In case you hadn’t noticed (ha), there’s this important thing called an election coming up. I want to make sure you know the ways 501c3 organizations can be involved in getting people to vote. That’s not “political” or lobbying– just straight-up education and charitable work to ensure that everyone has a voice in our democracy and the election is robust, fair, and serves the public interest.
Join Scholz Nonprofit Law this Thursday,
September 17th at Noon for a webinar:
Election 2020: 501c3s Have a Role
We will provide resources throughout the election season on our website and additional emails and webinars. Keep sending questions or ideas on what’s worked!
During the pandemic, with no large gatherings and very little door-to-door canvassing, we all need to pitch in to reach potential voters. That’s why your organization is key.
- Are you asking all of your program participants if they’re registered to vote?
- Helping them get registered online or with the paper form?
- Explaining the documentation that is needed or helping them upload it?
- Providing info on getting a State ID without a birth certificate? See here.
All of these activities are acceptable for a 501c3. The key is to give this information to all of your participants and not prioritize based on political views. And, of course, you can’t tell them how they should vote, but you can provide information on the candidates. More on that in the coming weeks!
National Voter Registration Day
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 22. A lot of good resources are available online for easy registration and ideas for outreach. Here are some:
- National Voter Registration.org
- Wisconsin Voices
- League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
- Fair Elections Center
Looking Ahead… Debates
Did you know that 501c3s can host debate parties– online, of course, these days. You can also share information on the issues published by other 501c3s.
There are limits. 501c3s are strictly prohibited from directly or indirectly supporting or opposing a candidate. But there are many ways to promote your values and educate on the issues without crossing that line.