Nonprofits, Politics and Elections

We all imagine that 2020 will go down in history as a difficult year.  And now here we are waiting for election results in the U.S.

Politics and elections can certainly be exhausting for everyone.

But being involved in civic life (politics) also offers important opportunities to nonprofits. And today I want to talk about the appropriate role of nonprofits in civil society.

I’ve been an active political volunteer for decades, and the relationships I’ve developed in this arena have benefited me – and my clients – in many ways.

Take a listen to the video below and think about putting these ideas to work for your nonprofit!

Bottom Line: do’s and don’ts for nonprofits, politics and elections:

1. As appropriate, do speak out publicly about your cause and your stakeholders.

Do stick to topics that are relevant to your mission and that represent your stakeholders needs.

2. Be seen as a force for the good who brings people together.

Don’t be seen as divisive. If you can, develop a reputation as a community leader who has good ideas to make your community stronger.

3. Develop friendly relationships with your local elected officials.

Do communicate with them to educate them about your cause.

For example, most elected officials want to know more about the community, its needs and issues.

In many cases, they welcome this sort of contact. If at all possible, take on a partisan label – unless it is appropriate to your stakeholders and mission.

4. When you are known (and liked) by public officials, then you can have a voice in public policy.

You will then be able to represent your organization when community resources are allocated to local nonprofits.

There’s an old saying that “if you are not at the table when community resources are allocated, then you might be on the menu.”

 

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Hope you have a wonderful weekend.