Advocate for Literacy


Houston Center for Literacy advocates and raises awareness for public policies that strengthen the literacy landscape in our city, across Texas, and nationally. We work collaboratively with providers and coalitions in order to develop a system where state agencies, publicly funded programs, and community-based organizations create a network of literacy and adult basic education services.  Learn more about the issues we are tracking, and find out what is impacting adult literacy today. 

2014 Adult Education Community Forum Series 

In the wake of state policy changes during the 2013 Legislative Sesssion, Houston Center for Literacy undertook a statewide series of community forums. The forums brought together regional stakeholers in twelve cities across the state, to talk about their policy needs and priorities and to work toward building a common voice for adult education. To read more about the project and the full report of findings, visit the Community Forum page

About Nonprofit Advocacy

The goal of HCL's advocacy effort is to increase awareness of the need for literacy services in Houston. Advocacy is a broad term that can include activities designed to increase volunteer participation, funding, awareness, research, and policy. It is vital for literacy organizations to participate in shaping the conversation about how we can improve literacy rates in our state. Advocacy is often confused with lobbying.  

Lobbying is any activity designed to shape legislative outcomes. There are several different guides regarding lobbying activities that charitable organizations should be aware of before they embark on advocacy efforts. The links listed below should serve as a guide for organizations to learn how to advocate and which activities are allowed under the federal and Texas rules for lobbying.    

Briefing Paper: Nonprofit Advocacy (prepared by Learning to Give)

Texas Lobbying Guide (prepared by the Texas Ethics Commission)

Federal Lobbying Disclosure Guide (prepared by U.S. House of Representatives)  

IRS Rules for Political and Lobbying Activities (prepared by the IRS)

Nonprofits and Lobbying: Yes, They can! (prepared by the American Bar Association) 

Determining the Need for the 501(h) election (prepared by the National Council of Nonprofits)

IRS 501(h) Election Form (prepared by the IRS)