April Institute Teaches Public Policy and Advocacy for Nonprofits

The Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO) will host a two-day institute in Baton Rouge, April 6-7, featuring local and national experts in public policy, advocacy and coalition building for nonprofit groups.

The event will take place at the Louisiana State Museum, 660 North 4th Street, starting at 9 AM on Wednesday, April 6 and concluding Thursday at noon with a tour of the State Capital. Cost for the institute, including break refreshments, is $25 for LANO members and $75 for the general public. Online registration and a full schedule are available at http://www.lano.org/.

“A nonprofit’s mission can absolutely depend on its ability to form effective coalitions, communicate with policy makers and navigate our political process,” said LANO President and CEO, Ann S. Williamson.

According to LANO, nonprofits are vital players in Louisiana’s public policy arena.Nonprofits provide expertise and direct service to citizens on issues including poverty, education, healthcare, public safety and environmental protection.

The institute will open with keynote speaker Robert Mann, noted political journalist and Manship Chair in Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. Mann will speak on the state’s current political landscape and its effects on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

Edward Ashworth, Director of the Louisiana Budget Project, will close Wednesday’s program with a session on how Louisiana’s current fiscal crisis threatens nonprofit and public services. “This story begins and ends with public policy,” said Ashworth.“Decisions made in the Capital City literally determine the fate of nonprofits and those they serve. You’ve got to be here—and be heard—to make a difference.”

Dr. Alison Neustrom, Director of Research at the Baton Rouge-based Public Affairs Research Council will provide nonprofit context to current political redistricting. Panel discussions on funding public policy, neighborhood advancement and strategic communications will offer a unique forum for nonprofit professionals to interact with key funders, communicators and policy makers.

The 2011 Public Policy Institute is presented by LANO and the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, with additional support from Coventry HealthCare of Louisiana and the Louisiana State Museum. For more information, contact Ashley Herad at ashley@lano.org or 225.929.5266 ext. 222.

They include details about safety-net programs like Medicaid, tax credits for low-income workers and educational scholarships and help promote a better understanding of how safety-net programs affect different communities across our state.
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