Support for Voting and Civic Engagement


Empowering Individuals and Communities Through Civic Engagement

What is civic engagement and citizenship and why is it important for AmeriCorps members to increase civic engagement competencies? Aren't members civically engaged by virtue of their commitment to service?

Defining Active Citizenship To begin, there are many ideas and definitions of civic engagement. Most definitions include, in some form, at least three key components. Consider this definition from The State of Service-Related Research. The Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service

Citizenship or civic participation consists of behaviors, attitudes, and actions that reflect concerned and active membership in a community. This includes the more traditional electoral citizenship activities, such as voting, serving on nonprofit boards or school boards, as well as less traditional forms of political participation, such as community organizing and social activism. It includes participation in small neighborhood-based efforts and the larger national and international movements.

Behaviors, attitudes and actions. These are the common principles of citizenship and civic engagement. Voting, serving, organizing and social activism are all expressions of active citizenship. And, while many individuals associate citizenship primarily, or solely, with voting, active citizenship clearly encompasses a broader range of involvement.

Active citizenship is about personal and community empowerment. Voting is a part of that package of empowerment, but only one part. Service is a part as well, but only a part. For individuals and communities to access legitimate power to promote and protect their interests and rights, they must also be able to serve, organize and to take action. By accessing as many sources of civic empowerment available, individuals and communities can impact their own lives, and the lives of others, in a significant way.

Voting alone is usually not sufficient. Service, by itself, is also often inadequate. Or organizing. Or even social action. But together they components of civic engagement can be very effective in not only addressing needs but also affecting change.

Well-trained AmeriCorps members can be significant influences and resources in helping facilitate an expanded awareness of active citizenship and civic engagement.

Roots of Active Citizenship Active citizenship has a strong tradition in this country dating back to its earliest days. In fact, the principles of active citizenship are embedded in this country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence. This document outlines the fundamental rights extended to all individuals. The presence or absence of these rights is often referred to as social justice. To better understand the concept of active citizenship as expressed through civic engagement, one simply needs to reference the founding document that holds both a promise and a mandate.

Source: Corporation for National Service

Foundation and philanthropic support for voting in support of civic engagement from around the Web.

New Report by Community Foundation Illuminates Nonprofit Sector
Foundation: Community Foundation of Sarasota County

There are nearly 750 nonprofit organizations in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties in Florida, providing everything from health and youth services to education and the arts, per a new...more

Six Finalists Chosen for Gas South $100K Charity Reward

An Atlanta-area gas company is putting its money where its mouth is. Gas South has selected six nonprofit organizations as finalists for its second annual Impact Investment Award, in which the...more

Brookville High School Earns Governor'S Civic Engagement Award for Helping Eligible ...

"These prestigious awards celebrate the efforts of Pennsylvania high school students to register their eligible classmates to vote and to hopefully launch them on a lifelong habit of voting,"...more

Johnson'S 'Intuition' Clashes with Data on Illegal Voting

The House is set to vote Monday on a bill that would make it harder for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. The SAVE Actshort for Safeguard American Voter Eligibilityis the brainchild of...more

Johnson'S 'Intuition' Clashes with Data on Illegal Voting

The House is set to vote Monday on a bill that would make it harder for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. The SAVE Actshort for Safeguard American Voter Eligibilityis the brainchild of...more

Strengthening Boards to Navigate the Intersection of Profit and Purpose

When Sam Altman was ousted as CEO of OpenAI in November 2023, the tech start-up's entire board of directors resigned. Altman returned as CEO in March 2024, but the tech start-up has been mired in...more

How Will the 2024 Elections Affect Your Investments? Octa Analysis

In just four years, voters in 64 countries will go to the polls to elect their next heads of state, as well as elect members of parliament, in elections that will affect 447 million people around...more

Proampac and Sammi Join Forces for Sustainable Fiber-Based Packaging Innovation

The days of the plastic clam shell are over. A company called Sammi has replaced the shell on its sandwiches with fiber-based packaging made from forest products, and the result is what ProAmpac...more

Marin Nonprofits Allotted $2.5M through Public Voting Program
Foundation: Marin Community Foundation

"What would you do with $2.5 million dollars to advance racial equity?" That's the question community members in Marin County, Calif., were asked as part of a pilot project to invest in...more

Gov. Kevin Stitt Appoints New Secretary of Education

"Her advocacy, rooted in her personal experiences and her journey as a parent, has led to impactful and sustainable changes," Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement announcing the...more

Social Enterprise Network Sites

The Great Social Enterprise Pitch, a project of Assets Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation, has now opened its voting portal for people who will donate money to the projects they like best.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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