Nonprofit organizations are nongovernmental groups that specialize in the problems of particular populations or specific sets of issues. Types of advocacy vary dramatically, depending on each organization’s substantive focus, whether it emphasizes advocacy for individual clients or for a group of clients, and whether it advocates for or against changes in the law.
Client-oriented organizations concentrate primarily on representing individual clients within the office’s area of specialization, regardless of whether the individual client’s case affects others, while law reform organizations use broader strategies to protect legal rights that that affect a group of people or to bring about social change (or to prevent law changes).
Client and law reform work often overlap. Keep in mind that each nonprofit organization is unique, with its own advocacy agenda and practice style. Nonprofits use a wide array of strategies, such as traditional litigation and policy advocacy, and are branching out to include media advocacy and community organizing, among others. Nonprofits, even those focused on law reform activities, are increasingly working with community groups and community-based organizations.