Stand Up Republic

Type of Activity: Grant
Grantee: Stand Up Republic
Amount: Up to $250,000 in 2017

What is Stand Up Republic?

Stand Up Republic is a recently launched organization founded by Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn to usher in a new era of civic engagement to defend democratic institutions and ideals in America. They seek to build and organize a grassroots movement in defense of liberty, equality, and truth in America while upholding the Constitution and defend the democratic norms and institutions upon which the protection of our basic rights depend.

Why do we think this organization is a good idea?

This organization is confronting and engaging in important work to protect the norms of our democracy and to push back against dangerous demagoguery in our politics. Organization  projects will include executive oversight (particularly related to Article I), First Amendment protections, and individual rights. By supporting Stand Up we support efforts to empower individuals to stand for their principles and for preserving our republic. Stand Up seeks to achieve it’s mission through creative education, leadership development, national movement building, and advocacy.

How is Voice supporting Stand Up Republic?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Stand Up Republic in the amount of up to $25o,000 in 2017.

“Show Up and Vote” Campaign

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Global Citizen
Amount: Up to $325,000 in 2016

What is the “Show Up and Vote” Campaign?
Global Citizen is a social action platform for a global generation that wants to solve the world’s biggest challenges by learning about issues, taking action on what matters most, and joining a community committed to social change. Over the last five years, millions of global citizens around the world took six million actions to solve the world’s biggest challenges. In 2016, Global Citizen’s “Show Up and Vote” effort will focus on increasing voter registration and participation among younger Americans through a series of events and concerts with high-profile artists.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?
Registration and participation among younger voters is historically low, and Democracy Fund Voice believes Global Citizen’s “Show Up and Vote” campaign is the kind of cultural effort that reaches and engages young people where they are — through concerts and events, and digital and social outreach.

How is Voice supporting the project?
Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Global Citizen, which is managed by the Global Poverty Project, to support the “Show Up and Vote” Campaign in the amount of up to $325,000 in 2016.

Funny or Die’s “Everyone Votes”

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Unity of Purpose Project
Amount: Up to $250,000 in 2016

What is Funny or Die’s “Everyone Votes”?

Funny or Die’s “Everyone Votes” project is a nonpartisan cultural campaign using humor and celebrity to engage young people in pledging, registering, and planning to vote.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

Democracy Fund Voice believes our politics are most robust when young people are engaged, and too often civic education fails to spur young voters to go to the ballot booth. Built on a popular and proven comedy website, “Everyone Votes” is well-positioned to reach and engage Millienials and eligible Gen Z voters who are often ignored by traditional politics.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to the Unity of Purpose Project, the 501(c)4 arm of Funny or Die, in the amount of up to $250,000 to promote civic engagement in young adults through culturally relevant videos.

National Voter Registration Day

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: National Voter Registration Day
Amount: Up to $250,000 in 2016

What is National Voter Registration Day?

National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit effort to raise national awareness of voter registration deadlines in every election cycle. On September 27, 2016, NVRD will host hundreds of events in order to reach and register eligible Americans across the country.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

Democracy Fund Voice believes an engaged citizenry is central to a responsive republic, and our elections are at their strongest when more eligible voters punch their ballots. NVRD leverages an array of technology, partnerships, and culture to engage and register eligible Americans.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to National Voter Registration Day, administered by the Bus Federation Education Fund, in the amount of up to $250,000 for voter outreach and registration in 2016.

TurboVote Challenge

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Democracy Works
Amount: Up to $60,000 in 2016

What is the TurboVote Challenge?

The TurboVote Challenge is a project of Democracy Works, a 501(c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit voter technology organization. The TurboVote Challenge brings leading corporations and organizations together in a long-term commitment to increase U.S. voter turnout to 80 percent over the next decade.

Why do we think the TurboVote Challenge is a good idea?

Democracy Fund Voice believes technology and innovation offer new opportunities to increase engagement in our political systems. We also believe individuals, nonprofits, and business can be powerful partners in increasing participation. Through partnerships with major corporations such as Univision, Starbucks, and Spotify, the TurboVote Challenge has the potential to dramatic expand the reach of Democracy Works’ digital registration and reminder tools.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Democracy Works of up to $60,000 to provide the TurboVote Challenge with additional media and network support.

Vote.org’s Mobile Outreach Strategies

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Vote.org
Amount: Up to $75,000 in 2016

What is Vote.org?

Vote.org is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that operates at the intersection of technology and democracy. The organization’s online tools – which allow registration, absentee ballots, and checking a voter’s status – leverage technology to help ensure Americans have the modern, responsive election system they deserve.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

Research suggests mobile outreach to eligible voters, combined with email outreach, can increase participation in elections. Vote.org’s efforts to expand the impact of their participation tools through additional outreach – and publish the results of their experiments – aligns with Democracy Fund Voice’s belief that strong voter turn out is best for our republic.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Vote.org of up to $75,000 to support a civic engagement project that digitally provides registered voters with important logistical and scheduling voter information in the 2016 election.

NALEO Education Fund’s Voter Hotline

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: NALEO Education Fund
Amount: Up to $150,000 in 2016

What is the NALEO Education Fund and its Voter Hotline?

The NALEO Education Fund is the nation’s leading 501(c)3 non-profit organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. NALEO Education Fund has operated 888-VE-Y-VOTA, the only year-round, live English/Spanish bilingual voter information and protection hotline in the nation, since 2004. The goal of the hotline is to demystify the voting process and help Latinos feel confident about casting a ballot.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

Democracy Fund Voice believes ensuring Americans from all walks of life can participate in our elections is key to our election system’s integrity. NALEO Education Fund’s nonpartisan outreach and provision of timely information on state election practices and procedures to Spanish speaking voters is one way to maintain confidence in the responsiveness of our political system.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to NALEO Education Fund of up to $150,000 to provide Spanish language resources to voters in the 2016 election.

Tow Center Terrorism and Media White Papers

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
Amount: Up to $150,000 in 2016-2017

What is the Tow Center?

The Tow Center operates as an institute within Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. It is poised to take advantage of a unique combination of factors to foster the development of digital journalism. This grant will explore the relationship between terrorism, policy, and all media.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

We believe that the emerging dynamics of a media system which fosters real time coverage and responses are largely unexplored and are increasingly influential. This project will generate papers reporting on emerging practices and their relationship to the current elections cycle, and convene media industry decision-makers to discuss the findings. This aims to inform  pre-election discussion regarding reporting trends, and the effects of social media on the racist and/or Islamphobic rhetoric that has become prevalent.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York in the amount of up to $150,000 to support the Tow Center within Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2016-2017.

Veterans Against Islamaphophia

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Human Rights First
Amount: Up to $200,000 in 2016-2017

What is Human Rights First?

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. This grant will support HRF’s work to organize retired military leaders and other veterans to speak out against Islamophobia and promote the argument that anti-Muslim speech and policies are fundamentally un-American.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

We believe the United States is an inclusive nation and at its best when it embraces diversity and champions human rights. This project will address the recent rise in Islamophobia, xenophobia, and subsequent divisive rhetoric in the United States. Through its Veterans for American Ideals platform, Human Rights First is uniquely suited to engage retired military leaders and veterans to participate in this discourse and encourage meaningful change.

How is Voice supporting the project?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Human Rights First in the amount of up to $200,000 in 2016-2017.

Citizens’ Initiative Review

Type of Activity: Advocacy Grant
Grantee: Healthy Democracy Action
Amount: Up to $250,000 in 2015

What is a Citizens’ Initiative Review?

The State of Oregon established a Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission in 2011 to provide voters with quality, unbiased information about ballot measures to help them make good public decisions. Each election year, the Oregon Commission convenes groups of randomly selected and demographically representative voters to hear arguments for and against ballot measures. Designed to be fair and in-depth, the review process culminates with the production of a Citizens’ Statement detailing the key findings of the Citizens’ Initiative Review panel. The Citizens’ Statement is included in the statewide Voters’ Pamphlet mailed to every voter prior to an election.

A team of nationally recognized researchers funded by the National Science Foundation has concluded that the CIR Citizens’ Statements are widely used and helpful to a large percentage of voters.

Why do we think the Citizens’ Initiative Review is a good idea?

While lawmakers have access to public hearings about proposed legislation, the initiative process asks citizens to vote with very little objective information on important, often complex topics. Most voter information comes from political campaigns and campaign ads. As a result, most voters tell pollsters that they often find ballot measures too complicated and confusing to understand, and most say that they have cast ballots on measures with which they are unfamiliar. While voters say they like the ballot initiative process, they want it to work better.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review is a bipartisan idea that responds directly to the needs of the public and reduces the ability of campaigns to deceive or manipulate the public with misinformation. External evaluations of the informative value of Citizens’ Initiative Reviews show consistently positive results. In Oregon:

  • 65% of voters who read the statements said they helped them decide how to vote.
  • CIR statements were found to help voters become more informed.
  • CIR deliberations were found to be fair and respectful, producing statements free of gross factual errors or faulty logic.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Citizens’ Initiative Review?

Democracy Fund Voice approved its first grant to Healthy Democracy Voice in the amount of up to $250,000 in 2015 to support advocacy for the adoption of legislation that would enable the creation of Citizens’ Initiative Reviews in states outside of Oregon.