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Book Review: The Legislative Labyrinth: A Map for Not-for-Profits

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The Legislative Labyrinth: A Map for Not-for-Profits Ed. Walter P. Pidgeon, Jr., Ph.D., CAE, CFRE. John Wiley & Sons, 2001

The Legislative Labyrinth is a complete, up-to-date guide to utilizing the United States legislative system, for not-for-profit organizations and their leaders.

It is important for successful not-for-profit organizations to take advantage of the legislative process. But when we think of the act of lobbying, what comes to mind is often the image of special interests using their power to influence the legislative process for their own financial benefit. Despite this image, lobbying is often the key way a not-for-profit can make its concerns heard by local, state, and federal government. In fact, most not-for-profits are simply not aware of the extent to which the legislative process can be used to further the organization's mission while staying within the boundaries of murky IRS regulations.

This book not only highlights the importance of lobbying, but also serves as a comprehensive guide to the best ways to successfully lobby legislative bodies. Editor Walter P. Pidgeon, Jr. and his fellow contributors first provide a detailed overview of the government affairs process and the structure of local, state and federal government. Then, they map out in-depth advice on using the mass media to spread your message, forming political action committees (PACs), developing marketing and communications strategies, forming strategic partnerships, using outside consultants, and much more.

The book includes a CD-ROM with a array of tables, forms, and checklists as well as a complete model strategic plan to use in conjunction with the guidelines offered in the book.

Editor biography: Walter P. Pidgeon, Ph.D., CAE, CFRE is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America. A recognized authority on how not-for-profits organizations function, Dr. Pidgeon conducts research on the subject and is credited with the first empirical study published on the benefits that volunteering provides the volunteer (The Universal Benefits of Volunteering, Wiley & Sons, 1998). He has served as CEO of five not-for-profit organizations, and has wide experience in many aspects of government affairs and finance.

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