How do nonprofit organizations (NPOs) engage in advocacy in closed political regimes? This article studies nonprofit advocacy in Russia by focusing on strategies and explanatory factors. We argue that Russian NPOs rely on collaborative rather than confrontational strategies. They use official channels, personal contact with state officials, strategies for resource exchange and evidence-based advocacy. Based on empirical research in eight regions, we show that nonprofit advocacy depends on both external (contextual) and internal (organizational) factors. NPOs have greater opportunity to engage in advocacy when the subnational institutional context and the policy field allow for their active participation in policy formation and implementation. Moreover, NPOs are more successful in their advocacy when they strategically use their capabilities (e.g., knowledge, expertise and skills) and emphasize mutual trust, loyalty and readiness to compromise. Our findings point to the relevance of collaborative forms of advocacy, particularly in constrained political environments such as Russia.