Sunday, October 28, 2012

Supporting Your Favorite Nonprofit Includes Voting By Tuesday November 6, 2012

My husband and I voted this weekend.  It felt good to get it done.  It's one less thing I have to do this week.  I know that you know what I mean.

The way I look at getting to vote in our republic, our democracy, is it is a privilege given to me by my citizenship; by my country's founders, millions of U.S. Armed Forces veterans (and their loved ones), and all others who have devoted either their livelihoods or volunteer work to this country - or, too, to the states and communities that I've in any way benefited from.  I vote, too, because I believe in America's nonprofit sector.

Of course, this may not be how you look at it.  I understand that there are different perspectives on voting. Many people feel disenfranchised.  Some are apathetic - they have better things to do and aren't sure their vote matters or don't want to put the time and effort in.  Yet others vote sometimes but not every election - and may do so out of either major stresses in their lives (i.e. illness, family problems, etc.) or even duress, or coercion for instance, see Hot Election 2012 Trend: Bosses Advising Employees How to Vote.

Putting voting aside for the moment, if you read this blog at all then I suspect you are either volunteering with or working for a nonprofit.  Most of us doing so believe in some aspect of the organization's cause, track record, and potential to succeed and achieve more.  You'd like to see it succeed further.  As such, I suspect that if we look at our communities, at a bare minimum there are at least a few economic issues that concern you, right now, if not other additional issues.  Nonprofits are in as much of a quandary, of course, as any other entity (household, business, etc.) in this economy.  So, at a minimum, the economy worries all of us supporting a community organization, right now.  There's some good news, nationally, here.

No matter what party Americans are affiliated with - they are aware of these current and unusually higher levels of need and are showing up and even increasing usual annual support for nonprofits across America.   See Conservatives and Liberals Are Equally Generous, Study Finds.  Please see, too, Most Donors Plan to Give as Much or More in 2012, Survey Finds.  So, the news is not all bad.

If, then, we support something in our community outside of the for-profit sector, we acknowledge, on some level, the potential individuals have to make a difference - to make something happen to help others or help resolve an issue - if we are supporting an organization.  You and I believe that, but it isn't that this "should" make you vote if you don't are aren't.  I'm simply pointing out the fact that by virtue of being involved in the community - whether you're volunteering at or working for your church, mosque, the local hospital, your child's public school, a nearby arts organization, your mother's cancer hospice nonprofit, or whatever it might be - you are involved in your community and your community is fortunate to have you do so (whether you're a volunteer or paid staff).  So, those of us involved in our communities are not just enabling something we see a need for - we are also on the front line, too.

What are some current examples demonstrating how nonprofits are actually on the front lines of our communities right now?

Not Hate Mail, but Teachers Send "Disappointment Mail" to Obama

Contest Seeks Ideas From Charities for Creating Jobs

Crowdfunded Medical Care?  Welcome to "The Twilight Zone"

Ryan Presents Romney Poverty Approach: Charity, Not Government

I am not going to tout one party or another, here.  Personally, I'll volunteer, that I don't think any one party, today, has anything in particular over another.  Having said this, I do believe most Americans affiliate with the political party they believe exemplifies their values and vision for this nation (and, of course, herein is the problem with politics, today.  Most Americans don't feel that the rubber meets the pavement no matter what any politician or party promises - but I digress).

I am talking, in this blog post, about our American communities and what Americans are facing today.

You know, if you work at all with or otherwise support any nonprofit, that the nonprofit (almost any nonprofit), today, is a major buoy for millions of people or 'things' we associate with a higher quality of life, as so many states' and local governments' budgets and too federal funding being lessened or altogether relinquished from different causes or issue that don't go away just because the prior funding streams do.

We all face some common concerns in our communities, right this week, such as:

Analysis: Fiscal cliff could hit economy harder than many expect

Analysis: Employees to face health care sticker shock

But you know this because we're involved in our communities.  Looking ahead, there are some issues we face, too, that will impact nonprofits and all of our nation.  Our federal funding or even our state's funding from the U.S. government for core projects and programs that either enable or support nonprofits' efforts are facing the chopping block, still.  See U.S. Congress may face another debt-limit showdown in 2013.  Too, the next president will in all likelihood place at least one if not more justices onto the Supreme Court (which, of course, is a life time position).  See Reading Guide: Where Romney and Obama Stand on the Supreme Court.  The list goes on from there.

Being involved in the community is a tremendous service to your family, neighbors, and friends and even to your town and nation.  The election this year on Tuesday, November 6, isn't just about who will become the next president.  It is of course about your local community's leadership and your state's, too.  These local elections impact your organization's future. Voting is also a tremendous service to your community and nation, too.  It could even be self-serving to the nonprofit you support or work for.

So, please vote.  I don't care which party you vote for or which candidates you support.  Please vote.  If not for you and your family, vote this election to benefit that nonprofit you believe in.

[For information on how to register and where to vote click "November 6", three paragraphs up and thank you.]

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