By: Michele Egan
Leading up to the 2020 election, we see companies focusing their corporate citizenship efforts on voting in support of a safe, fair election. The pandemic coupled with sweeping calls for social justice have catalyzed corporate campaigns and partnerships to help employees, customers and communities become civically engaged and make it to the polls.
A groundswell of activity is underway, and we’re seeing three key trends:
- Expanded employee benefits like time off to vote
- Voter registration drives
- Partnerships to extend reach and increase voter turnout
Take a look at these examples of ways companies are rallying around voting in their corporate citizenship strategies.
Hundreds of companies are supporting their employees with time off to vote and work the polls. Studies show that companies’ efforts to activate voting and support their employees not only increases civic engagement but also has business benefits like attracting customers who support the voting cause.
Like many retailers, Old Navy is partnering with Power the Polls to give their 50,000 employees paid time off to serve as poll workers, plus up to three paid hours off to vote.
More than 1,400 companies have joined Time to Vote, a business-led, non-partisan coalition to increase voter participation in 2020. The coalition represents employers of more than six million U.S. workers. Initiatives include:
- Giving employees access to information about early voting and vote-by-mail options
- Offering paid time off on Election Day
- Banning meetings on Election Day
GaVotingWorks is another non-partisan state-wide initiative that has convened Georgia organizations and businesses around election support and employee engagement. Participants include:
- The Coca-Cola Company
- The Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta
- Cox Enterprises
- Delta Airlines
- Gas South
- The Home Depot
- Mercedes Benz USA
- YMCA of Metro Atlanta
Chief Human Resource Officer at Mercedes Benz USA Lars Minns said, “Elections keep our republic functioning, as they give people the right to select their own government. Given that level of importance, we plan to close all U.S. offices on election day to ensure our employees have ample time to participate in their civic duty.”
The League of Women Voters Education Fund launched Vote411 to provide state by state election rules. This comprehensive resource for voter election and down-ballot information in the candidates’ own voice was first launched in October 2006. New this election cycle are expanded partnerships with state and national corporate sponsors and partners including Target, Sweetgreen, Seventh Generation and Warby Parker.
Voter Registration Drives
To Get Out the Vote, Uber is upgrading its app to support voter registration, mail-in ballot requests, election day poll-finding and ride promotions with help from several non-partisan voting groups like Power the Polls.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “We hope that by giving people the ability to easily register to vote and request an absentee ballot via the Uber and Uber Eats apps, independent workers—and everyone who uses our platform—will have a stronger voice in our democracy.”
Unique partnership activations include joining forcing with Pizza to the Polls to provide tasty snacks to voters in line in 25 cities. “And, as part of Shake Shack’s mission to Stand For Something good, it’s important to us that our teams and our communities are empowered to use their voice and show their civic engagement,” shared Jay Livingston, Shake Shack CMO. “We’re thrilled to partner with Uber Eats and Pizza to the Polls this this Election Day as we celebrate the democratic process.”
Extended Reach to Increase Voter Turnout
Nordstrom has launched Make Your Voice Heard to offer voter registration and education. The initiative features a fundraising component through Nordstrom-made VOTE product sales. The company is also partnering with nonprofit partners When We All Vote and the National Urban League to provide online resources, virtual learning series, and digital volunteer opportunities. In addition, Nordstrom is giving all employees time off to vote.
The NFL has partnered with three nonprofits, Rock the Vote, RISE to Vote and I am a voter to create NFL Votes.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We’re launching NFL Votes to inspire everyone in the NFL family – including our fans – to participate in the civic process by getting registered to vote and ultimately exercising their right to vote.”
How are you galvanizing around the voting cause? If you need more inspiration, we’re here to help.