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Preparing for the November Election: Voter & Advocacy Resource Guide for Funders

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Hello SCG Community,

We know that the 2020 General Election will be different than any election we have ever experienced. Not only are significant decisions being made across all levels of government, but the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges that must be overcome to support a fair and safe election. With much at stake, Philanthropy has a role to play in protecting our democratic principles and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard. 

At Southern California Grantmakers we believe that philanthropy can make a difference to:

  • Protect democracy by preserving essential public services;
  • Support efforts to guarantee a full and accurate Census count;
  • Ensure every eligible Californian votes;
  • Diversify representation among redistricting delegates; and,
  • Fund to win: plan for the long haul, and invest in partners who are breaking new ground for a stronger and more equitable California.


SCG's Public Policy Team would like to assist funders in making informed decisions around California’s ballot measures and in preparing a voting plan for the election. In California, eligible voters will decide on local elections’ outcomes and statewide ballot initiatives that can advance racial equity and social justice in our state. We encourage you to take the time necessary to review all of the items on your ballot and make an effort to cast your vote early. 

As we enter this election season, please be prepared to exercise patience at many levels of the process. Due to the new election methods and other probable voting and counting delays, we will not likely know the election results for several days or even weeks after November 3. SCG, our partners, and government officials are confident that a fair and accurate election result will emerge, albeit somewhat slower than what we are accustomed to experiencing. 

Take time for yourself, practice wellness, be patient, and trust that Democracy will prevail as it has throughout the history of our great Union. If you have any questions regarding the General Election or the 2020 Census, please feel free to reach out to us at any time

In Partnership,

The SCG Public Policy Team 



2020 Ballot Measures: What, Why, and How to Advocate

Philanthropy California hosted an informational program on Propositions 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, and 25 which are important measures for nonprofits and foundations. Our panelists also discussed how exempt organizations and funders can support or oppose measures while remaining legally compliant.  



California Election 2020 Voters Guide

This election, Californians will have their voices heard on twelve statewide ballot propositions ranging from rent stabilization, reinstating affirmative action, amending commercial property taxes, and many others. CalMatters has produced a voters guide breaking down all twelve propositions below. 



The SCG Public Policy Team has curated a comprehensive list of resources for foundations and grantees interested in engaging in advocacy activities this election season. These resources will help 501(c)(3) organizations remain nonpartisan and legally compliant under IRS guidelines. 


Register to vote

California voters will have multiple ways to engage in the general election. All voters will have the option to vote by mail. In-person voting locations will still be made available, including for early voting.

Vote by Mail

  • In order to receive a mail-in ballot, you must be registered to vote by Monday, October 19. All registered voters will receive a ballot mailed to their address.
  • Be sure that your selections are marked clearly and consistently. The envelope must be sealed and signed with the signature on your voter registration card, which is typically the signature on file with the DMV. 
  • Drop it off at your nearest polling dropbox, a secured box where vote-by-mail ballots can be dropped off. Or return your ballot by mail, postmarked before Tuesday, November 3, 2020. 
  • Track your Ballot: The Secretary of State launched “Where’s My Ballot”, a new tracking tool to help voters track and stay up to date on the status of their ballot.  

Vote in Person

  • In-person voting locations will still be made available on Election day. Find your nearest polling place.
  • You can also vote in person before Election day from Saturday, October 31, 2020, to Monday, November 2, 2020, with alternate hours of operation. Find your nearest early polling place

Support a Safe and Fair Election

Amid an unprecedented amount of misinformation, false claims, and voter suppression tactics, it is more important than ever for voters to revisit their voting rights. When We All Vote has collected crucial information and resources to help voters ensure their voices are heard in every election.



SCG's Primer on Advocacy for Funders

Foundations, both public and private, have the ability to engage in nonpartisan, election engagement while staying within the IRS guidelines. Nona Randois, California Director of Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy work, has authored a Primer on Advocacy for Funders interested in entering public policy work and who need legal guidance on remaining compliant with their 501(c)(3) status. 


Voter Engagement Toolkit for Community Foundations


Voter Engagement Toolkit for Private Foundations 


Participate in Vote Early Day 2020


Convening and Commenting on Debates: The Bolder Advocacy Podcast



Bolder Advocacy Checklist for 501(c)(3) Public Charities: Ensuring Election Year Advocacy Efforts Remain Nonpartisan


Ballot Measures and Public Charities: Yes, You Can Influence That Vote 


Supporting or Opposing Ballot Measures in California: What You Need to Disclose


Ballot Measures Activities Exempt from California Disclosure Laws


Provoc's #TOGETHERWEVOTE Campaign



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