Council on Foundations, Independent Sector and Nonprofit VOTE Create Definitive Nonpartisan Voter Engagement Toolkits for Community and Private Foundations

New toolkits provide guidance, strategies and case studies for foundations to support nonpartisan voter engagement in communications, trainings, and grantmaking
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Arlington, VA

Foundations who wish to provide nonpartisan support to encourage voter participation and strengthen democracy now have comprehensive new resources. On Thursday, April 12, the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, and Nonprofit VOTE will release two new toolkits at the Council on Foundation's Public Policy Summit in Philadelphia: Voter Engagement Toolkit for Community Foundations and Voter Engagement Toolkit for Private Foundations. The toolkits will also available at nonprofitvote.org/foundationtoolkit/.

Along with guidance on remaining nonpartisan, the toolkits feature robust and practical nonpartisan strategies for foundations to incorporate voter education and engagement into their communications, trainings, peer exchanges, and grantmaking.  Real-world examples of these strategies are shown in more than 15 case studies of a diverse set of community and private foundations of every size and geography – from Texas and Colorado to Michigan, Kansas, North Carolina, and Georgia. The studies highlight foundations who support candidate forums, ballot measures, or social media initiatives.

“Given the climate and what we were hearing from our partners, we thought it best to create a tool that would make voter engagement and activities much easier for groups that want to participate,” said Brian Miller, Executive Director of Nonprofit VOTE. “And given the pressing need to stay nonpartisan, we knew this tool would need to be thorough, exhaustive and exact. Thankfully, we had great partners with Council of Foundations and Independent Sector and we were able to achieve just that.”

"Encouraging voter engagement is one of the most important things we can do for the voices of our communities, the charitable sector, and our democracy," said Dan Cardinali, President and CEO of Independent Sector. "Through this partnership, we are ensuring that charitable organizations have the resources they need to engage in this critical work."

“Foundations play a key leadership role in their communities, and these toolkits provide invaluable guidance for nonpartisan civic engagement,” said Vikki Spruill, President and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “With detailed case studies for Community and Private Foundations, they bring leadership to life.”

The toolkits are available online at nonprofitvote.org/foundationtoolkit/.

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About Nonprofit VOTE—Nonprofit VOTE partners with America’s 501(c)(3) nonprofits to help the people they serve participate and vote. It partners include United Way Worldwide, National Council of Nonprofits, Independent Sector and 126 national and state nonprofit networks. It’s the leading provider of nonpartisan voter engagement resources to help nonprofits integrate voter outreach into their activities and services. Learn more at nonprofitvote.org.

About Independent Sector—Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. Learn more at IndependentSector.org.

About Council on Foundations—An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. The Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today's toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at cof.org.