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Can Nonprofits Increase Voting Among Their Clients, Constituents and Staff?: An Evaluation of the Track the Vote Progrram - Part II: Case Studies

October 25, 2013

Twenty-five of the 94 Track the Vote program participants were selected for interviews, as well as two additional agencies that participated in similar voter engagement programs managed by Nonprofit VOTE partners. Fifteen of those interviews became the basis for the following case studies, designed to illustrate how a diverse group of nonprofit organizations conducted voter engagement in 2012. Each case study includes descriptions of voter outreach activities, challenges that arose, and concrete takeaways from their experiences. These case studies are intended to reflect the unique experiences of each nonprofit profiled. Thus, some of the "lessons learned" may be more relevant to particular nonprofi ts than to others, as successful tactics may vary widely depending on the type of organization and community served. These case studies are not meant to present a set of rules, but to provide a richer context for nonprof t voter engagement, inspiration for developing or refi ning your own voter engagement plan, and guidance for avoiding common pitfalls. By considering the detailed experiences of these many organizations, we hope that any nonprofit can assemble a voter engagement plan tailored to its programs, population, and capacity. We conclude with a case study from the Minnesota Participation Project, which managed the Track the Vote program in their state. Given the critical role that partner organizations played in supporting participating agencies, we wanted to share their experiences. Moreover, the perspective of a larger organization and how it supported voter engagement among its affiliates can help guide other groups looking to encourage efforts within their networks.

Can Nonprofits Increase Voting Among Their Clients, Constituents and Staff?: An Evaluation of the Track the Vote Program - Executive Summary

August 2, 2013

The Track the Vote program sought to answer questions about the effectiveness of nonprofit service providers in promoting voter participation within their regular services and programs, as well as their potential for increasing voter turnout among nonprofit clients and constituents. To do so, the program tracked 33,741 individuals who registered to vote or signed a pledge to vote at 94 nonprofits. The nonprofits included a diverse set of community health centers, family service agencies, multi-service organizations, and community development groups across seven states. Using demographic and voting history data, this report determines who the nonprofits reached and at what rate contacted voters turned out to vote in the 2012 general election, as compared to all registered voters in the seven states involved. The results showed the impact of personal voter outreach by nonprofit service providers in raising turnout rates among those least expected to vote and in closing gaps in voter participation across all demographics. To complement the voter turnout information, standardized interviews were conducted with 27 of the participating nonprofits to learn more about the capacity issues they faced and the tactics they used to engage voters. Fifteen of those interviews were turned into case studies, contained in Part II of this report.