Samantha Balbier (Courtesy Photo)

GPNP Executive Director Samantha Balbier (Courtesy Photo)

PITTSBURGH, PA- The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) on Wednesday formally announced the 17 organizations participating in its nonpartisan Nonprofit Vote voter engagement program.

“The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership has assembled a cohort of 17 regional nonprofits to engage staff, consumers, and boards in the 2016 election,” said Auberle CEO and GPNP Advisory Team Chair John Lydon. “It is well established that the people served by nonprofits are among the least likely to participate in elections, which creates a sense of detachment and disenfranchisement from the issues impacting their daily lives. To address this, GPNP is harnessing the nonprofit sector’s deep regional reach to empower people to participate in the democratic process.”

“The 2015-2016 budget impasse revealed a concerning lack of political urgency in our Commonwealth and we do not want to see that happen again,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director and GPNP Public Policy Chair Susan Rauscher. “This program provides GPNP an opportunity to mobilize, educate, and build relationships with thousands of voters in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Additionally, the program will help others to see voting as one way to get involved in the civic process by providing follow up information about the role of the General Assembly and Governor on the issues that impact our communities in order to increase citizen participation in upcoming state policy decisions.”

“This is just a first step in a larger effort to engage the general public in issues that impact communities that are typically left behind in the political process,” said GPNP Executive Director Samantha Balbier. “The nonprofit sector has a tremendous amount of untapped and allowable advocacy power. We are ecstatic to have such a strong cohort of organizations participating in our program and we are looking forward to the next few months of activities.”

The participating organizations in GPNP’s Nonprofit Vote program cohort are responsible for registering individuals to vote and collecting pledges to vote from experienced voters. The initial goal of the program is to engage at least 4,250 voters, and the success of the program will be evaluated after Election Day using publicly available information. The program has been running since July and there will be activities conducted to mark National Voter Registration Day on September 27, 2016 as well as Get Out the Vote activities to ensure that the individuals registered and pledging to vote participate on Election Day.

The program will culminate with a final report to be released once the evaluation is completed. Preliminary findings will be announced at GPNP’s Annual Meeting on November 18, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

The program is funded by Nonprofit Vote and The Pittsburgh Foundation.

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