The 2014 midterm is over. Nonprofits are done until the next election, right? Not even close. While one of the main goals of nonprofit voter engagement is community empowerment and helping people vote, it’s not the only priority. Nonprofit voter engagement benefits both nonprofits and the people we serve. (For specifics, see our Benefits of Voting series.)
After an election, the focus should shift to your organization’s larger mission and advocacy goals. Now it’s time to engage with the elected officials who have not yet taken office. The post-election period is a critical time for your nonprofit as you transition from engaging candidates to engaging your elected officials (you no longer need to worry about the restrictions that come with engaging candidates during an election). The period immediately after an election is a great time to congratulate newly-elected officials and let them know about your nonprofit and the nonprofit sector. For example:
- Introduce your organization to the newly-elected (or re-elected) public officials serving your community–including Members of Congress, state legislators, and county commissioners. The post-election period can be an opportunity to share the story of your nonprofit’s important work with policymakers.
- Invite elected officials to visit your nonprofit to show them the work that your organization does.
Elected officials are supposed to represent your community and your interests, so let them know who you are and what you care about! As an expert in your field, you can offer valuable insights and data about public policy issues. Leverage the work you did registering and turning out voters to show that your nonprofit plays an important role in the community they represent. The 2014 election may be over, but your organization’s voter engagement is not.