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MANP’s Top Ten Things to Do Before Election Day - November 8th

by Mary Alice Scott

Election season is here, and it’s time to think about how your nonprofit will engage this year.

While 501(c)(3) charities are strictly prohibited from engaging in partisan politics, nonpartisan does not mean nonparticipation! Charitable nonprofits are excellent messengers for nonpartisan election activation and “Get Out the Vote” campaigns. In fact, according to an Independent Sector poll, 71% of voters “think it is a good idea for nonprofits to offer voter support services, like voter registration and election day transportation.”

Below are 10 ways your organization can get involved and get out the vote!

MANP’s Top Ten Things to Do to Get Out the Vote

  1. Talk to the people you work with about the importance of voting to your organization and the community you serve. (Nonprofit Vote has some resources to help with talking points.)
  2. Put an article in your agency newsletter or blog encouraging everyone to vote.
  3. Send emails to your staff, members, consumers/clients, board, and volunteers encouraging them to vote.
  4. Give your staff paid time off to vote! Utilize templates and resources from Nonprofit Staff Vote or from MANP’s new policy.
  5. Include a “NOVEMBER 8—VOTE” reminder in any group meetings, agendas, or programs that your agency holds in the month leading up to Election Day (including staff and board meetings!)
  6. Put a “NOVEMBER 8—VOTE” message in your email signature so that every email you send reminds people to vote.
  7. Organize an office carpool to the polls with co-workers, board members, volunteers, or clients who live in your precinct. Make it fun and social!
  8. Do an “office knock” on the day of and days leading up to Election Day—make the rounds in your agency offices and remind your colleagues to “VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8.”
  9. Make a “VOTE TODAY!” sign and place it in your main lobby and other common areas on Election Day with information about polling places and same-day registration.
  10. Send this top 10 list to everyone you know and get them to follow these steps as well!

MANP’s Top One Thing NOT to Do

  1. Tell people WHO to vote for. If you are a 501(c)(3), you may not endorse candidates. Your Get Out the Vote efforts must be limited to helping people understand and access the voting process.

Additional Resources

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