Advocacy vs Lobbying


Advocacy is a broad term covering a range of activities that seek to bring about systemic social change. One form of advocacy is lobbying – attempts to influence specific legislation through direct or grassroots communications with legislators or their staff – but advocacy also includes executive branch activities, issue organizing, and nonpartisan voter engagement. Another form of advocacy is policy education (CDC, 2012; Independent Sector, 2016). For more information…


Lobbying is any attempt to influence legislation by:

Direct Lobbying: stating a position on specific legislation to legislators or other government employees who participate in the formulation of legislation (Independent Sector, 2016)

Grassroots Lobbying: urging your members or the general public to contact their legislators with a position on specific legislation (a “call to action”) (Independent Sector, 2016)

What Voices for Prevention members cannot do:

  • Lobby

What all Voices for Prevention members can do:

  • Education and Research
  • Educate the public on personal health behaviors and choices
  • Research on policy alternatives and their impact
  • Work with other agencies with the executive branch of their state or local governments on policy approaches, and on implementation of policies
  • Educate the public on health issues and their public health consequences
  • Educate the public on the evidence associated with potential policy solutions to health issues
  • Work with their own state or local government’s legislative body on policy approaches to health issues, as part of normal executive-legislative relationships


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, July). Anti-Lobbying Restrictions for CDC Grantees. Retrieved from

Independent Sector. (2016, October 6). Lobbying Guidelines for Public Charities. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from Independent Sector website: