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This paper examines the effect of funding contracts on the capacity of third-sector organizations to effectively advocate. The relationship is not simple or obvious, with some organizations reporting ‘mature relationships’ with particular (state) departments, and others reporting difficulty with state or federal government jurisdictions. The paper spells out the negative effects of conflating service funding and advocacy. The paper concludes by exploring alternative institutional arrangements for the resourcing of advocacy including the establishment of a Public Interest Fund administered independently of any government department, one not requiring specific service contracts but rather evidence that it is advocating for the broader public good.