HOSTING A CANDIDATE FORUM

Report
WHAT NONPROFIT
STAFF CAN DO
in elections on and off the job
Presented by
ABOUT US
A national hub of voter engagement
resources and trainings to help nonprofits
integrate nonpartisan voter participation into
ongoing activities and services.
Find more about our mission and partners on our website:
www.nonprofitvote.org
About
TODAY’S PRESENTERS
George Pillsbury
Executive Director
Nonprofit VOTE
Julian Johannesen
Director of Research and Training
Nonprofit VOTE
Who
AGENDA
 Voter Engagement at Work
 Political Activity Outside of Work
 Example Cases
Agenda
VOTER ENGAGEMENT
AT WORK
 501(c)(3) Guidelines for Election Activity
 Voter Registration
 Voter Education
 Candidate Engagement
 Get Out The Vote
THE ONE RULE
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization may not
support or oppose a candidate for public office.
May NOT –
• Make an endorsement
• Donate money or resources
• Rate candidates on your issue
AT
WORK
WHAT NONPROFITS CAN DO
Nonprofits may conduct nonpartisan
voter engagement activities designed
to help the public participate in
elections.
• Voter Registration
• Voter Education
• Candidate Forums
• Get Out The Vote (GOTV)
AT
WORK
1. VOTER REGISTRATION
• Promote voter registration
– Use your communications and events to
announce registration deadlines, where to
register.
• Conduct a voter registration activity
– Set up a table in your lobby, do voter
registration as part of services
– Hold a voter registration event or drive
May not suggest which party to join or
candidate to vote for.
AT
WORK
2. VOTER EDUCATION
• On the process of voting
– Date of the election, polling place
hours, what ID they need to vote, etc.
• On candidates and issues
– Nonpartisan voter guides or a sample
ballot
Voter guides must be balanced and can’t
compare your position with the candidates
AT
WORK
3. CANDIDATE ENGAGEMENT
• Invite candidates to an event
• Sponsor a candidate forum
• Prepare a candidate questionnaire
• Send candidates your policy ideas
• Include all candidates (not all must
participate)
• Review nonpartisan guidelines on our
website- www.nonprofitvote.org
AT
WORK
4. GET OUT THE VOTE
• Create visibility: Make the
election visible at your agency
• Help people vote: Help people to
vote early; answer questions
• Get out the vote: Contact all your
constituents about voting
501(c)(3) nonprofits may not endorse
candidates. But we may endorse voting!
AT
WORK
5. BALLOT MEASURES
• 501c3 nonprofits may work for or
against a ballot measure as a lobbying
activity
• Activity on ballot measures is lobbying.
It’s influencing the passage or defeat of
a law– not the election of a candidate
AT
WORK
501c3 RESOURCES
POLITICAL ACTIVITY
OUTSIDE OF WORK
 The Basic Guideline
 What Nonprofit Staff Can Do
OUTSIDE
WORK
THE BASIC GUIDELINE
Nonprofit staff are free to engage
in partisan activities, such as
supporting a candidate, outside of
normal work hours – off the clock
OUTSIDE
WORK
WHAT TO AVOID
• Use nonprofit resources
including your time for partisan
political purposes
• Be partisan when representing
your nonprofit at or outside of
work
OUTSIDE
WORK
WHAT STAFF CAN DO
• What:
–
–
–
–
Volunteer on campaigns
Attend political events
Support your candidate
Run for office
• When:
–
–
–
–
Personal time outside work hours
On vacation
On personal days
On unpaid leave
OUTSIDE
WORK
EXAMPLES
 Partisan Communications at Work
 Using Your Nonprofit Resources
 Communicating with Volunteers
 Appearing at Events & Fundraisers
 Going Public with Your Support
 Running for Office
EXAMPLES
PARTISAN COMMUNICATIONS AT WORK
• Phone calls and emails
– Keeping it separate
– Incidental use ok
• Social media accounts
– Higher standards for
Executive Directors
EXAMPLES
USING YOUR NONPROFIT RESOURCES
501c3 nonprofits may not
use resources for partisan
purposes
• Public space (if available
to all)
• Reimbursed use of
phones, etc?
EXAMPLES
COMMUNICATING WITH STAFF &
VOLUNTEERS
• Volunteers
• Showing your colors
(Political attire, etc)
EXAMPLES
APPEARING AT EVENTS & FUNDRAISERS
• Guidelines for all staff
• Guidelines for
Executive Director
EXAMPLES
GOING PUBLIC WITH YOUR SUPPORT
• Being listed on Campaign
Literature/Websites
• Using an *asterix
EXAMPLES
RUNNING FOR OFFICE
• Keeping your campaign
outside your office
• Taking a leave of absence to
do more
EXAMPLES
RESOURCES
• Factsheets, Guides, Toolkits and more
available at www.nonprofitvote.org
Resources
www.nonprofitvote.org
MORE RESOURCES
Resources
[email protected]
617.357.VOTE (8683)
www.nonprofitvote.org
Nonprofit VOTE
89 South Street
Suite 203
Boston, MA 02111
George Pillsbury
[email protected]
Julian Johannesen
[email protected]

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