Blurb about why Forefront rocks, caption for photo

Forefront plays a very hands-on role with policy and advocacy at the state level, employing registered lobbyist(s), aiming to pass proactive legislation and defend the sector when needed. This is vital, because 1) foundations do not have other coordinated representation with state officials and 2) Forefront is uniquely positioned to convene all types of nonprofits on issues that affect everyone regardless of their service area. On specific policy proposals, Forefront may serve as a champion, supporter, or convener. Staff center racial equity and use the decision-making filter to determine our position and role. We employ multiple tactics, including direct lobbying, calls-to-action, leveraging partnerships with other statewide organizations, and elevating the expertise of others to help keep our sector informed. Forefront’s policy team works closely with our philanthropic and nonprofit members, our Policy Committee, and other key stakeholders around the state to develop and/or identify proposals moving through the General Assembly every spring that impact our sector. Policy Priorities listed below are ones for which Forefront is a champion. Items on the Watch List are those that are championed by other organizations that we actively support or oppose, depending on how they affect the sector.

For more information, contact our team at

Jump to: Policy PrioritiesWatchlistState Lobbying RulesRelated Resources

 Policy Priorities


Endow Illinois – HB 1241


Audit Threshold – HB 1197 / SB 72


State Budget


Lobbyist Registration Act and Rules


Forefront speaks regularly with State Officials and other advocates working on how lobbying rules affect the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. The sweeping changes made to lobbying rules as of 1/1/22 leave many questions unanswered for our sector, and follow-up rules and/or legislation may ensue. Of particular concern is the impact of the $300 per entity/per lobbyist fee that applies to statewide and local lobbying. While Chicago provides an exemption to their registration fee for 501c3s, the Secretary of State does not. Additionally, Forefront is concerned about the lack of clarity around the rules for local lobbying and how those apply to nonprofits that work closely with various local government entities on a regular basis. We will update this space when lobbying and ethics proposals are being considered by the state legislature.

 Watch List

Forefront works closely with other nonprofit and philanthropic sector stakeholders, and supports legislation that is championed by key partners when it aligns with Forefront’s policy platform, commitment to racial equity, and sector interests. Conversely, at times we monitor or oppose legislation that may negatively impact the social impact sector. Here are bills we are watching currently. 



Provide Flexible Funding for Employers and Improve Workforce Benefits – HB 1346


Improving the Illinois Not-For-Profit Security Grant Program – HB 1187



Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act – HB5029 (102nd General Assembly)


 State Lobbying Rules

The Secretary of State regulates state and local government lobbying (with the exception of Chicago). Please review our summary of Lobbying Rules for detailed information about maintaining compliance. 

 Policy Accomplishments



Charitable Trust Fund – HB4544 – Enacted (P.A. 102-699, effective 4/19/22)

Support Post-Graduation Scholarship Programs – HR26 – Adopted (4/23/21)

Illinois Nonprofit Security Grant Program – HB4438 / SB3740 – Included in FY 23 Budget

 Related Resources

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