Even if your nonprofit organization isn’t under direct threat, we all know a massive wave of cuts and policy changes are coming which will affect every one of us, and the communities, causes and clients we serve. More importantly, we are now seeing threats to the very nature of our democracy and the freedoms that set America apart. Below is a list of actions you can take right now, so that our sector is prepared to stand together and use our legal rights to push back on threats that would jeopardize our ability to serve our communities and uphold the freedoms we cherish as a people.
- If you work at a nonprofit and your organization’s leaders haven’t spoken with staff about what’s going on in America and how it will impact the people or issues you care about, then you need to ask them to speak up.
- If your organization’s leadership doesn’t think it’s appropriate for them to talk, or plan to address what’s going on in America, then ask permission to speak with your colleagues and organize within your organization, so that you have a plan to protect and fight for the people and issues you care about.
- If your organization’s leadership won’t let you talk to your colleagues about what’s going on in America, then organize in your off hours to make plans to individually and collectively protect and fight for the people and issues you care about.
- If your organization’s leadership pushes back on you taking this initiative…then you should quit immediately and call them out publicly.
- If your nonprofit’s leadership is proactive and taking bold steps to address what is going on in America right now, but the Board of Directors pushes back, then write letters telling them that the staff feels this is important and ask them to reconsider their resistance.
- If your organization’s Board insists that leadership and staff remain neutral in the face of what’s going on in America, then call for a vote of no confidence in your Board, and ask them to resign immediately, so that you can enlist new Board members that will stand behind your team.
- If your organization’s Board refuses to lead or leave…then you need to quit and call them out publicly.
- If any foundation or funder threaten to withhold or withdraw support because your organization is being legally active and assertive about what’s going on in America right now, then you need to refuse their funds, or send them their money back, and publicly call them out.
- If you or your organization belongs to a state or national association which has not taken a public position and offered detailed, legal advice on how to be active and engaged to address what’s going on in America, then you need to ask them to do so.
- If your state or national association will not take a stand on what is happening in America now, or if they attempt to hide behind the passive role of being a “convening organization”, then you need to drop your membership, and call them out in public.
- If your state or national association is planning an annual conference, and they have not shifted the agenda to develop plans to address what is happening in America now, then you need to ask them to immediately adjust the agenda to include organizing members to take legal, collective action. If they do not, then drop your membership and call them out publicly
- If your state or national association is taking a stand, then ask them to also join with other groups and associations, so that your actions reverberate across the sector, and are as inclusive, comprehensive and powerful as possible.
If you work at a nonprofit organization, you need to be publically and politically active, along with your leadership, your Board, and your state and national associations.
There are no sidelines in America anymore.