Lights On Afterschool provides an excellent opportunity for political candidates to speak to constituents about their commitment to afterschool. The presence of candidates can raise the profile of your event and increase media attention.
Don't miss this opportunity because you're worried about remaining non-partisan or appearing to endorse a particular candidate. You can host a candidate for office and still remain non-partisan. Visit our section on Making Afterschool an Election Issue for more details and outreach tips. Download our Candidate’s Guide to Afterschool to help you make the case that afterschool is a winning issue.
Sample Invitation Letter to Candidates from 501(c)3 Programs
On October XX, 2012, our afterschool program will be participating in the 13th annual national Lights On Afterschool celebration. We will be one of more than 7,500 sites across the nation that will help send the message that afterschool is key to children's success, and that we must keep the lights on and the doors open after school. Local parents, media, employers, artists, neighbors, school officials and others have been invited to help us rally support for safe, stimulating afterschool programs.
We would like you to be part of our local celebration scheduled:
Date and time:
Our program is going to include a half hour ceremony, during which we would be honored to have you speak.
Because [ORGANIZATION NAME] is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, we cannot support or oppose any candidate for public office and our Lights On Afterschool event must be a strictly non-partisan manner. All public officials and candidates for office who are invited to participate at the event are asked not to use it as a campaign opportunity in any manner, including distributing campaign literature, soliciting votes, recruiting campaign volunteers or collecting campaign contributions. These rules apply to staff and supporters as well.
The benefits of quality afterschool programs are clear. They support working families by ensuring that children are safe and productive when the school day ends. Quality afterschool programs make our communities stronger by involving students, parents, business leaders and volunteers. They give children the opportunity to discover hidden talents as they grow academically and socially.
I hope you will join us to celebrate Lights On Afterschool on October XX. I will call you next week to confirm your availability. We hope that you will help us keep the lights on after school so that we can inspire all our children toward a brighter future.
[YOUR NAME, TITLE]