Advocacy for Nonprofits: Leveraging Laws to Increase Impact


Join us as we gather together experts from around Tennessee to understand the legislative changes to come out of the recent legislative session, and how to best advocate for our nonprofits. In this four (4) session gathering, participants will explore what significant bills passed in Tennessee related to nonprofits.  Participants will hear from two different panels of experts about the laws, how they will alter the nonprofit landscape, and what nonprofits can do to become strong advocates for their cause.  


Session 1: Legislative Overview- Expert Panel 

In this segment, expert Stewart Clifton, will provide a session overview of what happened in Tennessee related to nonprofits, how many bills were passed, and key items in the budget.

Then, a panel of experts will discuss the key bills that passed during the May legislative session (relating to education, immigration, healthcare, and more).  


Confirmed Panelists Include: 


  • Darren Jernigan, State Representative District 60
  • Jeff Yarbro, State Senator District 21
  • Kinika Young, Tennessee Justice Center
  • Stephanie Teatro, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition
  • Stewart Clifton, Clifton Government Relations
  • Moderated by Jim Schmidt, Schmidt Government Solutions


Session 2: What Happens Next- Executive Advocacy and Rule-Making

Join expert Meredith Sullivan Benton as she leads a session regarding the rule-making process and how to engage in executive branch advocacy as the laws that just passed get implemented.


Session 3: The Legality of Electoral Advocacy- What can nonprofits do?

Middle Tennessee has a lot at stake with competitive elections for Nashville Mayor, Governor and U.S. Senate, not to mention one of the most significant turnovers at the state Legislature. In this session, learn what roles nonprofits can play during the electoral process and stay legally compliant. In what ways can you advocate to candidates about the issues that are important to your organization and the clients you serve? When do you cross a legal line? Attorney and lobbyist Stewart Clifton will share what you can and cannot do during elections.


Session 4: Lessons from the Campaign Trail- Expert Panel 

In this panel discussion, former campaign staff and advocates will share what works and doesn't work in connecting with candidates running for office. 


Confirmed Panelists include: 

  • John Little, Principal at Strategy Redefined, LLC.
  • Brent Culberson, Director of neighborhood, community and government relations at Lipscomb University

  • Brenda Gadd, Partner at Hancock and Gadd Public Strategies

  • Moderated by Meredith Sullivan Benton, The Healing Trust

This Community Initiatives session is presented in partnership with The Healing Trust.


May 23, 2018; 8:30 AM to May 23, 2018; 3:30 PM

$50.00 for Members; $75.00 for nonmembers

Center for Nonprofit Management
Other Details
Lunch Included


This workshop has already started and registrations are no longer being accepted. If you are interested in taking this course, please refer to the list below to find another time with the course will be offered.

This workshop is not currently offered at any other times.