How to make your not-for-profit mark during elections

Our Founder and CEO, Jo Scard, recently featured alongside Meltwater’s Executive Account Manager Rohan Hora to explore insights from the federal government election, with Jo sharing key takeaways for not-for-profits looking to make an impact during an election campaign. With the New South Wales state election coming up in 2023, and Victoria going to the polls in 2024, now is the time for not-for-profit organisations to start planning their great campaign.

If you didn’t make the webinar, it’s a shame, but you can still benefit from Jo’s insight, as we’ve included them below:

Host an event in a marginal seat

It doesn’t take much to garner some attention in a small, influential area, and achieve impactful media coverage. Fifty Acres helped one their clients do just that during the federal election campaign, highlighting their cause, garnering support from the likely incumbent, and strengthening connections across government.    

Communicate in places your audience hangs out 

Communication across the federal election campaign evidenced a changing landscape. Stephen Bates, a Member for the Greens in Brisbane, advertised on Grindr, Reddit and Twitter were widely used, and Labor took to Facebook.  

Whatever awareness you need to raise, it must be done where your audience or potential audience already exists. Whilst traditional media will always have a place, the breadth of communication channels has very much changed, and it is vital to know which channel will deliver maximum impact.

Let the media know if you have something to say 

Topics are rife when it comes to an election campaign. The federal election campaign ran for 6 weeks, and that’s a lot of news coverage! 

One of the ways to make your mark as a not-for-profit organisation is to let the media know when you have something to add to the conversation.  Add is the operative word here. It needs to be a new angle, have potential to guide the narrative in a different direction, and ideally, be backed by data. It’s a way to raise your profile amongst media and government, and to ensure that you’re on journalists’ speed dial, long after the election has been called.

Don’t ignore government connection once the polls close

The recent federal election has changed the ball game. It is only slightly a majority government, with many members from the Greens and independent parties securing a seat at the table. In the early days of this government, we have seen some signs of intended collaboration, and this bodes well for the not-for-profit industry.  

For the first time, in a long time, not-for-profit voices may be heard, and their causes funded. While it’s imperative to do the work throughout the election campaign, the trick is always to ensure government relations forms part of your strategy, and that connections with Ministers and their advisors are strong when it comes time for funding or necessary industry changes.


If you have something to say in the lead-up to the state elections in New South Wales (2023) or Victoria (2024), Fifty Acres can help with government lobbying and engagement, increased media coverage or stakeholder relations. Get in touch today.

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