The Times Square Ball has dropped and most of us are back at work this week with a fresh list of resolutions. As your nonprofit puts together its 2011 work plan, don’t forget to include civic engagement!

Nonprofits are uniquely positioned within communities to advocate for the underrepresented and underserved—things you do everyday! By functioning in this capacity, nonprofits are poised to conduct voter engagement work as well.

If your nonprofit uses volunteers, then you are already connected with folks who care about the civic health of your community! Now take it a step further: Include a voter registration form with the paperwork every new volunteer must sign, and encourage them to fill it out. Your human resources department can do the same thing with new employees by including a voter registration form in their new hire packet. It’s an easy and effective way to increase the number of registered voters who care about the same issues as your organization.

If your organization already has a volunteer program in place, it is relatively simple to build a plan that utilizes volunteers to conduct voter registration, either year-round or seasonally. Volunteers can also help your organization with get-out-the-vote activities. Although most states don’t have a major race in 2011, many communities will still be electing local officials who have the final say in thing such as schools, local taxes, municipal services, and more.

Pledging to incorporate voter engagement into your nonprofit’s work is one New Year’s resolution that will be easy to keep. Small changes can go a long way, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Visit our website for more information and resources to voterize your nonprofit!

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