The 2020 U.S. election was shaped by a global pandemic, nationwide movements for racial justice, and unprecedented levels of civic participation nationwide. With so much at stake this year, it remains critical that all citizens’ voices are heard. Though the counting of ballots is ongoing, one fact remains abundantly clear: Democracy works best when all nonprofits, regardless of mission, make a concerted effort to expand fair and equal access in the communities we serve.

Early estimates confirm historically high levels of voter turnout, even among marginalized communities. This is thanks, in part, to years of hard work by nonprofits to provide staff members, volunteers, and constituents with the information they need to vote in an unpredictable election cycle. Estimates, so far, show voter turnout reached 66.4%, which indicates more citizens participated in the 2020 general election in over a century and voted by mail than in any other election in U.S. history.

In our steadfast efforts to advance voter turnout among populations who face the greatest barriers to participation, nonprofit organizations made significant strides to protect the voting rights of individuals who are often excluded from democracy and the processes that follow. Such individuals include people who were purged from voter rolls, younger voters, people of color, returning citizens, and hard-to-reach populations. Research shows that nonprofits are 11 percentage points more likely to turn out new voters, particularly voters from marginalized and under-represented communities.

Nonprofit advocacy does not end with the election. To ensure nonprofit issues are prioritized, we must build upon this momentum by mobilizing this historic number of voters to ensure that newly-elected officials are accountable to nonprofits and the communities we serve.

Read the full article about nonprofits and voter turnout by Neisha McGee at Independent Sector.