It’s On Us: The Nonprofit Voter Empowerment Project

Nonprofits’ Case For Nonpartisan Voter Engagement

Because nonprofits are among the most trusted institutions in their communities, it’s no secret that the nonprofit sector is well-positioned to increase voter turnout as nonprofits’ natural engagement assets, coupled with our deep community roots, make our institutions the most effective in helping our constituents vote, particularly those with longstanding barriers to the ballot box. Encouraging voter participation not only empowers communities served by nonprofits, it increases our organizations’ impact and ensures elected officials are accountable to nonprofits and constituents both during and after an election year.  

Nonpartisan voter engagement yields a significant return on investment for individuals and nonprofit organizations alike.   

Benefits of voter engagement include:  

  • Strengthening trust between nonprofit organizations and the communities we serve  
  • Broadening nonprofits’ base of potential donors, funders, volunteers, and advocates  
  • Building political power within the communities we serve  
  • Increasing our public policy influence and impact  

Nonprofits aren’t the only critical players in this work. Over the past decade, philanthropy has demonstrated its role as a catalyst through increased investment in nonpartisan civic engagement. From Census engagement to voting, philanthropy provides critical resources that frontline nonprofits need to help their communities participate in civic and democratic activities. During the 2020 election, foundations engaged in responsive philanthropy by investing additional and flexible funding to address civic needs that were exacerbated during the global pandemic. Many of these needs not only remain but have since been combined with new challenges that may impede access to the ballot box in 2022 and beyondAs stewards of public trust and philanthropic resources, It’s On Us as nonprofits to ensure that the right to a safe and secure election is afforded to every eligible voter. 

Charitable Nonprofit Case Studies

Join a growing list of nonprofits across the nation who are committed to advancing their individual missions and the sector’s collective impact through Nonpartisan Voter Engagement.  

If Not Us, Who? And If Not Now, When?

The answer is simple: It’s On Us as nonprofits to use our voting power to fulfill our missions of promoting public good. The 2020 election yielded unprecedented levels of voter turnout that helped to reduce participation disparities nationwide. This historic victory was accomplished in the midst of significant uncertainty, including a global pandemic that prompted a series of changes to state and local election laws. Research indicates that voter engagement conducted by charitable nonprofits made it easier for new and existing voters to navigate a wide range of policy changes and pandemic concerns.  

Despite significant progress, nonprofits’ work is far from over as many prospective voters continue to struggle with navigating newly enacted policy changes and procedures. These challenges create downstream problems in terms of nonprofit and community voice as candidates and elected officials are more inclined to engage communities with high voter participation rates. Therefore, when the communities we serve are unable to vote, policymakers are less likely to prioritize the needs of nonprofit constituents nor the policy priorities of nonprofit organizations that serve them. Without a concerted effort to increase voter turnout, we face the grim prospect of people in our communities losing their voices, and nonprofits losing their policy influence, donors, and volunteers.   

Action is needed. While there are no perfect solutions or easy fixes to rectify systemic challenges, collective progress cannot be further delayed. If not the nonprofit sector, who will step in to help? If not now, when is a more appropriate time to protect our communities and missions? It’s On Us to protect our missions by ensuring that every eligible voter, regardless of political affiliation, can cast their ballot and by rising to the challenge again, nonprofits can protect the civic gains we worked tirelessly for years to achieve. 

Take The Pledge | The Nonprofit Voter Empowerment Project

Civic participation works best when all nonprofits, regardless of mission, make a concerted effort to develop a more representative electorate by expanding options for voting in the communities we serve. Nonprofits’ ability to advance our missions hinges upon our constituents’ ability to cast their ballot in every election.  

The Nonprofit Voter Empowerment Project is a nonpartisan pledge that was developed in partnership with Nonprofit VOTE to support nonprofits’ efforts to increase voter participation among their staff, grantees, volunteers, and constituents. There is strength in numbers! By working together to develop an informed electorate, the nonprofit sector can further our missions and create communities where all people thrive.  

Take The Pledge today to ramp up your organization’s nonpartisan voter engagement efforts to meet increasing needs in 2022. Looking to grow your network’s voter engagement efforts? Sign on as a Flagship Partner.  Partner initiatives can be viewed here. 

The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Playbook

The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Playbook is designed to support the development and implementation of voter engagement strategies that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of every nonprofit, regardless of experience, expertise, or organizational capacity. Use the enclosed recommendations and best practices to strengthen your nonprofit’s voter engagement efforts in 2022 and beyond. Share the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Playbook with other organizations in your network to inspire action.