Last week, Nonprofit VOTE, Independent Sector, National Council of Nonprofits, and United Way Worldwide launched a campaign to encourage nonprofit staff, board members and other volunteers to get registered and to vote. “Voter registration is the first step in making our voices heard as citizens,” said Geoff Plague, Vice President of Public Policy for Independent Sector. “And when it comes to civic engagement, it is critical that, as nonprofits, we practice what we preach. This campaign will help grow our collective impact and bring new voices into the conversation.”
“This campaign is making it easy for busy nonprofit leaders to make sure all staff, board members and volunteers are registered and that their registration is up to date,” states Brian Miller, Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE. “We have a host of campaign tools at NonprofitVotesCount.org for nonprofits wanting to join the campaign, including answers to frequently asked questions about voting and staying nonpartisan, sample engagement dialogue, posters and stickers and more.”
The campaign calls on nonprofits to use the week of National Voter Registration Day, September 22, to check if all eligible staff, board members and other volunteers are registered to vote and help them do so if they’re not. Nonprofit networks are encouraged to get their partners, affiliates and other nonprofits to be part of the Nonprofit Votes Count initiative.
“Nonprofits operate in every community in America, solving problems and serving local needs – every year, every month, every week, and every day … not just every four years when there is a presidential election,” said Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. “State and local elections matter, too, so this campaign makes it easy for all nonprofits to promote the most fundamental element of civic engagement: Voting.”
“Voting and active citizenship is fundamental to our mission, programs and impact on public policy as nonprofits,” states Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President of United Way Worldwide. “Having our staff, board members and other volunteers registered to vote makes us stronger and more effective nonprofits, better positioned to encourage our communities to engage for positive change.”
“When nonprofits use our voting power, we advance our causes, make our voices heard and change the world for the better,” adds Miller of Nonprofit VOTE. “The nation’s 1.4 million nonprofits employ 13.7 million workers and 62.6 million volunteers – and all of them should be active voters. Let’s stand up and be counted as individual civic leaders and collectively as a powerful force in public affairs.”
While many communities and states have elections this year, the nonpartisan campaign also serves as a warm-up for 2016. At NonprofitVotesCount.org, nonprofits and nonprofit networks can sign up and access tools and resources to engage their own staff and volunteers.