By Janine Vanderburg, President/CEO, JVA Consulting
JVA’s blog started in the 2008 recession, when the media was making endless comparisons between Wall Street and Main Street. One of our staff quipped: Well, who is talking about Nonprofit Street? This blog was born.
For the most part we talk about things of interest to our clients, all of who are involved in community and social change in some way. We mostly have avoided politics, although some of you thought we were getting too political in a 2012 blog and JVA 411 stories that discussed the respective charitable contributions of those running for president.
Today, we are changing our rules and the conversation. Those of you who don’t want to see JVA engaged in politics and who want us to stick to writing about boards and fundraising may want to stop reading.
The issue as we see it. With the addition of Paul Ryan to the Mitt Romney ticket this weekend, the implications for Nonprofit Street and all of us who walk along it have never been more clear. The Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan teams present stark and significant contrasts in values and proposed policies in all of the following areas, the areas of Nonprofit Street work:
- Access to health care
- Safety nets for older adults, people with disabilities, children
- Hunger and access to nutritious food
- Women’s reproductive rights
- And more
Moreover, Ryan’s budget proposals and underlying philosophy call for shredding domestic funding—funding that supports the vital services that nonprofits provide in the community.
What you can do. While an individual 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization cannot endorse candidates, there are a number of ways that those of us walking on Nonprofit Street can stand up for the values and policies we believe in and ensure that those we have worked with continue to have a chance in America.
- As individuals who work in the sector, we have countless stories that illustrate the need for programs and the impact of policies. We need to share them everywhere and anywhere we are, with friends, colleagues, strangers at bus stops.
- As individuals, we can campaign (not on company time), volunteer, go door to door and make political campaign contributions. We can share our thoughts on social media.
- As organizations, we can create scorecards of policies that affect our work, and simply indicate and share where candidates (national, state and local) stand on these policies.
The time to do so is now. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.