.7 41 .55 .50 Government/Legislative Connections 66.7 50 .67 .47 Media Recognition 41.3 31 .41 .50 New Donors 30.7 23 .31 .46 New Clients 16.0 12 .16 .37 Increased Organizational Profil e 52.0 39 .52 .50 Increased Organizational Legitimacy 46.7 35 .47 .50 Additional Funding 44.0 33 .44 .50 Scale of Frequency of Expected Results: 0 = No, 1 = Yes As is evident i n Table 5.17 expected organizational level results from solo advocacy pro grams are similar to that of program level results. It is also possible that outputs and outcomes are the same for solo advocacy programs since the additional benefits that can be obtained through collaboration are not relevant. Another interesting obser vation is that some survey participants possibly had a keen understanding of the differences between outputs and outcomes since there was a noticeable 10 program level results compared to expected organizational level results. 7 7 This observation points to a weakness i should not h ave been an option in Table 5.17 or 5.20

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87 Table 5.17 : Expected Organizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Partic ipating in Solo Advocacy (n = 75 ) Expected Results % Frequency Mean Std Program Success 68.0 51 .68 .47 Professional Connections 54.7 41 .55 .50 Governmen t/Legislative Connections 68.0 51 .68 .47 Media Recognition 48.0 36 .48 .50 New Donors 40.0 30 .40 .49 New Clients 20.0 15 .20 .40 Increased Organizational Profile 69.3 52 .69 .46 Increased Organizational Legitimacy 61.3 46 .61 .49 Additional Funding 50.7 38 .51 .50 Scale of Frequency of Expected Results: 0 = No, 1 = Yes When examining the expected program level results of collaborative adv ocacy programs, as in Table 5.18 it is interest ing that the values are very similar to that of Table 5.16 : E xpected Program Level Results (Outputs) of Solo Advocacy. The lack of statistical differences between the two sets of survey question responses could be because nonprofit executive directors deem no additional benefits from the successful completion of an advocacy effort due to collaboration. The benefits received for using collaboration on advocacy efforts could be more at the outcome, or organizational, level.

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88 Table 5.18 : Expected Program Level Results (Outputs) from Participating in Collabor ative Advocacy (n = 66 ) Expected Results % Frequency Mean Std Program Success 83.3 55 .83 .38 Professional Connections 57.6 38 .58 .50 Government/Legislative Connections 63.6 42 .64 .48 Media Recognition 39.4 26 .39 .49 New Donors 24.2 16 .24 .43 Ne w Clients 16.7 11 .17 .38 Increased Organizational Profile 56.1 37 .56 .50 Increased Organizational Legitimacy 50.0 33 .50 .50 Additional Funding 42.4 28 .42 .50 Scale of Frequency of Ex pected Results: 0 = No, 1 = Yes This is evident in Table 5.19 a s well. The largest percentage difference would be for advocacy. This could possibly be a result of collaborative advocacy participants fearing the need to share the organizat frowned upon by some organizations considering the competition for resources.

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89 Table 5.19 : Comparing Output D ifferences b etween Solo Advocacy ( Table 5.16 ) and C ollaborative A dvocacy ( Table 5.18 ) Expected Results % Solo % CA % Difference Program Success 78.7 83.3 4.6 Professional Connections 54.7 57.6 2.9 Government/Legislative Connections 66.7 63.6 2.9 Media Recognition 41.3 39.4 1.9 New Donors 30.7 24.2 6.5 New Clie nts 16.0 16.7 0.7 Increased Organizational Profile 52.0 56.1 4.1 Increased Organizational Legitimacy 46.7 50.0 3.3 Additional Funding 44.0 42.4 1.6 When comparing Tables 5.17 and Table 5.20 unding was one area th at survey participants decreased their expectations of organizational level results when participating in collaborative advocacy compared to solo advocacy from 50.7% to 48.5 % Comparing T able s 5.18 and 5.20 there is a 6% (42.4% to 48.5%) increase when comparing outputs vs outcomes of collaborative advocacy. Many executive directors obviously see the merits of collaboration when trying to attract funding sources. Many grant providers often mandate the use of collaboration on some level for any pr oject they are funding (Shaw, 2003; McNamara, 2015).

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90 Table 5. 20 : Expected Organizational Level Results (Outcomes) from Participating in Collaborative Advoca cy (n = 66 ) Expected Results % Frequency Mean Std Program Success 73.3 51 .77 .42 Professiona l Connections 62.1 41 .62 .29 Government/Legislative Connections 71.2 47 .71 .46 Media Recognition 47.0 31 .47 .50 New Donors 27.3 18 .27 .45 New Clients 1 6.7 11 .17 .38 Increased Organizational Profile 68.2 45 .68 .47 Increased Organizational Legiti macy 62.1 41 .62 .49 Additional Funding 48.5 32 .48 .50 Scale of Frequency of Expected Results: 0 = No, 1 = Yes The p rimary expected outputs of solo a where the p rimary outcom ucce ss egitimacy is the highest Outputs of collaborative advocacy were expected to b uccess at 83.3 %, while o utcomes of col uccess If C onnections rofile egitimacy all highly rated Table 5.21 shows the differences in expect ed organizational level results, or outcomes, between solo advocacy (Table 5.17) and collaborative advocacy (Table 5.20) It is apparent that the largest change in percent of responses between the two is for New Donors at 12.7% less for collaborative ad vocacy outcomes than for solo advocacy outcomes

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91 Table 5.21 : Comparing Outcome Differences b etween Solo Advocacy (Table 5.17 ) and Collaborative A dvocacy (Table 5 .20 ) Expected Results % Solo Outcomes % CA Outcomes % Difference Outcomes Program Success 68.0 73.3 5.3 Professional Connections 54.7 62.1 7.4 Government/Legislative Connections 68.0 71.2 3.2 Media Recognition 48.0 47.0 1.0 New Donors 40.0 27.3 12.7 New Clients 20.0 16.7 3.3 Increased Organizational Profile 69.3 68.2 1.1 Increased Organiz ational Legitimacy 61.3 62.1 0.8 Additional Funding 50.7 48.5 2.2 In summary, the differences between outputs and outcomes of both solo advocacy and collaborative advocacy are not that great for most of the expected re s ults. The exception would be for could be that collaborative advocacy attracts new connections from sharing those of other from solo advocacy compared to collaborative advocacy is that there is a fear of sharing donor information among nonprofit organizations because of fear of c ompetition for dollars (Wood & Gray, 1991; Snavely & Tracy, 2000; Mulroy, 2003 ).

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92 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSIONS Recall that in Chapter One this study promised three contributions to the study of nonprofit organizations as well as four contributions to practitioners in the f ield. What follows is a discussion of those contributions, with the details being directed by research question, as previously presented in Chapters One, Four and Five. Contributions to the St udy of Nonprofit Advocacy and C ollaboration (Theoretical Signif icance) Research question number one asked about how often nonprofit organizations are engaging in collaborative advocacy. This study offers the conclusions that over 33% are engaging in collaborative advocacy at least weekly. Furthermore, this study fo und that the decision to engage in collaborative advocacy is being made by the executive director most often, contrary to r es earch by Herman and Renz (1998, 2008 ) that poses collaboration should be made by the board of directors as it is part of strategic planning decisions. Research question two of this study asked about with whom nonprofit leaders are engaging in collaborative advocacy. This paper found that the vast majority of partners were other 501(c)3 organizations, and over half of the surveyed org anizations were engaging in collaborative advocacy with government agencies. In searching for their partners, they are looking for organizations with shared values, but are not necessarily in agreeance on all issues. By answering the first two research qu estions posed in Chapter One this study fills a gap in the literature in that it presents a research study that focuses on advocacy across all mission categories of nonprofits in a state level snapshot, providing a profile of Colorado and its collaborative advocacy tendencies and activities.

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93 In answering research question three, this study explored not only reasons to engage in collaborative advocacy, but explored barriers to entry to solo advocacy that could be mitigated by collaboration. By addressing th e question from two different approaches, a more thorough explanation of the roots and motivations for collaborative advocacy is presented. T hrough answering research questions three and four, which ask about why organizations engage in collaborative advoc acy, and what organizational attributes are congruent with engaging in colla borative advocacy, respectively, this study helps to understand the idea of collaborative advocacy by contextualizing the term in an empirical study. By creating an operational def inition of collaborative advocacy, and testing it among nonprofit leaders in the state of Colorado, this study presents collaboration as a tool that can be used in tandem with advocacy to mitigate barriers to entry to advocacy. This study supports resea rch by Boris and Krehely (2002), Berry and Arons (2003) and Bass et al. (2007) who each posited there were significant barriers to engaging in the greatest barrier to entry to solo advocacy with more than 85% responding that at least occasionally it was a barrier. This finding is congruent with Bass et al. (2007), who found the number one barrier to entry to advocacy was lack of resources. Similarly, in this study a human resource was the most common barrier that respondents said influenced their engagement in advocacy. Other resources, such as knowledge, money, and connections to lawmakers and community members were all at least occasional ly a barrier over 50% of the time.

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94 This study al so found a correlation among one barrier to solo advocacy and frequency of engaging in collaborative advocacy. positively correlated with frequency of collab orative advocacy; meaning that those executive directors whose organizat ions were experiencing this specific barrier to entry were more likely to eng age in collaborative advocacy. Furthermore, contrary to research by Child and Gronbjerg (2007) that found a number advocate, and to do it successfully, this paper found none of its similar factors to be correlated with frequency of collaborative advocacy. One of the most compelling differences between the Child and Gronbjerg (2007) state profile of Indiana nonprofit advocacy and this study on collaborative advocacy was the influence of greater organizational size. Their study indicated that frequency of advocacy woul d increase with greater organizational size. This was not true for collaborative advocacy. Collaborative advocacy for nonprofits in Colorado was found to have no correlation between greater organizational size, indicated in this study by two factors: bot h organizational budget size and staff size. Research question s five and six in this study asked what the perceived effectiveness of collaborative advocacy was, as well as expected outcomes and outputs of both solo and collaborative advocacy. While only slightly over 60% of surveyed executive directors found solo advocacy to be at least moderately effective, over 68% found that collaborative advocacy was at least moderately effective. Appropriately, outputs of solo advocacy that

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95 were found to be most oft en expected were pr S uccess was also highly expected by survey participants in expected outcome results. 8 Furthermore, this study supports claims by Grasse and Ward (2015) that nonprofit advocacy can increase legit imacy, especially when conducted in tandem with other collaborative partners. When survey participants were asked about the expected outcomes from collaborative advocacy, at least 60% of participants responded that increased organizational legitimacy, as well as an increase in organizational profile and government/legislative connections, were expected. As a third contribution to the study of nonprofit organizations, this study distinguishes between outcomes and outputs of collaborative advocacy in an em pirical manner, identifying different criteria to be considered as characteristic of outputs and outcomes. This is congruent with literature by Crutchfield and McLeod Grant (2007) that also identified differences between program level results (outputs) an d organizational level results (outcomes). Contribution to Nonprofit P ractitioners (Practical Relevance) The first contribution promised to nonprofit practitioners was to encourage all nonprofit organizations to make use of advocacy despite the barriers th at exist. Bass et al (2007) Berry and Arons (2003) and Boris and Krehely (2002) state there are barriers to advocacy, and those barriers are often too intimidating for a nonprofit organization to engage in advocacy. 85 % of the organizations confirmed t hat they encountered barriers to solo 8 This is perhaps an error by the resear uccess from outcomes, since they are not defined as an outcome accor ding to the research by Crutchfield and McLeod Grant (2007).

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96 Furthermore, McNamara (2015) claims a special skill set is needed to engage in advocacy, where the lack of those skills would serve as barriers to advocacy This study provides support to this claim as well. The results of this study demonstrate that 70% of the respondents said at least occasionally collaborative advocacy mitigates barriers such as ng technical knowledge, or a specifi ed skill set, is not only shown to exist among nonpr ofit leaders, but also is shown to be mitigated through collaboration. As a second contribution, as promised in Chapter One, this study encourages collaboration as a mi tigation tool to overcome advocacy barriers. This study further develops the idea of collaborative advocacy, a tool that can be helpful in elevating nonprofit organizations to be more impactful, by presenting it, including an operational definition, to no collaborative advocacy, and among those that have there may be some difficulty with gaining a firm grasp of the concept. Third, this study empirically demonstrates that there are benefits to both outputs and outcomes that can be yielded through collaborative advocacy, further encouraging its use. Expected outcomes of collaborative advocacy that registered over 50% in the survey The fourth contribution was to create a state level profile to help nonprofit leaders in their strategic planning. The idea of a state level profile includes answering such questions as who is doing it? Why? With whom? Under what conditions is collaborativ e advocacy a

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97 useful tool? Ultimately, nonprofits who lack resources, are willing to share outcomes, and who recognize th e importance of nonprofit advocacy, are poised and primed to align advocacy and collaboration together in order to engage in programs they otherwise could not. Having preliminary answers to these questions, albeit from a small sample, is a benefit to the n onprofit community in Colorado. Contribution to th e Field of Public A ffairs Nonprofits contribute to the field of public policy through advocacy as one of their key activities (Child & Gronbjerg, 2007). Researchers such as Child and Gronbjerg (2007) claim that nonprofit advocacy gives individuals a voice to be heard that might otherwise be silent. Consequently then, nonprofits make up many of the players i n public policy arenas (Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007; Crutchfield & McLeod Grant, 2007 ). T he knowledge of how nonprofits are influencing democracy, the policy process and service delivery are all beneficial to the field of public affairs. Challenges and Limitations of the S tudy There were a few challenges that were uncovered in the orchestrati on and execution of this research study. However, these challenges were unlikely to have influenced the overall results or integrity of the study. Regardless, they are still worth noting to support future researchers from encountering similar potential h azards. First, it is possible that the primary researcher in this study operated from a positon of biased belief ab out the issue, rather than being more critical about the use of collaboration in nonprofit advocacy. A potential consequence of this less th an objective belief is that collective action problems of joining in collaborations were ignored. This is significant because it can create bias in the construction and delivery of the data collection instruments.

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98 Second, it was apparent from the beginn ing, and then verified through survey responses, that creating operational definitions that would both be accurate and clear to the participants would be difficult. It is possible the definitions did not come across in the survey the way the researcher int ended. Attempts were made to thwart this concern by vetting the survey through researchers, academic advisors, and potential survey respondents from the community that fit the description of the survey target sample. The first of the potential issues t hat could arise from confusion with the operational definitions of collaboration and advocacy is the sample size could be limited. It is possible that without fully understanding the definitions of collaboration and advocacy, some potential respondents ch ose not to participate in the study. Also, it is possible that those that did take the survey did not respond accurately to their frequency of use or presumed effectiveness if they were using different operational definitions in their interpretations of t he survey questions. These concerns were attempted to be mitigated by providing specific, detailed definitions of key terms in the survey. The same could be said for definitions of outputs and outcomes. If there were respondents that did not have a cle ar understanding of the terms then the accuracy of the responses are in question. Outputs and Outcomes are terms that easy to mistake for each other, yet have distinct definitions in the field of nonprofit effectiveness (Crutc hfield & McLeod Grant, 2007). One of the b iggest issue s was that many who did not engage in advocacy at all just did not finish th e survey, or do it at all. This could certainly be a result of the survey design. One final observation post conducting the data collection is that rura l areas should have been included in the sample as well not jus t major communities in Colorado. By omitting some

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99 nonprofits in rural communities, issues of geographical distance were less of a factor than they might actually be statewide. Implications fo r Future R esearch Throughout the execution of this study there were a number of additional intriguing questions that were raised, some of which have been transformed into research questions as follows: 1. What is the process of collaborative advocacy? Ther e is some research that already exists that discusses the process of collaboration ( Diaz Kope & Miller Stevens, 2014 ) and some that discuss the proce ss of advocacy (Kimberlin, 2010 ) but there is a void in the literature when it comes to what the process of collaborative advocacy looks like. Further exploring the way leaders are elected, the methods in which agendas are set, and examining official documents such as memos of understanding, would all be valuable research for the field. 2. What is the influenc e of outcome and output sharing on the frequency of collaborative advocacy? The current study explored the frequency of collaborative advocacy, with a comparison being made to the frequency of solo advocacy and the frequency of other collaboration program s. Barriers to advocacy were also explored, as were reason for engaging in collaborative advocacy. But what about the influences on collaborative advocacy beyond what wer e asked in the current survey? How might the fear of sharing outputs or outcomes, o r the unwillingness to share, and its influence on how often nonprofit organizations are engaging in collaborative advocacy?

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100 3. What alignment exists between organizational attributes such as organization mission, budget size and staff size, and tactics u se d in collaborative advocacy? An interesting follow up to the current study would be to explore the tactics that are being used by organizations that share particular attributes such as organization mission, size of staff and budget. Other research studi es in the field that have focused on simply advocacy, not collaborative advocacy, have explored the tactics being used by nonprofit organizations when engaging in advocacy (McNutt & Boland, 1999; Rees, 1999 ). It would be a contribution to the field to con duct similar studies but explore the use of tactics when engaging in collaborative advocacy. 4. What alignment exists between organizational types such as foundations or direct service delivery organizations and tactics used in collaborative advocacy? The same exploratory search for an alignment between tactics used and type of organization, such as operating foundation, public charity or by service delivery organization or grant making organizations could be executed that would reveal patterns and trends of collaborative advocacy activities based on an organization typology. 5. When is collaborative advocacy not a good idea? Now that collaborative advocacy has been operationally defined and explored empirically, the concept can be pushed forward to include the inverse of this study. When is collaborative advocacy harmful to an organization? When does it yield no benefits? Is advocacy ever not a complex problem, requiring a more simple approach than collaborative advocacy? 6. What does collaborative advoc acy look like in practice?

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101 A beneficial complement to this study would be to explore more examples of what collaborative advocacy looks like in practice. Exploring some real life examples of how collaborative advocacy manifests itself in successful organi zations would be valuable for nonprofit practitioners and researchers alike. 7. What is the influence of having a Political Action Committee or 527 on collaborative advocacy, and does the 501(h) elective play a role in those organizations? Some 501(c)3 non profit organizations have a subsidiary organization, or an advocacy arm, in the form of Political Action Committees or 527s. It would be interesting to see if those organizations with one of these advocacy arms have a different perspective on collaborativ e advocacy and to explore to what extent they are using the 501(h) elective. Conclusion Nonprofit organizations hav e been discussed in this study as having three primary activities or functions. The first being service delivery, due to market or government failure to provide those necessary services for the citizenry. A second primary function is that of redistribution of funds, usually in the form of grant making foundations. Last, but by far not the least of the primary functions, is advocacy. By part icipating in at least two of the activities, advocating and providing service delivery, organizations are empowered by what Crutchfield and McLeod Grant (2007) call the virtuous cycle. In the virtuous cycle, front line information gathered by service deli very informs policy work, and efforts on advocacy issues informs the front line service delivery. As posited by Child and Gronbjerg (2007), and Crutchfield and McLeod Grant (2007), advocacy is a necessary and underutilized activity. The virtuous cycle as described earlier in this study explains the benefits to organizations that do so. Thusly, those that take

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102 advantage of the benefits advocacy delivers are better stewards of their subsidized public funding they receive because of their tax exempt status. Beyond the benefits observed from engaging in the virtuous cycle, there are other benefits to organizations and their clients from participating in advocacy programs. The outputs, or direct results from the advocacy effort, are certainly one of them. H owever, often overlooked are the indirect outcomes that can be derived from participating in advocacy efforts. The outcomes are often peripheral effects such as increasing organizational profile, increasing organizational legitimacy, and increasing networ ks. However, as has been established throughout this study, advocacy has barriers that can be difficult to overcome and often times intimidating for nonprofit leaders ( Berry & Arons, 2003; Bass et al., 2007) These barriers can prevent nonprofits from eng aging in important advocacy work despite the many benefits from advocacy programs. Simultaneously, collaboration has been established in numerous previous studies to be helpful in tackling complex problems (Guo & Acar, 2005). This study supports this n otion by emphasizing advocacy as a complex problem, and demonstrating how collaboration can be a tool to combat the complexities of advocacy programs. Advocacy, with its necessary technical knowledge, connections to lawmakers and community leaders, and consequent financial, human and knowledge resources all needed for successful advocacy efforts, can certainly be considered a complex problem. Thus, there is a natural alignment between advocacy and collaboration, where collaboration can be used in tandem on advocacy programs so that barriers to entry are mitigated by the sharing of resources through the fundamental structure and process of collaboration.

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107 McNamara, M. (2015). Collaborative Management and Leadership: A Skill Set for the Entrepreneur. In John Morris & Katrina Miller Stevens (Eds.) Advancing Collaboration Theory: Models, Ty pologies, and Evidence. New York: Routledge Miller Stevens, K. (2010). State Nonprofit Associations and Agenda Setting: An Exploratory Study of Lobbying Strategies. Unpublished Dissertation. University of Colorado Denver. Morris, J., Gibson, W., Leavit t, W. & Jones, S. (2013). The Case for Grassroots Col laboration: Social Capital and Ecosystem R estoration at the Local Level Lanham, MD.: Lexington Press. Morris, J. & Miller Stevens, K. (2015). The State of Knowledge in Collaboration. In John Morris & Katrina Miller Stevens (Eds.) Advancing Collaboration Theory: Models, Typologies, and Evidence. New York: Routledge Mosley, J. (2011). Institutionalization, Privatization, and Political Opportunity: What Tactical Choices Reveal about the Policy Advoc acy of Human Service Nonprofits. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 40(3), 435 457. Mulroy, E. (2003). Community as a Factor in Implementing Interorganizational Partnerships. Nonprofit Management and Leadership 14(1), 47 66. Mulroy, E. & S hay, S (1998). Motivation and Reward in Nonprofit Interorganizational Collaboration in Low income N eighborhoods. Administration in Social Work, 22(4) 1 17 Murray, V. (1998). Interorganizational C ollaborat ions in the Nonprofit S ector. In J. M. Shafirtz (E d.), International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and A dministration Vol. 2 Boulder, CO: Westview. Government Relations: Cooperation, Confrontation, Complementarity, and Co optation. Nonprofit Management and L eadership 10(4), 375 396. Neumayr, M, Scheider, U. & Meyer, M. (2015). Public Funding and its Impact on Nonprofit Advocacy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 44(2), 297 318. Nichol s on Crotty, J. (2007). Politics Policy, and the Motivations fo r Advocacy in Nonprofit Reproductive Health and Family Planning P roviders. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36(5), 5 21. _________ (2009). The Stages and Strategies of Advocacy Among Nonprofit Reproductive Health Providers. Nonprofit and Volun tary Sector Quarterly, 38(6), 1044 1053.

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108 _________ (2011). Nonprofit Organizations, Bureaucratic Agencies, and Policy: Exploring the Determinants of Administrative Advocacy. The American Review of Public Administration, 41(1), 61 74. Olson, M. (1965). The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and Theory of Groups Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Ostrom, E ( 1990 ) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press. van, E., Rassell, G. & Berner, M. (2003). Research Methods for Public Administrators (4 th ed.). New York: Longman. Crotty, S. (2005).Managing Upward, Downward, and Outward: Networks, Hierarchical Relationships and Perf ormance. Public Management Review, 7(1), 45 68. Pfeffer, J. & Salancik R ( 1978 ) The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependency Perspective. New York: Harper & Row. Phillips, N., Lawrence, T. & Hardy, C. (2000). Interor ganizational C olla bor ation and the Dynamics of I nsti tutional F ields. Journal of Management Studies 37(1) 23 43. Powell, W. (1990). Neither Market nor Hierarchy: Network Forms of Organization. Research in Organizational B ehavior, 12 295 336. Provan, K. & Milward, H. ( 1991). Institutional Level Norms and Organizational Involvement in a Service Implementation Network. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 2, 391 417. Quinn, R. & Camer on, K. (1983). Organizational Lifecycles and Shifting C riteria of Effe ctiveness: Some Preliminary E vidence. Management Science 29 (1) 33 41. Ralser, T. (2007). ROI for Nonprofits: The New Key to Sustainability Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons. Rees, S. (1999). Strategic Choices for Nonprofit A dvocates. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 28(1), 65 73. Reid, E. ( 1999 ). Nonprofit Advoca cy and Political Participation. In E. T. Boris and C. E. Steuerle (Eds.), Nonprofits and Government: Conflict or Collaboration? Washin gton, DC: Urban Institute Press Ring, P. an d Van de Ven A ( 1994 ). Development Processes of C ooperative Inter organizational R elationships. Academy of Management Review 19(1), 90 118.

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109 Salamon, L. ( 1995). Partners in Public Service: Government Nonprofit Relations in the Modern Welfare S tate. Bal timore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. ________ (2002). The Resilient Sector: The State of Nonprofit America. In L. Salamon, (Ed.), The State of Nonprofit America Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution Press. ________ (2012). The Resilient S ector: The Future of Nonprofit America. In L. Salamon, (Ed.), The State of Nonprofit America (2 nd ed). Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution Press. Schmid, H., Bar, M. & Nirel, R. (2008). Advocacy Activities in Nonprofit Human Service O rganizations : Implications for P olicy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 37 (4) 581 602. Schmid, H. & Almog Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 43 (1), 7 10. Selden, S., Sowa, J. & Sandfort, J. (2006). The Impact of Nonprofit Collaboration in Early C hildhood Education on Management and Program O utcomes. Public Administration Review 66 (3), 412 425. Selsky, J. (1991). Lessons in Community Developmen t: An Activist Approach to Stimulating Interorganizational Collaboration. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 27(1), 91 115. Sharfman M. Gray B & Yan A. ( 1991 ). The C ontext of Interorganizational C ollaboration in the Garment Industry: An Institutio nal P erspective. J ournal of Appl ied Behav ioral Science 27(1), 181 208 Shaw, M. (2003). Successful Collaboration Between the Nonprofit and Public Sectors. Nonprofit Management and L eadership, 14(1), 107 120. Smith, C. (2007). Institutional Determinants o f Collaboration: An Empirical Study of County Open Space Protection. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 19(1), 1 21. Smith, S. & Lipsky M ( 1993 ) Nonprofits for Hire: The Welfare State in the Age of Contracting. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Snavely, K. & Tra cy, M. (2000). Collaboration Among Rural Nonprofit O rganizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 11(2), 146 165.

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110 So wa, J. (2008). Implementing I nter age ncy Collaborations: Exploring Variation in Collaborative V entures in Human Service O rganizations. Administration & Society 40 (3), 298 323. _______ ( 2009 ). The Collaboration Decision in Nonprofit Organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 38(6), 1003 1025. Stone, M. & Ostrower, F. (2007). Acting in the Public Interest? Another Look at Research on Nonprofit Governance. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 36(2), 416 438 Thompson, A. & Perry, J. (2006). Collaboration Processes: Inside the Black Box. Public Administrati on Review 66(SI), 20 32. Thompson, A., Perry, J. & Miller, T. (2009). Conceptualizing and Measuring Collaboration. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 19(1), 23 56. Treasury Regulation Sections 56.4911 2(b)(1) Treasury Regulation Sec tions 56.4911 (b)(2) Trist, E. (1983). Referent Organizations and the Development of Interorganziatinal Domains. Human Relations 36(2), 246 268. Urban.org. (2016). Number of Registered Nonprofit Organizations by State, 2012 Retrieved August 1, 2016 f rom nccsweb.urban.org/PubApps/reports.php?rid=2. Urban.org. (2016). Number of Registered Public Charities Filing Forms 990 in the Past 2 Years by State, 2012 Retrieved August 1, 2016 from nccsweb.urban.org/PubApps/reports.php?rid=36. Weisbrod, B. (1978 ). The Voluntary Nonprofit Sector. Lexington Books. Willliams, A. (2015). The Development of Collaboration Theory: Typologies and Systems Approaches. In John Morris & Katrina Miller Stevens (Eds.) Advancing Collaboration Theory: Models, Typologies, and Evidence. New York: Routledge Wood, D. & Gray, B. (1991). Toward a Comprehensive Theory of C ollaboration. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 27 (1) 139 162. Yin, R. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.

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111 APPENDIX A SURVEY INVITATION EMAIL Nonprofit organizations are increasingly using collaboration to solve complex problems. I am a PhD Candidate at UC Denver and for my dissertation I am exploring how nonprofits use collaboration in their advocacy ef forts. As an Executive Director of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization your opinion on this subject is vital. I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider taking a few minutes to fill out a survey on how you are using collaboration in your organizati on. Please click on the link below to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/nonprofitcollaborativeadvocacy Thank you! If you have any questions about th is research project you can contact me at Jason.machado@ucdenver.edu or the University Human Subject Research Committee Administra tor at 303.315.2732. Jason Machado, MPA PhD Candidate Lecturer Graduate Research Fellow, The Buechner Institute for Governance School of Public Affairs University of Colorado Denver 303.775.9967 (mobile)

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112 APPENDIX B SURVEY COVER LETTER Dear Nonpro fit collaborative advocacy is an emerging focus of interest for nonprofit scholars. You, as an executive of a nonprofit organization, play an important role in the nonprofit sector. Enclosed herein is a survey on collaborative advocacy that is part of my dissertation research as a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado Denver. You are being asked to participate in this study because of your professional position and experience working in with nonprofit organizations. Your participation in this surve y will greatly inform my research of how nonprofit organizations are using collaboration to deliver advocacy programs. The enclosed survey should take no more than 10 15 minutes to complete. It includes participation in advocacy programs, and use of collaboration. If you would prefer to complete the surve y online, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/nonprof itcollaborativeadvocacy By completing either the enclosed survey or the survey online you are consenting to the terms of this research project. Participation is completely voluntary. Results of the survey will be summarized in my dissertation with th e potential for additional publication formats as released to the public. Any and all information provided will be kept in the strictest confidentiality of the r esearcher. This notice serves as your copy of the consent agreement. If you would like to receive a copy of the completed research please contact me. Thank you for your participation in this survey and your commitment to furthering the understanding o f how nonprofit organizations can continue to increase their effective delivery of programs in serving their clients. If you have any questions please contact me at 303.775.9967 or Jason.Machado@ucdenver.ed u If you have any questions about your rights as a research subject please contact the Human Subject Research Committee Administrator, 1380 Lawrence St., Suite 1425, or at 303.315.2732. Appreciatively, Jason Machado PhD Candidate University of Colorad o Denver

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113 APPENDIX C SURVEY INVITATION FOLLOW UP EMAIL (Please disregard this email if you have already submitted a survey response.) Nonprofits are increasingly using collaboration to address complex problems. I am a PhD Candidate at UC Denver and f or my dissertation research I am studying how 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in Colorado are using collaboration in their advocacy efforts. As an Executive Director of one of Colorado's leading nonprofit organizations, your opinion on this subject is v ital. I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider taking a few minutes to fill out a survey on how you are using collaboration in your organization. Please click on the link below to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/nonprofitcollaborativeadvocacy Thank you! If you have any questions about this research project you can contact me at Jason.machad o@ucdenver.edu or the University Human Subject Research Committee Administrator at 303.315.2732 Jason Machado, MPA PhD Candidate Lecturer Graduate Research Fellow, The Buechner Institute for Governance Schoo l of Public Affairs University of Colorado Denver 303.775.9967 (mobile)

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114 APPENDIX D INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPRO V AL CERTIFICATE University of Colorado Hospital Denver Health Medical Center Veteran's Administration Medical Center Chil dren's Hospital Colorado University of Colorado Denver Colorado Prevention Center Certificate of Approval Not Approved to Enroll Subjects! Recruiting of new subjects will require new COMIRB approval 25 Mar 2016 Investigator: Jason Machado Subject: COMIRB Protocol 12 1247 Continuing Review Review Date: 03/18/2016 Effective Date: 18 Mar 2016 Expiration Date: Sponsor(s): 17 Mar 2017 Title: Exploring the Use and Value of Collaboration in Nonprofit Advocacy Submission ID: CRV004 1 SUBMISSION DESCRIPTIO N: Status: data analysis. Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board, CB F490 University of Co lorado, Anschutz Medical Campus 3214 E. 17th Place, Building 500, Room N 13001 Aurora, Colorado 80045 303.724.1055 303.724.0990 e COMIRB Home Pag comirb@ucdenver.edu FWA00005070 [ Phone] ] Fax [ Web] [ [ E Mail ] [ FWA ]

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115 Your COMIRB Continuing Review submission CRV004 1 has been APPROVED until the expiration date listed above. The investigator will need to submit this research for Continuing Review at least 45 days prior to the expiration date. Study personnel are approved to conduct the research as described in the documents approved by COMIRB, which are listed below the REVIEW DETAILS section. Please carefully review the REVIEW DETAILS section because COMIRB may have made red line changes ( i.e. revisions) to the submitted documents prior to approving them. The investigator can submit an amendment to revise the documents if the investigator does not agree with the red line changes. The REVIEW DETAILS section may also include important informa tion from the reviewer(s) and COMIRB staff. COMIRB stamps the approved versions of documents in the top right hand corner. Stamped copies eRA(InfoEd). Click here for instructions on how to retrieve stamped documents. REVIEW DETAILS: APPROVED. The following documents have been sta mped APPROVED or NOTED as part of this determination: Continuing Review Form, no date Application Form with Attachments F, G, M, v. 10/02/12 Cover Letter, 03/08/16 Personnel Form, 03/09/16 Protocol, no date If this protocol requires full board review a nd includes attachment C and/or D, the PI will be required to complete GCP training. COMIRB will begin enforcing this new requirement on 9/1/15. It is highly recommended that you complete this training as soon as possible to prevent delays on approvals aft er the 9/1/15 deadline.

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116 For the duration of this research the investigator must: Submit any change in the research design, personnel, and any new or changed study documents (including new/changed consent forms, questionnaires, advertisements, ect.) to C OMIRB and receive approval before implementing the changes. Use only a copy of the COMIRB approved, stamped Consent and/or Assent Form. The investigator bears the responsibility for obtaining from all subjects "Informed Consent" as required by COMIRB. COM IRB REQUIRES that the subject be given a copy of the consent and/or assent form after it is signed. Provide non English speaking subjects with a certified translation of the approved Consent and/or Assent Form in the subject's first language or use a Cons ent Short Form, as approved for the study. Inform COMIRB immediately of any Unanticipated Problems that are unexpected and related to the study in accordance with COMIRB Policies and Procedures. Maintain approval for the research. COMIRB approval is genera lly given in one year increments, but the period may be shorter. Research is required to be submitted for continuing review and re approval at least 45 days prior to the expiration date. If a study's approval expires, investigators must stop all research a ctivities immediately (including data analysis) and contact the COMIRB office for guidance. Remain actively engaged in the conduct of the research. The investigator must ensure that all enrolled participants are appropriate for the study prior to study pr ocedures beginning. For FDA regulated research the investigator must sign the investigator line on the consent form prior to participants receiving study related interventions. Information on how to submit changes (amendments) to your study, requests for continuing review, and reports of unanticipated problems to COMIRB can be found on the COMIRB website http://www.ucdenver.edu/COMIRB Contact COMIRB with questions at 303 724 1055 or COMIRB@ucdenver.edu As part of this review it was determined that for this research: 1. Risks to subjects are minimized. 2. Risks to subjects are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits, if any, to subjects, and the impo rtance of the knowledge that may reasonably be expected to result. 3. Selection of subjects is equitable.

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117 4. Informed consent will be sought from each prospective subject or the subject's legally authorized representative in accordance with, and to the extent re quired by, §46.116. 5. Informed consent will be appropriately documented in accordance with, and to the extent required by, §46.117. 6. The research plan makes adequate provision for monitoring the data collected to ensure the safety of subjects. 7. There are adequ ate provisions to protect the privacy of subjects and to maintain the confidentiality of data. 8. Appropriate safeguards are in place to protect potentially vulnerable populations from coercion and undue influence. Sincerely, UCD Panel S

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118 APPENDIX E PHONE INTERVIEW SET UP EMAIL Dear In the summer of 2013 you completed a survey on collaborative advocacy to support my dissertation research. Thank you for doing so! On the survey you indicated that you would be willing to participate in a follow up interview to the survey. The follow up interview see if you would still like to participate. If so, I would like to call you to schedule a time that is convenient for you to conduct the phone interview. If you have any questions about this research study please contact me at Jason.machado@ucdenver.edu or the University Human Subject Research Committee Administrator at 303.315.2732. Best, Jason Machado PhD Candidate University of Colorado Denver

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119 APPENDIX F INTERVIEW PROTOCOL Good morning, _____________. Thanks again for volunteering to participate in this follow up interview. Before we continue, I have to read you the following script to ensure your informed consent: This interview should take no longer than 30 minutes. If at any time you would like me to ses on the survey you took on how nonprofits are using collaboration in advocacy programs. Nonprofits play an important role in delivering services to those in need. Today, researchers do not know a lot about how nonprofit organizations engage in advoca cy and how collaboration might be of value to those choosing to participate in advocacy programs. The purpose of the follow up interview is to gain more in depth knowledge of how your organization uses collaboration in your advocacy programs. Your part icipation is entirely voluntary. By agreeing to participate in this interview, you are consenting to the terms of this research study. You will suffer no penalty if you choose not to participate, and you can end the interview at any time. This interview is being recorded by a recording device. If you wish for me to turn the device off, let me know at any time. If you wish for me to destroy the recording at the end of the interview, or at any time in the future, please let me know. Results of the interv iew will be summarized in my dissertation and possibly in other by you during the interview will be afforded the professional standards for protection of confidenti ality. After hearing more about the study and the terms of the research, are you still willing to participate in the study? Great, thank you so much. I would like to reiterate that by agreeing to participate in the interview, you are consenting to t he terms of this research study. Q#1 To begin please tell me a little bit about yourself and how/why you got started w orking with your organization. Q#2 Please walk me through an example of how your organization has participated in collaborative advocacy. What did it look like? Why did you choose the organizations to collaborate with that you did?

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120 Why did you choose th e tactics you did? How did the type of organization you were collaborating with influence the tactics you chose? Q#3 Frequency and Resources Please tell me a little about how your organizational resources may have an impact on your use of collaborativ e advocacy: For example, how might your annual budget have an impact on how often you engage in collaborative advocacy? o Why might you be more likely to engage in CA with fewer financial resources? How many people do you have working on CA projects? o If yo u had additional staff to assign to such projects, do you think you would? How might the technical skills of your staff, in relation to advocacy and collaboration, have an impact on how often you engage in collaborative advocacy? Why might the connections and networks of your staff have an impact on how often you engage in collaborative advocacy? Why do you think that the age of your organization might have an impact on your use of collaborative advocacy? Why do you think the focus of the mission of your or ganization might influence your use of collaborative advocacy? Would you engage in collaborative advocacy less with fewer resources? What else hinders your use of collaborative advocacy? What helps you? Please share with me how other characteristics of you r organization might influence your choice to use collaboration in your advocacy efforts: That concludes this interview. Thank you again for volunteering to be interviewed and for taking the time to answer these questions. Would it be alright to contact you again by email in the future if anything comes up? Do you have any questions for me? Thanks again! Goodbye!

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121 APPENDIX G INTERVIEW CODING TEMPLATE Background Title Length of years with organization Motivation Collaborative Advocacy Exam ple Partners Tactics Resources Annual Budget Staff Technical skills Connections and networks Age M ission Other organizational characteristics Effectiveness Outputs Outcomes Perception