Nonprofits & Elections

Front view of Minnesota Capitol building on a bright day with green grass, leafy trees, and visitors climbing the front steps.

Voting is a critical part of our democracy. As nonprofits, it is our role to advocate for better voting policies and increased access to the polls to eliminate barriers a person may face to voting.

Can my nonprofit participate in advocacy?

Yes! The IRS affirmatively states that 501(c)(3) organizations may conduct voter engagement or connect with candidates on a nonpartisan basis. The main principle of being nonpartisan is to not conduct voter engagement and education in a way intended to support or oppose a specific candidate.

Ways to support voter engagement

  • Encourage your communities to register to vote – registering increases the chance of a person voting.
  • Never assume that someone is eligible to vote or that they are already registered.
  • Integrate accessible information about voter registration and voting rights into your everyday programs!
  • Inform constituents about primary elections, voting absentee, and early voting.
  • Match your messages to the communities you work with — you are best equipped to do this!
  • Center historically disenfranchised communities — Black, Indigenous, and people of color are some of the communities that have historically experienced the highest barriers to voting because of the lack of language access, funding for elections, reduced voting hours, and voter ID requirements. Nonprofits can work to eliminate barriers for disenfranchised communities through advocacy and through informing voters of their rights. Additionally, nonprofit can inform voters why voting is a powerful way to shape the communities they live in.

How to Vote

In order to vote, a person must be a registered voter at their current address and be:

You can work with your communities to register to vote online, on paper with a canvasser, or on Election Day! The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office is a great resource for all of your voter registration and elections questions.

Election Resources