Nonprofits and Civic Engagement
Nonprofits and civic engagement are natural partners.
Nonprofits provide programs and services to help community members.
Programs and services are not enough, it takes laws and policies to address the underlying issues.
Nonprofits are on the front lines serving the communities and seeing circumstances up close. It’s important to share our knowledge and expertise with decision makers.
Lawmakers respond to their voters and donors. 501(c)(3) nonprofits are prohibited from taking partisan action or making campaign contributions. However, we can advocate and educate. We can also encourage our constituents to vote.
Voting is a tool for shifting power. But voting only works when people participate, and are able to participate.
Nonprofits can and must engage in advocacy. We need to encourage everyone who is eligible to vote. For information about allowable activities and resources for voters:
nmvote.org, NonprofitVOTE, Vote 411. Lobbying is acceptable, as long as we follow the rules. Bolder Advocacy has a technical assistance hotline and many useful resources.
When the world seems stuck in a negative spiral, activism is a positive and hopeful response.