Nonprofits Need to Adapt to the New Political Climate

Nonprofits need to adapt to the changing political climate.

Photo CC-BY Andy Blackledge

Republicans now control not only the White House, but the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as 33 governorships and, most likely, the Supreme Court in a short amount of time.

President-elect Trump has proposed or appointed a number of individuals who have made known their desire to end or drastically curtail many parts of the United States’ social safety net. This new cabinet and political landscape will require some adaption by nonprofits.

The challenges for nonprofits, especially those involved in advocacy, will become much broader and more intense. It may even be necessary to “reframe” arguments in order to persuade the new executive and legislative leaders to support those charitable and advocacy causes.

Nonprofit Quarterly has recommended four things that nonprofits should do as soon as they can.

Work on advocacy strategies and capacities. Be sure your board understands the importance of advocacy, now more than ever. Make your organization able to participate in campaigns to advance ideas and initiatives.

Collaborate across groups. Each nonprofit has its own mission, but by working with other nonprofits to support similar causes and initiatives, the community as a whole will be more effective.

Engage with constituents. Keep your supporters informed and ready to mobilize. This means communication has to go both ways, and your organization needs to be listening to its supporters and beneficiaries as well as its staff and board.

Keep your mission and vision in mind. Now more than ever, especially if your organization does advocacy, it’s important to stay on task while you collaborate with other groups and engage with your constituents.

American politics has undergone a sea change with the 2016 election, but nonprofits still have a very important job to do. It’s crucial that charitable organizations not waste time floundering but that they get even more active than they were before.

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