Friday, October 25, 2013

Webinar Materials: Nonprofits Increase Voting

Yesterday's webinar, Nonprofits Increase Voting: Findings from 2012, is now available. Many thanks to Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg of CIRCLE and Isela GutiƩrrez-Gunter from Democracy North Carolina for joining us for this discussion.

Watch the presentation on YouTube. If you subscribe to our channel, you'll be notified whenever new content is posted. You can also download the PowerPoint presentation and the audio portion of the presentation, or browse our voter turnout and research resources for more information.

Learn more about the findings in the full report Can Nonprofits Increase Voting Among Their Clients, Constituents, and Staff? An Evaluation of the Track the Vote Program.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thursday: Nonprofits Increase Voting - Findings from 2012

There's still time to register for Thursday's webinar: 

Nonprofits Increase Voting: Findings from 2012
Thursday October 24th, 2:00-3:00pm Eastern

What happens when nonprofits talk to their constituents about voting? To find out, Nonprofit VOTE and its partners enlisted 94 nonprofit service providers to track their voter contacts with 33,741 individuals in seven states during the 2012 election. Afterward, CIRCLE conducted an independent analysis of voter file data to see how turnout among voters contacted by nonprofits compared to other groups. 

Join us as we discuss the impact nonprofits had on voter turnout and the populations nonprofits reached. In addition to the turnout results, we will cover key takeaways from 27 interviews with participating organizations, including the challenges they faced, their successes, and lessons learned. Don't miss out on this opportunity to find out what happens when nonprofits engage their communities around voting and to learn about strategies that worked to incorporate voter engagement into ongoing programs and services.

Featured Presenters: Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg is the Deputy Director of CIRCLE where she oversees their core research projects and produces resources and reports for various audiences, including peer-reviewed articles, reports, and factsheets. She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Isela GutiĆ©rrez-Gunter is the Research Associate and Latino Outreach Coordinator at Democracy North Carolina. She has over a decade of experience at advocacy-oriented nonprofits, including work with the ACLU of Washington State and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. She has a BA in History from Scripps College and a MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill. George Pillsbury is the founder and Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE.  


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Get Out the Vote Tools for 2013

Currently, 44 states have voter registration lookup tools and 48 have polling place finders. Wouldn't it be great if this (and other) election information was available in one place? You're in luck, it is! Visit our 50 state map to:
  • Find Your Poll
  • Check Your Voter Registration
  • Learn About Voter ID Requirements
You can also access other state-specific voting resources, including contact information for your local elections office, details for voters with special circumstances, and early voting opportunities.

November 5th is less than a month away. Although they may be registered, voters still need to know where to go and what to take with them. Help your community vote by being prepared to answer these and other questions. You can also help registered voters request an absentee ballot.

In many states it's not too late to register! Although National Voter Registration Month is over, many state registration deadlines have not yet passed. Depending on where you live, you might be able to register online or on Election Day itself. Learn more about voting in your state and ensure your community is prepared for the 2013 election cycle.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"Yes, we vote"

By Michael Weekes, President of the Providers' Council. Reprinted from The Provider, the newspaper of the Providers' Council, Summer 2013 issue.  

Nonprofit VOTE, the nation's leading nonpartisan source focused on engaging nonprofits in registering voters and promoting voting through mission-focused activities, has released a seminal report on voting rates for those connected with nonprofits.

The essential question asked also serves as the title of the report: Can Nonprofits Increase Voting Among Their Clients, Constituents and Staff? Based on empirical analysis of service providers in several states by Tufts University's Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the report concludes the answer is a resounding "Yes."

For those of us who are connected with CareVote, the Providers' Council's decade-long effort to encourage voting among its human service provider network, it was gratifying news affirming our beliefs and assumptions.

The Council, in full disclosure, is represented on the board of Nonprofit VOTE and shares its belief that nonprofits have earned a well-deserved reputation as trusted resources for many in our nation. As indicated by national data, nonprofits play a role in hundreds of millions of lives – employing more than 13.7 million people, with another 62.7 million serving as volunteers and of course the multi-millions receiving services.

The report's research was conducted in relationship to the 2012 national election when close to 100 nonprofit service providers in seven states, as well as one national partner, agreed to engage with Nonprofit VOTE in its Track the Vote project.

In tracking the voting behavior of 33,741 individuals who registered to vote and/or pledged to vote via outreach from these service providers, this select group from Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio – plus the National Association of Community Health Centers – helped to answer important questions. Overall, the data clearly shows the effect of having contact with a nonprofit about voting on increasing the likelihood that individuals will actually vote.

Equally important in a sector that is stretched for resources, it shows the essential elements that help nonprofit service providers integrate voter participation in their work. The qualitative and quantitative analysis framed response to queries related to the audience reached; capacity of service providers to engage; impact of those contacted by nonprofits to vote; what tactics and strategies have efficacy; and what factors contribute to success for service providers.

Among the significant findings were:
  • Clients, constituents and staff were "markedly more diverse, lower income and younger than all registered voters in the seven states, made up of populations with a history of lower voter turnout in past elections";
  • Nonprofit-contacted voters were nearly twice as likely to be younger voters (under age 30), more than three times more likely to be Latino or black and four times more likely to have incomes under $25,000;
  • The turnout rate among nonprofit-influenced voters was at 74 percent – 6 points higher than the rate for all registered voters, including 18 percent higher from Latino and Asian voters, 8 percent higher among whites and 7 percent higher among blacks;
  • Nonprofit intervention had the "…biggest impact among turnout of the least likely voters…"
Still, there remains more work to be done, including drilling down to the specific interventions that appeared to have the greatest impact on increasing voter participation, as well as determining if the changes are sustained during the next election cycle and the level of resources that are needed to be effective.

But the report provides the first answers to the fundamental question of can nonprofits make a difference in voter turnout based on personal contact with millions of Americans.

The report summary notes, "The populations reached by nonprofit providers were disproportionately younger, lower income and diverse by race and ethnicity – with a past history of lower voter participation."

Which means, according to Nonprofit VOTE founder George Pillsbury, "When nonprofits talk to the people we serve about voting, they listen and turn out to vote. It means more election impact and a louder voice for our issues and our communities."

We agree with his assessment and hope this work will help us expand the role of nonprofits in advancing democracy in this nation. At its core, is not that the essence of a nonprofit organization's mission-driven purpose?