Advocacy vs. Activist Roles:
Non-profits all over the world are typically divided into those that engage in grassroots activism, those that advocate ideological positions, and those that combine the two to work for the betterment of society. This means that many non-profits, such as the Red Cross and Oxfam, are both activist and advocacy organizations, whereas others, such as the World Watch Institute and the Club of Rome, are primarily advocacy organizations.
Furthermore, many non-profit organizations
, such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, are primarily activist in nature. The key point to remember here is that no non-profit can exist solely through activism or advocacy and thus must combine both functions to gain legitimacy and credibility.
In other words, non-profits must strike a balance between activism and advocacy
in order to achieve their social welfare and public good objectives. Of course, there are many non-profits in the United States that primarily function as advocacy groups with a presence only in the country because politics in the United States is driven by lobbying and special interest advocacy, which means that liberals must fund non-profits that advocate for their ideologies.
Grassroots Activism, Interventions, and Crisis Management:
When it comes to grassroots activism, non-profits must not only have the necessary ideology but also a deep commitment as well as the willingness to endure odds and overcome obstacles. This is because grassroots activism usually entails non-profits confronting the might of the state in areas where they must question the state's practices and point out gaps and anomalies in the implementation of the government's social schemes and welfare policies.
Furthermore, grassroots activism necessitates intervention and crisis management by non-profits, which frequently puts them in conflict with vested interests who do not want interference from those they perceive to be unwanted attention and spotlight focusers on their nefarious activities. This is why many non-profits stop at the beginning of their activism and do not move on to interventions and crisis management. This is also why many non-profits collaborate with law enforcement and government agencies so that any interventions and crisis management can be carried out in tandem with the government rather than the non-profits taking on the role that the government must. Of course, this is easier said than done because, in many cases, non-profits discover that governmental agencies have abdicated their responsibilities, forcing them to intervene and correct the problems on the ground.