Jul 3, 2019
Posted Under: Advocacy
Yesterday we hosted a conference call for Alaska’s nonprofits to talk about how we amplify the nonprofit community response to the line-item vetoes in Governor Dunleavy’s budget.
Our message was clear.
- As a nonprofit, including 501(c)(3) organizations, you have a responsibility to stand for your mission and engage in public policy. There has never been a more important time to engage on behalf of all Alaskans you serve. If you are worried about lobbying restrictions, call us. But don’t sit this one out.
- Your strongest voices will come from your board and your stakeholders (donors, volunteers, participants). Engage them all.
- If we divide, we will all fall. We must stand together to override the budget vetoes.
- We have very little time to make this happen. Celebrate our democracy this weekend by using your voice.
As Alaska’s Nonprofit Association and the state’s capacity building organization, Foraker plays two important roles. One is to help you strengthen your mission work from the inside out through a variety of tools, support, and education. The other is to serve as the voice of the sector in nonpartisan public policy work. This time in Alaska requires us to exercise both roles more than ever. While we are committed to providing more tools to help with the impact of potentially devastating budget cuts, our focus right now is to galvanize each of you to take action and strongly urge legislators to override the damaging line-item vetoes in the budget just signed by the governor.
To that end, we heard from you that you need tools to navigate the next steps. We have crafted a message template for you to use as a guide. We encourage you to use it to create your message and then share your message with your board and others to help them when they contact their legislators. Your message will be powerful when it is customized AND all of us can focus on:
- Sharing the real impact on Alaska’s people.
- Sharing how all the other options for people are more expensive.
- Sharing the number of jobs lost and the negative economic impact.
- Showing the connection for legislators between their interests and the causes and people you serve. Don’t assume everyone understands how your work impacts others. Legislators and many voters have no idea how our work is interconnected. Be simple and clear. For example, point out that no childcare means parents have to stay home and that means jobs lost – or that no shelters means more people are on the street using more expensive services like police, fire, and emergency rooms – or that costs will shift to local governments and that could mean higher taxes or fewer services at home.
Our time is short to make a big difference. If we are successful, or if we are not, we are standing with you and we will navigate next steps together.