When Nonprofits Promote Voting and Democracy

Join the Nonprofit Votes Count Week of Action so we all can thrive

The Nonprofit Votes Count Week of Action – October 26 – 30 – highlights easy, nonpartisan actions nonprofits can take in the days leading up to Election Day to help ensure that staff, volunteers, donors, and constituents can have their voices heard through safe and secure voting.

Millions of Americans are still figuring out how to vote, especially those bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. We can’t let members of our communities be silenced at the ballot box. When large portions of our communities are not able to vote, elected officials are less likely to meet their needs or prioritize the nonprofit work that serves communities. We can change that.

One last push by nonprofits to get out the vote next week can make all the difference in helping ensure our communities’ needs are heard and met through the 2020 election. Over 1.5 million nonprofits and 11 million employees can use their trusted role as community leaders to increase voter participation, especially among groups that continue to be overlooked. Nonprofits are successful in mobilizing and engaging voter groups that are younger, lower-income, and more diverse than the general public.

Together, the nonprofit sector can make a difference in guaranteeing access to the voting booth, which is critical to a healthy, safe, and empowered future for everyone in our communities. Please take two minutes to encourage your peers to join nonprofits across the country in a final effort to help all citizens in our communities vote.

Strengthen your mission, serve people in your communities, and protect democracy by participating in the Nonprofit Votes Count Week of Action, October 26 – 30.


Monday, October 26

Implement Voter-Friendly Workplace Policies:

Nonprofits can make a difference by leading with policies that address barriers to fair and equal voter participation. Many employees are forced to choose between exercising their right to vote and losing wages as fewer than half of states mandate paid time off to cast a ballot.  Due to COVID-19 this year, employees will face limited in-person voting capacity, national poll worker shortages, and unprecedented levels in early voting that may create long lines at the polls.  Nonprofits can lead by example in three ways: 1) offering their employees flexible, paid time off to vote early, 2) providing additional hours to vote, or 3) closing their offices on Election Day to enable staff to vote and volunteer. Join the Nonprofit Staff Vote movement, and let’s set an example for employers across the country on how to ensure our employees’ votes are counted.

Tuesday, October 27

Get Out the Vote: 

Although a large portion of the electorate may have already voted by this point, we have to make sure we try to reach everyone to let them know their vote counts. Take five minutes to send at least one communication from your organization’s or personal communications account to encourage everyone in your community to get out and vote.

Wednesday, October 28

Provide Reliable Election Information:

A trusted and reliable source of information, nonprofits are uniquely equipped to help provide clarity for the communities they serve. Due to new and changing voting procedures in 2020, many community members still may be uncertain about exactly how to vote safely. Nonprofits are the ideal partner for local and state elections officials to address this information gap. Engage election officials and stay up to date on last minute developments, so you can provide your networks with reliable, trusted information about how to vote. This partnership also may allow you to report challenges you are seeing to officials, so they may be able to address them prior to Election Day.

Thursday, October 29

Serve our Democracy as a Volunteer:

With each election, millions of volunteers dedicate themselves to supporting the backbone of democracy and elections. Encourage your nonprofit network to engage in social responsibility by participating in various volunteer opportunities. The sector’s shared commitment to servant leadership expands nonprofit capacity to address the needs of people and communities. Review the Independent Sector voter engagement resource guide to learn more about service opportunities.

Friday, October 30

Give A Reason to Vote:

As the nation’s third-largest employer, nonprofits are able to organize more than 11 million employees and mobilize networks of donors, volunteers, and constituents across 1.5 million organizations to help members, affiliates, and partners understand why voting is important and how the election is tied to your nonprofit’s mission and the issues you care about. Send a message through email or social media to your network about what is at stake this election and why their voices need to be heard. There’s still time to motivate one more person to go to the polls!

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Civil Rights, Civil Society, COVID-19 Public Policy, Election, Infrastructure, IS Member, IS Staff