I wasn’t going to write about the election. I was really trying to avoid it. But now that it has consumed my mind for the past seven days, I decided to write.

I have friends and family on both sides of the fence. I have colleagues who are angry and colleagues who are thrilled. And certainly if you watch the news at all, it is evident that the country is absolutely divided.

From a professional standpoint, I have been thinking about what the election outcome will mean for associations. That was on my mind even before the election was completed, and certainly it continues to be on the forefront of my mind post-election.

What I have realized is that all associations and charitable organizations have an incredible opportunity in front of them. This is why nonprofits exist, right? To make change. To advocate for a sector of society. Whether you are pleased or disenchanted by the election results, there are productive steps you can take to support your cause:

  1. Find a nonprofit that supports and advocates for causes you are passionate about and make a donation.
  1. Get engaged in a local professional society or trade association that works to protect your profession and industry. These organizations are usually engaged in political activities that lobby on your behalf.
  1. Contact your legislators frequently to communicate with them about your position on matters that are important to you.
  1. Perform random acts of kindness. There is a lot of fear out there – on both sides of the fence. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fans are being targeted in a variety of ways. Take a moment each day to make someone else’s day better and ease a little anxiety, if even for a moment.

No matter who you support, I encourage all of us as Americans – Don’t let politics win. Take a step to bridge the divide. Together, this country already IS great.

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