Lobbying for a Faithful

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Updated May 15, 2012
 

Preface

More than 20 years ago, University of Oklahoma domestic scholarship highbrow Allen D. Hertzke
published Representing God in Washington, a investigate of eremite lobbies handling in
the nation’s capital. “[N]early any complicated unfamiliarity of eremite faith or seductiveness is
represented,” Hertzke wrote in a 1988 book. Washington, he added, is “a common ground
where groups with opposite regional, ethnic, theological or ideological bases accommodate in close
proximity. It is here that leaders rise strategies, coalitions form, issues are framed,
bedfellows emerge, partisans jointly adjust and members are mobilized.”

In researching his book, Hertzke found that a series and ideological farrago of
Washington-based eremite advocacy groups had mushroomed given a 1950s and that the
groups’ agendas were distant broader than they had been even a decade earlier. “Religious groups,
of course, are deeply concerned (on all sides) in rarely charged amicable issues … and on churchstate
matters,” he wrote. “However, in any given congressional eventuality eremite leaders will
also be inextricable in battles over … unfamiliar aid, general trade, chief strategy, military
budgets, taxation reform, Social Security, day caring funding, environmental protection, labor
legislation, plantation bills – and a list goes on.”

As this news shows, a eremite advocacy village in Washington has continued to grow
and change in a past 20 years. And a augmenting farrago of a U.S. eremite landscape
has brought many new groups into a mix, from a International Quranic Center to The
Sikh Coalition and a Hindu American Foundation. To assistance quantify this expansion and change,
the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion Public Life worked with Professor Hertzke
to control a new investigate of organizations intent in eremite lobbying or religion-related
advocacy in Washington. The new investigate examines a sum of 216 groups, examining their faith
traditions, organizational structures, taxation status, annual expenditures, emanate agendas and
primary strategies. The investigate also includes a brief story of eremite advocacy in Washington.
An online directory, accessible during online directory, contains
profiles of a 216 groups, including excerpts from their goal statements.

Many sources were consulted in an bid to find all eremite advocacy organizations that
maintain a earthy bureau and during slightest one paid staff member in a Washington, D.C., area.
The sources enclosed a Washington Information Directory 2010-2011 (CQ Press) and other
guides to Washington-based organizations; online phone directories and websites; a Pew
Forum’s possess hit database; and books, news articles and educational studies concerning
religion in U.S. politics. As a investigate notes, however, new advocacy groups are constantly
forming, while some comparison ones turn dead or disintegrate any year, infrequently with no
public announcement. As a result, a investigate competence not enclose a finish list of religion-related
advocacy groups now active in a nation’s capital. Nor does it embody groups that competence be
involved in advocacy on a inhabitant turn yet do not have permanent offices and professional
staff in a Washington area.

One other reduction bears mentioning during a opening of this report. Although a investigate analyzes
the vital characteristics of organizations intent in religion-related advocacy, it does not
attempt to sign their grade of domestic influence. While there is an endless academic
literature on seductiveness groups in U.S. politics, measuring their change in an objective,
quantifiable approach has valid to be difficult, if not impossible, for generations of political
scientists.1 

We wish to appreciate Professor Hertzke, who was a visiting comparison investigate associate during a Pew
Forum in 2008-2009, for his care of this study. In serve to a stream staff listed
on a masthead of this report, a Pew Forum also would like to appreciate dual former research
assistants who worked extensively on this project, Michelle Ralston Morris and Amanda Nover.

Luis Lugo, Director
Alan Cooperman, Associate Director, Research

Note for Updated Edition

In Nov 2011, a Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion Public Life expelled a
study, for that we was a primary researcher, that attempted to yield a extensive demeanour during Washington-based eremite advocacy
groups. The formula were expelled during a well-attended
event in Washington where we discussed a categorical commentary with a renowned panel
featuring Maggie Gallagher of a National Organization for Marriage, Rabbi David Saperstein
of a Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Rajdeep Singh of The Sikh Coalition.

The recover of a news and a contention during a eventuality drew a lot of courtesy from a press
and a Washington advocacy and process communities. Following a release, we listened from
several groups that were unhappy to find that they had not been enclosed in a original
study. We also listened from a few groups that requested additional information on a information we
used to investigate their characteristics, including their advocacy expenditures.

In response to a feedback we received, we motionless to refurbish a news and a online
directory of eremite advocacy groups that was expelled with a study. First, we have added
five new groups: a American Civil Liberties Union’s Freedom of Religion and Belief Program,
the Center for American Progress’ Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, a Heritage
Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, a Institute for Social Policy and
Understanding, and a Unitarian Universalist Association’s Multicultural Growth Witness
program. We also private one group: a Washington Office on Latin America, that is no
longer essentially saved and upheld by eremite organizations. These changes brought the
total series of groups in a investigate from 212 to 216. Changing a sum series of groups in
the investigate meant that we had to recalculate many of a findings. In many cases, a sum and
percentages did not change by much, yet readers should be wakeful that some of a sum may
be somewhat opposite from those in a strange report.

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Second, as with all of a investigate reports, a Pew Forum was happy to scold factual
errors when groups brought them to a attention. For example, a Unitarian Universalist
Association of Congregations did not discharge a Washington Office for Advocacy in 2010,
as we creatively reported. The organisation instead joined that bureau with another department. We
apologize for this mistake and any other unconsidered errors that seemed in a strange report.
One of a many severe aspects of this multiyear investigate plan concerned a research of
the groups’ annual advocacy expenditures. As we note in a report, advocacy groups report
their spending in many opposite ways. While some mangle out their advocacy and lobbying
expenditures, many do not. While some yield minute annals of spending on a extended range
of advocacy and informational activities, some news losses usually for approach lobbying as
narrowly tangible by a Internal Revenue Service.

Because a accessibility and peculiarity of financial information for eremite advocacy
organizations varies so greatly, we done a preference to rest on publicly accessible financial
information from sovereign taxation filings (the Form 990 that many nonprofit groups contingency file
annually with a IRS), annual reports and audited financial statements. For a groups for
which we were means to obtain financial information, we afterwards had to confirm that of their
expenditures best reflected a extended clarification of advocacy used in a report, that goes well
beyond a slight clarification used by a IRS. As we acknowledge in a Executive Summary,
“judgment calls fundamentally had to be made, and other researchers competence have done different
decisions.” For this reason, a news tries to be as pure as possible. In serve to
fully explaining a preference manners in a Methodology, we also yield readers with a detailed
account of accurately where a Pew Forum performed annual spending sum for any group.
(See a “All Expenditures Data” list during http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/Government/all-expenditures.pdf.)

Let me quickly promulgate a preference rules. For groups whose principal goal is advocacy –
a difficulty that includes a infancy of a 129 groups that were enclosed in a expenditures
analysis – we used a group’s sum expenditures, even yet these sum include
administrative and fundraising expenses. As a methodology explains, “if a organization’s
principal goal is advocacy, a executive and fundraising costs are reasonably
considered to be in a use of advocacy.”

For groups whose missions go over advocacy – groups that also yield amicable services, for
example – we sought to brand a spending difficulty (or categories) in a organization’s
public financial statements that best conform with a extended clarification of advocacy. These
categories embody supervision relations, open policy, supervision and general affairs,
and assent and justice. As a news states, “identifying a advocacy budgets of vast relief
and growth organizations acted a sold challenge.” Among a bill categories
we used for these groups were open awareness, open recognition and education, and public
relations.

After a news was released, a few organizations questioned a annual advocacy expenditure
figures given for them. In any box when questions were raised, possibly publicly or in private
communications, we contacted a groups and speedy them to yield a some-more detailed
accounting of their advocacy expenditures.

After receiving and assessing additional information, we motionless to cgange a annual
advocacy output sum reported for Catholic Relief Services. (For details, see a “All
Expenditures Data” list during http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/
Government/all-expenditures.pdf.) In light of a concerns lifted by Catholic Relief Services,
we also motionless to revisit a expenditures of some other service and growth organizations
in a study, even yet they did not brawl a figures. After serve review and
correspondence with leaders of these groups, we also mutated a output sum for
Barnabas Aid, Church World Service and Lutheran World Relief.

Two groups whose missions go over advocacy — a National Association of Evangelicals
and a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — gave us estimates for their advocacy
expenditures, yet they did not yield a minute relapse or verifiable source for the
estimates. As a result, we did not embody these groups in a expenditures research in the
updated report. All these changes are remarkable in a “All Expenditures Data” list during http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Issues/Government/all-expenditures.pdf.

Finally, we would like to residence questions lifted about a extended clarification of religious
advocacy used in a report. Our clarification of eremite advocacy includes an array of programs
and activities by several organizations to surprise their constituencies and a open about
issues of regard and assistance figure open process on those issues. One reason for regulating this
broad clarification is that it accords not usually with common use yet also with a approach many
religious groups perspective themselves and their efforts in Washington. In my interviews for the
study, we found that many eremite leaders dislike a connotations of a tenure “lobbying” and
do not cruise themselves to be lobbyists. Instead they see themselves as advocates, not for
narrow self-interest, yet on interest of those who mostly do not have a voice in a corridors of
power. Their goals are to assistance a poor, a exposed and a persecuted, mostly by means that
include educating a open and lifting awareness. The groups enclosed in this investigate advocate
on a extended operation of issues that are partial of their core missions, that is because we embody the
groups’ goal statements in a online profiles of a groups and investigate their various
advocacy methods, that embody a good bargain some-more than lobbying members of Congress or
state legislatures.

Religious advocacy organizations play an critical purpose in open process deliberations in the
U.S., and we wish that readers of this news will benefit a larger bargain of their roles
and characteristics.

Allen D. Hertzke,
Presidential Professor of Political Science, University of Oklahoma


Footnotes: 

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