There’s Always Common Ground

Jeanne C. Tedrow, President & CEO, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits

Today is the last day for casting our votes. While every election seems like the most important one of our lifetime, this election has had its own unique challenges. Among them has been the challenge of voting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the continual exposure of racist behaviors. All things combined, it has been intense, and many among us have felt the stress. I have heard many say, ‘we are ready for it to be over.’ In reality, we may not know the outcomes of many of the races for quite a few days.

That said, I am both inspired and saddened – inspired by the number of people who showed up for early voting, mailed in ballots, and plan to vote on Election Day, and saddened by the constant conjecturing about the outcomes and the fears expressed that we will not have a peaceful transition of power. Regardless of who is our preferred candidate anywhere on the ballot, our right to vote is the celebration of America’s democracy.

No matter what the results are, we know the nonprofit sector has worked tirelessly to help get out the vote, using our nonpartisan voices and actions to encourage those in our communities to exercise their right to do so. As the polls close and we begin to learn the results, I want to thank nonprofits across the state for the work you do to support our communities - to feed, clothe, shelter, and connect people to resources in safe and healthy ways. You touch the lives of so many to encourage them, often in the face of great personal sacrifice.

As mission-driven, purpose-filled organizations, we ask those who want to help to support our missions, not what their political persuasion is or how they plan to vote. We bring people together from different backgrounds and experiences to care for one another and to create safe and healthy communities.

Amid this election, we have the opportunity to lift our voices together, to remain focused on our missions. Even as we care for one another by continuing to be physically or socially distant, we can still reach out to those in need and to those we love; let’s also find ways to have dialogue with those with whom we may disagree and model the way for positive civic engagement. When we focus on what is important – our families, our community and our country – we may find some common ground and work together.

As you continue to care for our communities, let us know how we, at the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, can support you over. We are here for you. We will continue to provide you with timely, relevant, and reliable resources to help you achieve your mission. Thank you for all you continue to do to help strengthen our communities. We are in this together.


Here are helpful resources and ways nonprofits can respond to the election from our sister association, Washington Nonprofits.