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Advocacy Requirement

This section provides more detail and instructions on the Advocacy Report, which is a final reporting requirement for current FY17 CIP grants, and a component of the application for continued CIP funding in FY18.

Current FY17 Grantees:  Refer to the Contracts Forms page for specific requirements, deadlines, and consequences.

FY18 Application:  Current Portfolio and Gateway grantees must submit the FY17 Advocacy Report as part of the application for continued funding in FY18.  Refer to FY18 CIP Guidelines (PDF) for specific information on application requirements and deadlines.

About Advocacy
The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

To encourage the state’s continued support, we ask that grantees advocate on behalf of the cultural sector by explaining to legislators, in concrete and personal terms, the social and economic benefit of supporting a vibrant cultural community.

Instructions

  • Advocacy must take place between July 1 and June 1 in the grant year when the report is due.

  • Advocacy must involve direct interaction between a member of the grantee's staff or board, and the Governor of the Commonwealth or a current member of the Massachusetts Legislature.
    • Note: Advocacy with city, local or national level officials, while helpful to build relationships, does not fulfill this requirement.

  • Grantees must advocate for the sector as a whole, talking about the value and impact of public support for all cultural organizations, rather than advocating for the grantee’s activities alone.

  • All grantees should submit their advocacy activities to the MCC using the Online Reporting Tool , new in FY17. The report will ask you to provide basic information about who at your organization contacted whom, and should reflect activities that took place between July 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017.  CIP program staff will contact grantees when the report becomes available.

Examples

  • Mail legislators your annual report, along with a note thanking them for funding via the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

  • Invite legislators to speak at one of your public events or gala, about the value of public funding for cultural organizations in the state and in their own lives.

  • Meet in-person with your legislator, to talk about your organization’s priorities, and cultural economic development in Massachusetts.

  • Coordinate a message campaign (calls, e-mail, mail) to Governor Baker, encouraging him to continue supporting the sciences, humanities, and arts in Massachusetts.

Support and Resources

  • MCC Staff – Any MCC Cultural Investment Portfolio or Communications staff will be happy to brainstorm with you about ways to meet your advocacy requirement.

  • MCC's Advocacy Action Center – Press releases and tips from the Mass Cultural Council.

  • MASSCreative, an organization committed to lobbying the state on behalf of culture in Massachusetts.

Before engaging in advocacy or lobbying activities, nonprofit organizations should familiarize themselves with the Commonwealth's rules regarding ethics and lobbying. Common Cause Massachusetts and the Office of Secretary of State William Galvin have further information about the relevant laws and how they apply.

 
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