Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist II and Senator Sarah Anthony addressed nearly 200 nonprofit leaders at MNA’s largest Nonprofit Day at the Capitol to date.
MNA’s External Affairs Officer Joan Gustafson has never seen a Nonprofit Day at the Capitol quite like last year. After transitioning to a virtual event for 2021 and 2022, this was the first year back in person. “And the response was just unbelievable,” says Gustafson. In fact, so many leaders registered that MNA had to add a virtual component to serve hybrid attendees. “It was by far the most successful event in terms of attendance, sponsorships, and how much money we raised," said Gustafson.
Senator Sarah Anthony was the keynote lunch speaker, and she promised to use her position as the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee to “center equity” in the appropriations process. “That was music to the ears of nonprofits,” says Gustafson. “Because so many of the communities we serve have been marginalized. They've been underserved. They've been undercapitalized for so long. To have her talk to us about how she was approaching her new position through this lens was really well received, to say the least.”
Also on the agenda was Michigan’s Proposition 2: Voting Policies in Constitution Amendment (2022). “We took a formal position in support of Proposal 2 on our public policy agenda,” says Joan, “We convened a panel during legislative day that included the association representing City Clerks, and the nonprofits stepped up with recommendations and advice, even offering up their facilities to be a place where people could come and cast their ballots early.”
“With the trust that nonprofits have worked for, it was a natural partnership in that area. We need to make sure that people trust our elections, that they feel confident that their vote is being counted.”
One of the key experiences of the Nonprofit Day at the Capitol is time for nonprofit leaders to visit with their elected officials. This year, almost everyone who was in attendance signed up to speak with a legislator, so Gustafson brought the legislators to the nonprofits. “Walking into that room and seeing over 50 nonprofit leaders gathered together, I think we made quite the impression on our government officials.”
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