If the broad and diverse American nonprofit sector stands for anything at all, it stands for the participation of everyone in the democratic governance of this nation. On Election Day, that means striving to make sure that no one—absolutely no one—has their legal right to vote taken from them by people and interests whose motivation is to constrict the American electorate and thereby narrow the contours of democracy. That message cannot be conveyed, however, unless every nonprofit encourages its employees, its board members, its volunteers, its members, and the communities it serves to show up at the polls to cast their ballots and exercise their franchise—and to defend the right of other voters to do the same thing.
At Nonprofit Quarterly, we can’t, wouldn’t, and won’t even consider telling you whom to vote for. We will suggest that nonprofit leaders, staff, and volunteers think about why they are doing the work that they do and carry that thought into the voting booth to inform their ballot choices. And then, when you’ve cast your vote, make sure to stand up for anyone and everyone who deserves to vote, especially if they are being treated unfairly or are facing intimidation to cede their electoral rights. This ought to be a value statement that unifies 501(c) nonprofit organizations of all stripes this election: a commitment to strengthen American democracy by standing up for everyone’s legal right—and civic responsibility—to vote.