Inside Philanthropy: Dear MacKenzie and Dan: Advice for America’s Biggest Donors
Inside Philanthropy – May 25, 2022
By David Callahan
In every key state, there are now effective grassroots organizations working to mobilize low-income voters, with a focus on communities of color — groups like Florida Rising, Carolina Federation, New Georgia Project, Texas Organizing Project, New Virginia Majority, and the list goes on. These groups take a long-term approach to building people’s civic voice and their political power. Getting out the vote at election time is just one part of what they do; their broader vision is to ensure that people who’ve been historically ignored are finally heard. I know that’s a vision both of you embrace.
The other thing about these state and local groups is that most are way underfunded. This is another area where your money can make a big difference.
It’s not hard to figure out how to give for civic engagement and voter mobilization. Just ask other funders who are already working to scale up the most effective organizing groups. You can donate to leading state and local groups directly, and make large gifts to national intermediaries that fund their work, like the Center for Popular Democracy, Movement Voter Project, Way to Win, Rural Democracy Initiative, and the State Infrastructure Fund (which you’ve supported already). Giving to these groups would build on your historic 2020 gift to Community Change, one of the most important national organizing groups working to build the power of low-income Americans. You should also give to the Midwest Academy and other groups that train organizers, all of which are starved of resources.
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