I’m not giving any more money to nonprofits this year. I’m not volunteering for nonprofits anymore this year. Instead, in this very, very crucial election year, I’m giving as much money as I can to candidates I support, and as much time as I have volunteering on political campaigns.
Because I believe that who wins the U.S. presidential election this year will have an enormous impact on the causes I believe in: freedom, prosperity, economic equity, civil rights, international fairness, environmental protection.
We in the nonprofit sector talk a lot about advocacy and representing our constituencies and our causes. We also need to remember that advocating for our cause with someone who is predisposed to be on our side is 1000% more effective than advocating with someone who is dead set against us.
Most elections I make phone calls and go door-to-door for the candidates I support. Volunteering on a political campaign is an amazing way to work with people from a wide variety of economic, racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds — more so than is often the case in a nonprofit advocacy effort.
We who work and volunteer in nonprofits do so because we have values about how the world should be. Whatever your values about taxes, immigration, public education, birth control, and sea otters, you should be working for the candidates who share your values. We owe it to our constituents, our causes and ourselves to throw ourselves into political activity this summer and fall.
My question to you: what are you doing to support your causes and candidates in the weeks before this next election?
(And yes I’ll probably end up doing more donating and volunteering for nonprofits before the year is out. But you get the point.)
* This issue you’ll enjoy a First Person Nonprofit humor article about foundation site visits, and Jeanne Bell’s piece on the stance an executive director takes in strategic planning. We have a Board Cafe column on how a board can set up a new executive for success, an important announcement about Blue Avocado and of course, a 3-minute summer vacation.
* If you’re in California, please join me at the California Nonprofit Policy Convention on September 13 in Los Angeles: more info here.
Next issue is a special discounts and free stuff issue . . . let us know if you have something you’re willing to make available to Blue Avocado readers here. See you in September! — Jan Masaoka