How to Activate Your Nonprofit for the Election… & Stay Out of Trouble
There is a lot of interest in the coming election (early voting in MN starts Sept. 18!). I want to make sure you know what you can do as a citizen, and what your nonprofit can and can’t do related to the election so you don’t get it in trouble. And also provide some great images and links!
Just because you work at a nonprofit doesn’t mean you’ve given up your rights as an American to participate in elections. If you are using your own personal email address and your own personal social media accounts, YOU CAN advocate and volunteer for the candidates of your choice. Just don’t use your work email or nonprofit resources.
YOU CAN register people to vote, teach people about voting methods and deadlines, and help get people to the polls. You can start doing this right now, just as long as you don’t use your nonprofit’s communications or resources to endorse a single political candidate or political party.
That’s simple! An easy and bright line to follow which will let you do lots of things to support democracy in America.
Here’s some great resources to help you get engaged at your nonprofit:
The best campaign comes from Americans for the Arts and is called ARTS VOTE (The banner for this Alert is from that campaign). They have beautiful Shepard Fairey designed social media images and banners, one-pagers on voting and lots of other great, free, nonpartisan and nonprofit-appropriate materials at https://www.artsactionfund.org/ArtsVote. For example, here’s a Zoom background:
PLAN YOUR VOTE.ORG
I love this artist-designed nonpartisan, nonprofit friendly site which shares images from Jenny Holzer, among other artists, encouraging people to make a plan to vote, and to vote. Lots of interesting and some weird images, and good voting info: https://www.planyourvote.org/artist-works. I especially love these, from artists Laurie Simmons and Paola Kudacki:
MINNESOTA’S SECRETARY OF STATE
Their website has lots of great voting information. The most helpful is a list of places you can VOTE EARLY and in person if you are worried about your mail-in ballot getting there in time.