Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MN Supreme Court declares Al Franken the winner

Huffington Post- The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state's long-running Senate race.

The high court rejected a legal challenge from Republican Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat are dwindling. Read more here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Top 100 nonprofit brands identified in new report

(BUSINESS WIRE) -- The YMCA of the USA's brand is worth almost $6.4 billion, making it the nation's most valuable nonprofit brand, according to The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100.

This first-of-its-kind research explores the unique relationship between nonprofit brand image and financial performance, taking into account brand image rank, brand value in $, and revenue rank to measure national domestic service organizations, education nonprofits, health 501(c)(3)s and others against one another.

The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100
- Top Ten
  1. YMCA of the USA
  2. The Salvation Army
  3. United Way of America
  4. American Red Cross
  5. Goodwill Industries International
  6. Catholic Charities USA
  7. Habitat for Humanity International
  8. American Cancer Society
  9. The Arc of the United States
  10. Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Read more here, or visit coneinc.com for the complete list and report.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A 50 State Standard for Election Reform

The Supreme Court left standing a key provision of the Voting Rights Act requiring some states to get "pre-clearance" for any election changes. (Read more).

Isn't it time not to wait for the next court decision but act now to come up with solutions that apply to all 50 states? At the top of the list for the Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network is a national standard for voter registration, the number one problem for voters in elections. The 9 states that already have some kind of Election Day registration are good models.

Check out the excellent universal registration ideas put forward by Obama for America chief counsel Robert Bauer and McCain 2008 chief counsel Trevor Potter - "A New Page for Voting". For more information on this approach to a new national standard for voter registration - visit the Brennan Center for Justice or Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

National Civic Summit on July 15th

The National Civic Summit, July 15-17 in Minneapolis, MN, will convene 100+ civic organizations, live and virtually, to explore new approaches and tools for non-partisan civic engagement.

In advance of this event, the summit is hosting a collection of free online training sessions during which social media experts will introduce participants to the basics of using social media tools in preparation for the National Tweetup on Wednesday, July 15.
Register today at www.civictraining.com!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Supreme Court votes not to strike down Section 5 of VRA

(Photo- racewire.com): The Supreme Court on June 22nd voted nearly unanimously not to strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act at this time. The provision requires certain Southern states with a history of racial discrimination to obtain federal approval before making changes to local election laws or voting districts.

The Supreme Courts ruling still allows districts within those states with a clean record to apply for exemption from the requirement.

Read more.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Census to recognize same-sex marriages in 2010 count

(Photo- NY Times) - The U.S. Census Bureau officials said Friday that married same-sex couples will be counted as such in the 2010 national tally, reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration.

Steve Jost, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, said officials already were identifying the technical changes needed to ensure the reliability of the information, but remained committed to providing an accurate tally of gay spouses.

"They will be counted, and they ought to report the way they see themselves," Jost said. "In the normal process of reports coming out after the census of 2010, I think the country will have a good data set on which to discuss this phenomenon that is evolving in this country."

-AP - 6.21.2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ohio Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner releases new fact sheet for 501(c)(3)s

OHIO- Ohio Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner's office has released a great fact sheet on what staff and volunteers of 501(c)(3) organizations can do to increase voter participation on a nonpartisan basis. Suggestions include registering and educating voters, conducting get out the vote activities, helping out on election day and using a point person within the organization for election-related work.

A great template for Sec. of States looking to create materials for helping their local nonprofits help increase civic engagement. Click to download!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Paper trail wins in Tennessee by one vote

The Tennessee legislature was ready to delay or scuttle a mandate for the state to go to paper ballots. It had passed the House and moved to the Senate. Lynn Williams, Field representative for the National Association of Community Health Clinics and NVEN voter participation partner, called her state senator. Her senator who was ready to vote with the House switched his vote. The attempt to delay or scuttle Tennessee moving to a paper ballot failed in the Senate by one vote. Tennessee is on track to join the close to 40 other states in now mandating a paper audit trail to ensure the possibility of a recount if necessary. Lynn worked with health clinics in the southeast on NACHC's Community Health Vote campaign in 2008.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

$750,000 in grants available for 501(c)(3)s and schools for programs to increase student poll workers

The EAC is awarding a total of $750,000 in grants for programs that encourage college students to serve as poll workers. The program will award roughly 15 to 25 grants of at least $40,000 for new grantess and $10,000 for recompeting grantees.

How and When to Apply
Grant applications must be mailed or hand delivered to the EAC. Applications are due before 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, July 16, 2009. For additional application information and instructions, read the official federal grant notice.

Contact Information
Questions regarding the grants can be directed to Mark Abbott or Julie Ruder by calling (866) 747-1471 toll-free or sending an e-mail to HAVACollegeProgram@eac.gov.

Eligibility Requirements
Private and public postsecondary institutions, community colleges, nonpartisan student organizations, and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.

For ideas and more information about recruitment activities, see the EAC’s Guidebook for Recruiting College Poll Workers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NVEN is back!

...after a vacation and planning trip to Minnesota for our annual convening this week. Blogging to resume today!