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Hosting a Candidate Forum

Hosting a candidate forum on your campus can be a great way to provide residents, and candidates an opportunity to get to know each other. In addition, hosting a candidate forum can increase the connection the candidates feel with your organization.

As with all other aspects of election campaigns as a not for profit, forums must remain non-partisan. This fact however, can be a major advantage in attracting candidates to attend. When attempting to confirm candidates’ presence at your forum, stress the fact that you will be holding a non-partisan forum.

To remain non-partisan, all candidates for a race must be invited to your forum. Not all candidates must accept your offer. Your obligation is to ensure each candidate received equal opportunity by your organization. It is best to get confirmation of attendance or absence in writing.

Guide to planning and executing a successful candidate forum.


Candidate Appearances

As a non-profit, you can invite candidates to visit your campus or attend an event, as long as you maintain your non-partisan status. Read guidelines on candidate appearances at your nonprofit event and hosting candidates at charitable events

Candidate Questionnaires & Voter Guides

Non-profits can use candidate questionnaires and voter guides to provide nonpartisan education about the candidate’s positions on issues important to you and the general public. There are specific elements that must be followed to ensure non-partisanship. View guidelines.

Candidate Debates

Non-profits may also educate voters by sponsoring candidate debates before elections. A debate is where candidates directly engage each other at the same time on particular topics in accordance with carefully drawn rules. Read these guidelines to make sure you are on the right side of the law.