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Quick tips to get the word out about voting to your community

Helping people to vote is a powerful way nonprofits “stand up” — what we call Voting with Your Mission. There is no perfect way to engage voters. The key is to find a few ways that fit your organization, and build onto your existing activities rather than adding new things to do. Nonprofit staff are busy, and the tips below won’t take a lot time or expense, instead, they’re designed to be included in the work you’re already doing. Need some inspiration?  Read our recent interview with nonprofits in Napa about their work helping to implement the Voter Choice Act pilot there: "What Works When Nonprofits Engage Voters?"

You can download a 2 page handout version of these tips here: 12 Quick Tips to Help People Vote

Watch our quick webinar: "How California Nonprofits can Vote with their Missions" that helps walk you through how to implement simple but effective strategies to help engage your colleagues, volunteers, board, and community to vote.

Where and how should we share voting information?

In Person: By helping people vote, you increase the trust they already have in your organization and staff.

1) "I work (or volunteer) at a nonprofit and I vote" stickers are an excellent (and fun!) way to get the word out about the importance of voting. Want your own stickers? Click on this link, and use our template to print out your own set of stickers today.  You can print them on the Avery 22830 label template.

2) Add registration materials to your ongoing activities
so it doesn't take time or expense. Examples: pass them out at the registration window or table, in the lobby of your theatre, send home flyers with children in your program, include them on the trays for delivered and group free meals.

At your next community or staff meeting: Do you host regular meetings with community members at your nonprofit? Take 5 minutes at your next meeting to talk about what Voting with Your Mission means to you and your organization, and to give people information about how to register and what’s going to be on the ballot. You can do the same thing at your next staff meeting, and while you’re at it, remind your colleagues they have up to two hours of paid time to go vote on election day.

4) At community events where you're tabling or presenting: Does your organization have plans to be at a community event? You can include information at your table about when, where, and how to vote in your area, and how to register. Reminder: Nonprofits are nonpartisan- meaning we don’t endorse specific candidates or political parties. Make sure your staff and volunteers know the rules if they’re going to be talking to people. Here's a quick summary: Frequently Asked Legal Questions.

5) Print out information about voting or voter registration (for example, print out the poster on the right) and the importance of voting and post it in high traffic areas of your office (like near the entrance, in a reception area, or in the staff kitchen).

Online: You’ve already got the audience- now you just need to share the resources with them!

1) Social media: Does your organization have a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page? Use your platforms to promote civic engagement by sharing voting information. If you “tag” your tweets with #VoteWithYourMission, we’ll be sure to retweet it and amplify your message.

2) In your next newsletter: Do you send out a weekly or monthly newsletter to your supporters? Let them know how your organization is “Voting with Your Mission” and share resources to help get people engaged. If your nonprofit has taken a position on ballot measures, encourage voters to vote with you on it by explaining your reasons for how such a position is aligned with your mission and goals.

3) On your website: Did you know that you can add your own “Voter’s Edge” ballot look up tool to your website? Visit this page to get more the code to embed it on your website.
Bonus: You can use Vote with Your Mission logos to liven up your posts. They’re available in English, SpanishChinese and Vietnamese.

Voting Resources to share with your nonprofit and with your community

1) Voter’s Edge: This nonpartisan website is sponsored by the League of Women Voters and MapLight, and CalNonprofits is proud to include it on our Vote with Your Mission website. Using this website, voters can see what their ballot will look like before they get to their polling place. It provides information on ballot measures, when, where and how to vote in your area, and you can read where candidates stand on the issues. You can set up your own co-branded subdomain with Voter's Edge (here's what ours looks like) and/or you can embed their ballot lookup tool on your own website- here's instructions.

2) Many people mistakenly think that a criminal conviction means they can’t vote, which isn’t necessarily true. This website, sponsored by the ACLU of Northern California, clearly outlines when a criminal conviction affects your ability to vote.  

3) 5 New voting changes in California: Check out our summary of these 5 new changes, including Motor Voter registration.

Pictures are of attendees at CalNonprofits’ 2018 Policy Convention:
“Nonprofits Standing up for California"

VWYM Photo Collage

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