2022 Advocacy Resources + Events
Cultural Association of Maine (CAM) Convening on Election Readiness (recorded September 9, 2022) hosted by CAM and featuring Portland Poet Laureate Maya Williams, who read “I am Living for This” from her upcoming book Judas & Suicide, available for preorder; Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum, who read his poem Kingdom of Beauty; Ekhlas Ahmed, Founder and Executive Creative Director of Chance to Advance; Evan Murray, Civic Engagement DIrector of the League of Women Voters of Maine; and Mary Alice Scott, Public Affairs Manager for the Maine Association of Nonprofits
September MANP Connects: The Role of Nonprofits + Funders in Civic Engagement (recorded September 16, 2022) co hosted with Maine Philanthropy Center, with Megan Shore, MPC + Elmina B. Sewall Foundation; Honorable Shenna Bellows, Maine Secretary of State; Terence Miller, Preble Street; and Allyson Gardner, Maine Students Vote.
Spring Advocacy Series
Advocacy 101: What is It and How Do We Start? (Recorded May 25, 2022)
Can nonprofits advocate? Yes! Can they lobby? Absolutely!
This virtual recording is for 501(c)(3) organizations that are new to advocacy and interested in exploring what it means for a nonprofit to advocate for their mission and strengthen the communities they serve through public policy. We also addressed common reasons nonprofits think they can’t or shouldn’t be advocates.
- Stand for Your Mission
- Bolder Advocacy
- Bolder Advocacy Vs. Lobbying Guide
- Insubstantial Part Test and 501(h) Election Guides
- National Council of Nonprofits Advocacy Resources
- MANPs Answer Center on Advocacy
2022 Elections: How Maine Nonprofits Can Take Action (Recorded June 1, 2022)
What does an election year mean for your nonprofit? How can your organization engage in the election while remaining nonpartisan? What broader issues are at stake?
The second session in our spring advocacy series, this hour-long webinar had a quick overview of what’s at stake in the 2022 election in Maine, and why it matters to nonprofits. We answered common questions about election-related activities that nonprofits (and their staff and volunteers) can and cannot do, and discussed allowable activities during GOTV (Get Out The Vote).
- The Secretary of State’s office is an excellent resource to share with your communities, including specific information on voting and registering to vote, Absentee voting FAQ, and absentee ballot request / tracking. The League of Women Voters of Maine also created this excellent ballot dropbox map – along with great basic information on voting in Maine.
- At MANP, we have a great list of general resources related to Public Policy, Social Media during Election Season, and our elections + voter / candidate engagement hub. For a free 30 min legal consultation, MANP members can check out our Pro Bono Legal Advice.
- Excellent national resources include Bolder Advocacy and Nonprofit Vote.
- Bolder Advocacy has 2-4 page info packets on pretty much any question related to nonprofit advocacy that you can think of, including: Keeping Nonpartisan During Election Season, How to Talk to Candidates during an Election Year, and several resources on 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) Election Activities + working with political organizations. They also have an upcoming webinar dedicated specifically to this topic ($45).
- One thing we didn’t get to discuss in detail (but is an FAQ) is about election activities of individuals associated with 501(c)(3) organizations – your staff, board, etc.
- Nonprofit Vote is specifically dedicated to voter engagement, and they have great resources around that. Their guide to Candidate Questionnaires and Voter Guides is also great.
Share Your Story: Advocacy Through Earned Media (Recorded June 8, 2022)
When advocating for your issues, connecting with the journalists and the media to share your organization’s story remains one of the best ways to spread your message and mission to a wide audience.
This session, we heard from local journalists who cover nonprofits, public policy, the State House, and other critical issues affecting Mainers. They shared what they find to be effective engagement approaches, tips on when to send (or not send) a press release, and compelling methods to make your organization the “go-to” source for your policy issues.
- Nonprofit Oregon: Speak Up! Effective Media Outreach
- MANP’s Answer Center contains a wealth of information within each topic, including Press Outreach, Ethical Storytelling, and Framing Public Issues
- La Piana Consulting: There is a Reporter on Line One
- Great dialogue toward the end of the discussion about inclusive language:
- MECASA shared an excellent example of resources for media specific to their work.
- The Conscious Style Guide can help you find resources related to your mission area.
- The Diversity Style Guide and Progressive Style Guide both contain a lot of information about why the language we use is so important, as well as guidance
Thank You to Our 2022 Advocacy Sponsor
Nonprofit STAFF Vote: Offer PAID TIME OFF!
Nonprofit Staff Vote is a joint campaign that aims to encourage nonprofit employers to offer employees paid time off to vote on or before Election Day. While most states require employers to offer some time off to vote, less than half required paid time off to vote; and a few do not require employers to give time off to vote at all.
- If your organization would like to implement paid time off for staff to vote (like MANP!), Nonprofit Vote has template policies for you to pull from. You can even give staff time off to become a poll worker!
MANP Connects is an ongoing series of hosted conversations with peers and partners at the forefront of the opportunities and challenges facing Maine nonprofits and communities. Our session on September 16 co-hosted with Maine Philanthropy Center will focus on local Get Out the Vote efforts! It is free to register and all are welcome!
More plans are in the works, and the following resources are available anytime!
- Reports and graphics on the economic impact of Maine’s nonprofit sector (new data available as of January 2021)!
- MANP’s free Frames That Work messaging toolkit, designed to help Maine nonprofits communicate effectively with the public and policymakers about the key role of nonprofits.
- MANP’s free searchable “Answer Center” resource library includes a wide range of advocacy guides, tips, and tools.
- MANP’s Voter and Candidate Engagement Resource Page
If you have any questions, please reach out to Mary Alice Scott, Public Affairs Manager, at email@example.com.