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Nonpartisan Election-Related Activities: Roles for Nonprofits and Foundations

When: 
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 -
2:00pm to 3:15pm EDT
Where: 
Webinar
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A partnership between the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and the National Council of Nonprofits

With the presidential primaries driving interest in elections, this webinar will review the do’s and don’ts of engaging in election-related activities, from the absolute ban on participating in partisan electioneering, to ballot measures, voter registration, and get out the vote. During this webinar, we will also hear about examples of Regional Association and State Association nonpartisan voter engagement efforts.

Speakers
 
 

 

Recap

In this joint webinar, Jonalyn Denlinger of Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, Karen Freeman of Southern California Grantmakers, David Heinen of North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, Brian Miller of Nonprofit Vote, and Michael Weekes from Providers’ Council provide insight, give examples of their election-related activities.

Notable activities include voter registration drives and changing the conversation toward underrepresented communities in voting. Nonprofits and foundations have a significant role to play- they are rooted in the communities they serve with strong relationships and trust. Current election candidates tend to not have the time or resources to focus on communities who are not committed voters, creating a circle of underrepresentation in voting. Nonprofits and foundations have the potential to change political conversations by empowering their respective communities to participate in the political process.

The key to these activities is staying nonpartisan by allowing equal representation on all sides in events like candidate forums for example. While private foundations cannot earmark grants for voter registration or support groups that work exclusively on voter registration without following 4945(f) requirements, public foundations may do so. Nonprofits and foundations that hold rallies and state house visits are within their civic rights and can make significant impact on their served communities should they incorporate them into their work. 

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