Nonprofit organizations have played an increasingly important role in organizing supporters for and against ballot measures. In the most recent election, Southwest Human Development–Arizona’s largest nonprofit child development agency, serving children ages 0-5 and their families–turned their attention to Proposition 302, which aimed to repeal the First Things First Program, an early childhood services program.

A member of Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition and the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Southwest Human Development set the tone for issue-based work. After staff sat down to learn more about voter engagement, they carried the work forward with enthusiasm. Those responsible for home visits were trained to conduct outreach with clients as well as their family members. Southwest Human Development organized numerous phone banks and sent out election reminders through their many networks. They also spread the word about voting by mail, a necessity for many of their clients who lack ready access to transportation.

Southwest Human Development used their get-out-the-vote and registration efforts to talk to the community about Proposition 302 and encourage a “No” vote. Their advocacy and extensive engagement work–not to mention the support of other nonprofits and community members–paid off with the proposition’s defeat.

Southwest Human Development was not alone in taking action this year. What issue(s) inspired your nonprofit to act?

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