Embracing the Challenge of Nonprofit Civic Engagement

We asked. You answered. A few months ago, we requested submissions for the ARNOVA-Independent Sector 10th Annual Nonprofit Public Policy Symposium, Friday, September 17 at 2:00 pm ET, which will focus on shaping the sector’s impact on democracy going forward. We received proposals from leading researchers, as well as a record number of proposals from nonprofit practitioners, detailing innovative ways nonprofits engage in voting, equity, democratic participation, and election reform. Join us for this virtual symposium to engage in dynamic discussions on these issues and learn how nonprofits can keep the wheels of democracy turning.

The work continues. We saw record-breaking civic engagement during the 2020 election with voter turnout higher than it’s been in over a century. Nonprofits adapted their civic engagement efforts to the unique challenges of the pandemic and helped increase voter turnout among marginalized and under-represented communities. But the work of the nonprofit sector isn’t done.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, over 400 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year. On August 28, civil rights leaders will be holding voting rights marches in five cities to encourage Congress to act on voting rights legislation prior to the 2022 midterm elections. Nonprofits face the new challenge of replicating impactful civic engagement efforts for the 2022 midterm election cycle.

Embracing the challenge. The presentations and discussions at the ARNOVA-Independent Sector 10th Annual Nonprofit Public Policy Symposium will lead you and your organization toward actionable next steps for improving nonprofit civic engagement in elections. You’ll learn from leading academics about the sector’s role in promoting nonpartisan civic engagement. I’m most looking forward to a discussion with Cheon Lee on comparing how digital and face-to-face engagement with nonprofits can affect political participation of community members.

You’ll also get pragmatic ideas from nonprofits doing the work on the ground. Yordanos Eyoel will discuss a philanthropic approach to democracy reform by sharing insights from New Profit’s Civic Lab, a venture philanthropy fund investing in democracy entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to talk to Rebecca J. Gorrell and Alex McHenry on ways direct service organizations can expand their influence and engage in advocacy. There are lots of other critical ideas we’ll explore, click here for a full list.

I hope to see you on September 17 at 2:00 pm ET to engage in discussions with these experts and other attendees as we step into the next phase of nonprofit civic engagement. Register here.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Civil Society, Election, Voices for Good
Policy Issues: Civil Society Infrastructure