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League Of Women Voters Education Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission:

Mission: The League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund is renowned for its ability to make complex and controversial issues accessible to the non-expert citizen in a balanced, evenhanded way. And the LWVEF is an experienced trainer of community leaders and activists. A special and familiar focus of the League''s educational work is voting and elections. Leagues in communities across the nation provide voters with factual, nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot issues, whether through voter''s guides, candidate forums, town meetings or debates. Much of the League''s campaign to Make Democracy Work is spearheaded by the League of Women Voters Education Fund.

In Pittsburgh, the hub of the League’s program is our Community Information Center (CIC) funded in part through our account at LWVEF.  The CIC provides answers to questions from voters around voting, elections, government structure and practices, and more as well as compiling and publishing our Facts for Citizens legislative directory and Voters Guide to elections.

The cost to operate the Community Information Center and produce Facts for Citizens has been about $20,000.  This is a bare bones budget. With additional funding, the League could consider expanded CIC staffing, collection of the information to cover additional areas of Allegheny County in the web site edition of Facts for Citizens, and additional projects in Voter Service and Citizen Education.

Programs:

Smart Voter is an interactive web site designed to:

  • Provide voters with comprehensive, easy-to-use nonpartisan information about candidates and issues
  • Provide a means for candidates to provide information about themselves and their candidacy to voters, at no cost to the candidate, allowing candidates as much space as they need; information may include biography, priorities, endorsers, political philosophy, papers on three issues they choose, and contact information including a link to their campaign web site


Smart Voter:

  • Is available at all times to anyone with Internet access for all elections
  • Provides candidate information at all levels of government local, regional, state and federal
  • Emphasizes civil discourse related to issues and does not permit statements about opponents or other negative campaigning; statements are reviewed by League members before posting
  • Allows voters to find the candidates on their ballot and their polling place by entering their street address


The basic computer and technical support costs for Smart Voter in the 2009 election cycle were $1500.  In addition, printing and mailing costs for over 1000 candidate invitations were about $700.  Future costs will depend on stability of computer costs and number of candidates, which will be lower in 2008.  In addition, the program would be enhanced by some funds to spend on publicity.  We have budgeted $3000 for the 2010 election cycle.

     

     

    Community Stories

    8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

    Board Member

    Rating: 4

    I am a member of a local board in Utah, not the main board. I looked up our rating because of a dues issue upcoming at National. League has been very worthwhile and I work hard at educating our members and our neighbors about what's happening in our state. LWV is a "thinking person's organization." If you are thinking of joining, do go to our national LWVUS website and find your local group, you will never regret it except at the end of the legislative season, when you can't hear about another bill proposal. By the way, LWV is different at the local level than most NPO's because we only raise enough money to do our work--learn, educate, and inform. We raise little money and spend it mostly on those three things. And an office person, too.

    Review from CharityNavigator

    Volunteer

    Rating: 5

    My time with the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittburgh has been good and infulential. The members are very knowledgeable and equipped to share their expertise with the community.

    Volunteer

    Rating: 5

    When I married and moved to a new places, little did I know that the League of Women Voters would be one of my best "friends." It introduced me to civic concerns in cities like Philadelphia, Butler, and Pittsburgh: for example, saving a public health department in a reluctant community; sharing river resources in the Delaware Watershed; learning about U.S. foreign aid and trade during the Cold War; Governance reform in Allegheny County, and, more recently, the Marcellus Shale debate, schools for the next generations, and always informing citizens about candidates and hot topics.

    Everywhere, the LWV attracts men and women who want Good Government. It's a "2 for 1:" Know your Town and Know New Friends.

    Volunteer

    Rating: 4

    I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF LWV FOR FIFTY YEARS AND HAVE GROWN IN MY UNDERSTANDING OF IMPORTANT ISSUES, FROM ALL SIDES OF EACH QUESTION. oUR STUDY GROUP INVESTIGATES FACTS, DISCUSSES EACH ISSUE BEFORE COMING TO DECISION. IN THAT WAY LEAGUE HAS TAUGHT ME TO EVALUATE COMPLEXED ISSUES WITH FACTS AND REACH MY OWN DECISION. . I HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE LEAGUE SPONSORED BI PARTISAN PUBLIC FORUMS ON ISSUES AND WITH CANDIDATES. PROUD TO BE AN INFORMED CITIZEN BECAUSE OF LEAGUE. OUR BOOK CLUB DISCUSSES AND READS NON FICTION BOOKS REPRESENTING ALL POLITICAL VIEW POINTS AND COVERING A BROAD AREA OF ISSUES.

    Martha R.

    Volunteer

    Rating: 5

    As a long time League member, I note the many ways that the League has helped me grow. Developing leadership skills, understanding government on all levels, research and advocacy are among the important areas.
    Friends who are involved and concerned are a bonus.
    I recommend that all interested citizens (men and women) join this non partisan and effective organization.

    Please give--maintaining democracy is demanding!

    Volunteer

    Rating: 5

    I've been a member of the League of Women Voters for over thirty years. It has been an extremely empowering and rewarding experience. Informed and civil civic engagement is one of the most important gifts we can give to our society. League members do it with pride.

    Board Member

    Rating: 5

    Sometimes we feel hopeless. "What can I do to change things?" The League provides an answer. It's one of the most patriotic things you can do - support League and join League. Promote informed voting. Encourage citizens to vote and help them to do so. You CAN do something!

    9

    Volunteer

    Rating: 5

    The League of Women Voters works to get all citizens involved and active in government. Local Leagues around the country have active and dedicated volunteers. Priorities are clean government and election laws, voting rights and civil rights. In recent years the League has supported strong environmental and health care legislation.