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Getting Started: Nonpartisan Voter Engagement for Nonprofits Presented by.

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1 Getting Started: Nonpartisan Voter Engagement for Nonprofits Presented by

2 ABOUT US About Us Founded in 2005, Nonprofit VOTE partners with America's nonprofits to help the people they serve participate and vote. We are a leading source of nonpartisan training, materials and other resources for nonprofits doing voter engagement work. Find out more about our mission and partners on our site

3 TODAY’S PRESENTERS Who Lindsey Hodel National Field Director Nonprofit VOTE Erika Anthony Senior Director of Advocacy, Policy & Research Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

4 Our voices are not being heard Voter engagement and advocacy work go together Nonprofits have unique access and assets When we do this work, we are extremely effective! WHY VOTING MATTERS Why This Matters

5 Mayoral elections: More than 600 cities and towns across the nation will hold mayoral elections Ballot questions: Hundreds of measures will appear on the ballot this year Increased impact in off year elections The importance of local elections to nonprofits OPPORTUNITY 2015 Opportunity

6 Who has local elections this year? POLL QUESTION LOCAL ELECTIONS

7 AGENDA Agenda Being Nonpartisan Getting Started with…  Planning  Voter Registration  Voter Mobilization Resources


9 THE ONE RULE A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization may NOT support or oppose a candidate for public office or a political party. A 501(c)(3) may not: Make an endorsement Donate money or resources elections-online/ Nonpartisan

10 WHAT NONPROFITS CAN DO Nonprofits may conduct nonpartisan voter engagement activities designed to educate the public and help them participate in elections Voter Registration Voter Education Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Candidate Engagement Nonpartisan



13 Designate a Staff Lead: Choose a staff lead, someone who will be the point person for your voter engagement work. Establish Buy-In: Get buy-in from your Executive Director, senior staff and front line staff. STEP ONE: ESTABLISH BUY IN Step 1

14 Face to face and one on one interactions are proven to be the most effective ways to influence people Engaging your staff Programs and Points of Contact: At your agency, at events, or in your neighborhood Services or classes to target Special programs or events: A graduation, a community festival, a citizenship ceremony, etc. STEP TWO: TARGET ACTIVITIES Step 2

15 Identify staff and volunteers who will be involved Get riled up! Provide a rationale for the work Initial training: Make sure they have the skills they need. Ongoing training and support: Periodically review with staff what they need to know, provide materials and resources STEP THREE: STAFF UP AND TRAIN Step 3

16 voter-engagement-timeline.pdf 2015 CHECKLIST!


18 When: Ramp up your activities as you near the registration deadline. Conduct a pilot of your registration efforts Keep in mind: –Some are already registered –Updating an address or name is just as important as registering for the first time PLANNING A REGISTRATION DRIVE Voter Reg

19 Tablers should engage clients and encourage them to approach the table. Stand up and greet people! Use decorations, candy, or other freebies TIPS FOR ACTIVE TABLING Voter Reg Table during the weeks leading up to registration or other deadlines Table during peak traffic hours for your org Other staff need to get involved, encourage patients to vote and refer them to the table

20 Combine voter registration with another activity Updating an address is just as important. Always ask ”Have you moved recently?” KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL REGISTRATION Voter Registration

21 Learn about registration in your state –Registration deadline –Online option? –Special requirements? –Eligibility for ex-offenders –Registering homeless voters –Address confidentiality Contact your local election officials REGISTRATION IN YOUR STATE Voter Registratio n Nonprofit VOTE’s Voting in Your State Tool: www.nonprofitvote.or g/voting-in-your-state/ Fair Elections Legal Network’s Voter Registration Guides: www.fairelectionsnetw

22 Nonprofit Votes Count is a nonpartisan, national campaign to ensure the staff and volunteers of America’s nonprofits are registered to vote – because democracy depends on the participation of all, including the nonprofit sector. Stay tuned for more: –Website will launch in mid June –Introductory webinar on June 18th NONPROFIT VOTES COUNT Get Started

23 September 22 nd is National Voter Registration Day! –www.nationalvoterregis – NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY Voter Reg NVRD!


25 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND Make it personal: Personal contact works best Create urgency around your issue or the impact of the election Raise the volume as Election Day approaches. That’s when people are most tuned in GOTV

26 TWO KINDS OF VOTER EDUCATION Education on the process of voting –Inform clients and constituents of the date of the election, polling place hours, where to get help voting, early voting opportunities, etc. Education on candidates/offices and issues –Pass out nonpartisan voter guides or a sample ballot Voter Education

27 Create visibility: Make the election visible at your agency Promote Early Voting –When and how to vote early in person –Help applying for a mail ballot Promote Election Day voting –Big push in final week and last 2 days –Remind/offer help voting during services, at events, over the phone GET OUT THE VOTE GOTV

28 The Pew Charitable Trust’s Voting Information Project: Pew’s VIP project provides several tools useful to nonprofit staff and clients. –The Voting Information Tool: vip-voting-information-tool/ –White Label iOS and Android Apps: white-label-ios-and-android-apps/ –SMS Tool (Available in October): sms-tool/ VOTING TOOLS GOTV

29 Give staff time off: To work at polls or do nonpartisan GOTV Ask if you voted: Ask everyone if they voted or need help voting Celebrate Democracy: Make Election Day special. Have a party. ON ELECTION DAY Election Day


31 617.357.VOTE (8683) Nonprofit VOTE 89 South Street Suite 203 Boston, MA 02111 Lindsey Hodel Erika Anthony

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