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California Nonprofits Advocacy and Voting
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California Nonprofits Advocacy and Voting


Kris Lev-Twombly's secondary presentation for "Trees in All Policies" workshop for the California ReLeaf Network

Kris Lev-Twombly's secondary presentation for "Trees in All Policies" workshop for the California ReLeaf Network

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  • I think this slide has too many words. I think it should be bullet points.Statewide AllianceLobbyist/Policy Director in SacramentoOffices in LA, San Francisco & Los AngelesCalNonprofits Insurance Services (CIS)
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  • 1. Nonprofits, Advocacy & Politics What you CAN and CAN’T do about voter education and lobbying
  • 2. Statewide alliance of 1,500 nonprofits Bring a strong voice to government, philanthropy, public * Full time lobbyist/policy director in Sacramento * Offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles * CalNonprofits Insurance Services provides insurance to 8,000 nonprofits and more than 13,000 nonprofit staff About the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)
  • 3. Lobbying What is lobbying? What isn’t? Can nonprofits lobby? Voter involvement What nonprofits can’t do related to elections What nonprofits can do Voter registration Voter education Get Out the Vote (GOTV) More resources Agenda
  • 4.
  • 5. Direct lobbying: Communicating to an elected official or their staff in favor or against a particular bill, or urging people to vote for or against a proposition. Grassroots lobbying: encouraging people to call their representatives and urge them to vote a certain way. Can nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations do lobbying? What is lobbying?
  • 6. Choose which test to have used on you: 1. “Insubstantial” test Informal rule of thumb: 5% 2. Expenditure test A % of your expenses (so it excludes volunteer activity), depending on budget size, but usually 10 – 20%, of which up to 25% can be spent on grassroots lobbying. If you want the expenditure test used, file Form 5768 (called the 501(h) election) – only 1 line to fill out! Online calculator for amount: (Note: Communicating to voters on how they should specifically vote on ballot measures falls under direct or “regular” lobbying.) Lobbying limits
  • 7. Nonpartisan research or analysis. You can take a position as long as the content is not limited to one side. Educating legislators about an issue without bring up specific legislation. Defending your organization to government (example: a legislative body investigating whether you are laundering money) Testifying in response to a written request by a legislative body Advocating with administrators as long as it’s not about a specific piece of legislation Some things that don’t count as lobbying
  • 8. If everyone who worked or volunteered in healthcare nonprofits voted . . . If everyone who worked or volunteered in the environment voted . . . If everyone who worked or volunteered in the arts voted . . . Voting
  • 9. Nonprofits are already known and trusted by under-voting groups Nonprofits believe in participatory democracy Nonprofits know what is at stake Nonprofits are effective vote mobilizers
  • 10. Endorse a candidate Oppose a candidate What nonprofits CAN’T do about voting
  • 11. Everything else What nonprofits CAN do about voting
  • 12. Voter registration Voter education Get Out the Vote (GOTV) 3 components of voter engagement
  • 13. Have voter registration materials at your site: be willing to register for any party; do address changes, too Integrate voter registration into your activities Set up table at the theatre lobby Send info home with kids Give out flyer on how to register online at workshops, board meetings Remind ineligible people they should get their friends to register and vote! Voter registration: what you CAN (and should) do
  • 14. Take stands on ballot propositions and explain why Publish or publicize nonpartisan analysis (California League of Women Voters has good stuff) Hold a candidates forum or encourage people to go to them Voter education: what you CAN (and should!) do
  • 15. detailed legal info toolkits analysis, tools California League of Women Voters Sample policy re elections to give to staff: 2012/05/Sample_501c3_Policy_for_ Election_Season.pdf More resources
  • 16. Thank you!