Why Relationships With Elected Officials Are Mission-Critical For Small Organizations, with Steve Choi

This week I’m having a really fun conversation with my good friend, Steve Choi. Steve is a lawyer, activist, organizer, political strategist, and nonprofit leader. Most recently, he was the ED of the NY Immigration Coalition here in NYC.  In the decades that Steve and I have been friends, I’ve come to understand him as a truly gifted advocate and political systems thinker & strategist. In this episode, we talk about how important it is for nonprofits – especially small and emerging organizations – to understand how they fit into the political landscape of their community, how their mission can be served by a deeper partnership with elected officials, and to bring real intentionality to deciding which levers to pull to explore and build relationships with elected officials.

Ultimately, what is exciting to me about this conversation is that it reminded me that leading and building a nonprofit that has an incredible and transformative impact – whether you have a 5 million budget or a 50K budget – means looking at all of the impact levers available and strategically choosing which ones to pull and when. Steven offers insight into how to push through the fears that can come up around working with and fundraising from electeds, we talk about the inherent power that nonprofits have, and how to lean into that, and he provides a fabulous breakdown of how to get started building partnerships with government.