FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…
“Engaging New Voters” Report Shows Positive Impact of Nonprofits that Promote Voting and Nonpartisan Engagement
WASHINGTON, DC – Nonprofit leaders gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on May 30 for the release of the “Engaging New Voters” report by Nonprofit VOTE. The new report shows that nonprofits who encourage the communities they serve to get registered and vote, through nonpartisan voter engagement efforts, play a critical role in narrowing voter turnout gaps and fostering a more representative electorate.
The communities typically served by nonprofits – young, low-income, those without college degrees – have historically voted at lower rates than their wealthier, whiter counterparts. These gaps in turnout distort the electorate, and by extension, the public policy debates that take place at the city, state, and national level. The nonprofit sector’s role in addressing those gaps is a central focus of the “Engaging New Voters” report.
“When it comes to voter turnout, too many Americans assume it’s the job of political parties and candidates to get people to the polls,” says Brian Miller, executive director at Nonprofit VOTE. “But the job of parties and candidates is to win elections, not to promote equity in voting. Because of that, they focus their limited resources on voters with a history of turning out on Election Day, not on marginalized voters left out of the process.”
“It’s up to nonprofits to promote equity in our democratic institutions by ensuring the communities we serve are participating,” adds Miller. “The crucial work of breaking these historic patterns and narrowing voter turnout gaps must be taken on by the nation’s myriad nonprofits who work, live, and breathe in the communities most often ignored.”
In the “Engaging New Voters” report, Nonprofit VOTE surveyed over 60 nonprofits doing nonpartisan voter engagement across six states as they interacted with 22,500+ voters. The report documents that voters contacted by nonprofits were TWICE as likely to be non-white, TWICE as likely to be under 25 years old and TWICE as likely to have less than $30,000 in household income – all populations routinely left out of our country’s political process.
These voters, once connected to the process via nonprofit contact, showed up to the polls at rates 11 percentage points higher than those who were NOT contacted. Those that have historically voted at lower rates showed the greatest turnout advantage from nonprofit contact. Asian, Latino and Black voters contacted by nonprofits turned out at rates 13-16 percentage points higher than those who weren’t, while those under 25 turned out at rates 20 percentage points higher than comparable voters.
“The report is a valuable resource for nonprofits looking to increase the civic participation of the communities they serve” says Laura Walling of Goodwill Industries International, Inc. “It’s inspirational for Goodwill and several leading nonprofits representing underserved communities to be featured in this report.”
The full report, which also documents best practices for running an effective program, is available at nonprofitvote.org/engaging-new-voters
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Nonprofit VOTE partners with America’s 501(c)(3) nonprofits to help the people they serve participate and vote. It’s the leading provider of nonpartisan voter engagement resources to help nonprofits integrate voter outreach into their activities and services. Online at nonprofitvote.org