Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Tides Foundation
Amount: $200,000 in 2018-2019

What is the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund? 

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund (FRRCEF), a fiscally sponsored project of Tides Foundation, is a grassroots, membership organization run by returning citizens who work to promote ex-felon re-enfranchisement and successful re-entry into society. Their work supports the implementation of voting rights restoration in Florida following the passage of Amendment 4. 

Why do we think this project is a good idea? 

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund (FRRCEF) leads the movement to restore voting rights to 1.6 million nonviolent ex-felons in Florida. We believe this is a tremendous opportunity to allow these citizens to fully participate in American democracy by removing barriers to registration and voting. Research suggests that restoration of voting rights has multiple effects on individuals and society, including more effective re-entry and decreased recidivism.

With Democracy Fund’s support, FRRCEF is addressing implementation of the law, communications around the benefits of the law, and other important efforts of FRRCEF. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the project? 

In 2018, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to FRRCEF’s fiscal sponsor, the Tides Foundation, in the amount of up to $200,000 over two years.

Protecting the Right to Protest Fund

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Proteus Action League
Amount: $100,000 in 2018

What is Proteus Action League?

The Protecting the Right to Protest Fund, a project of Proteus Action League, is a rapid response fund to state groups combatting legislation that would restrict the freedom to assemble. In addition, they coordinate a national network of organizations that serve as support to local actors.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Peaceful protest is a quintessential exercise of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Throughout American history, it has been a key strategy to hold government accountable to the people and to advance democracy. In recent years, there have been an increase in the number of bills introduced to discourage protest, with policies ranging from significantly increased civil fines for protestors and increased criminal penalties for specific forms of protest.

In response to these bills, the Protect the Right to Protest fund is able to quickly disperse grants to organizations to conduct public education, engage their communities, and advocate for freedom of assembly. The Protect the Right to Protest Fund also helps advocates develop messaging, learn best practices from one another, and hone their communications strategies. Their national network, Protect Dissent, provides support to state groups and works collaboratively to protect this fundamental Constitutional right.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Proteus Action League?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Proteus Action League in the amount of $100,000 in 2018. 

Arizona State University: 2018 Language Access Convening

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Arizona State University
Amount: $60,000 in 2018

What is the 2018 Language Access Convening?

The annual Language Access for Voters Summit, hosted by Arizona State University, brings together election officials, advocates, and other experts to share ideas, techniques, and resources – all in service of meeting the needs of voters for whom English is a second language or those who simply prefer to communicate in a language other than English.

Why do we think this event is important?

This convening brings together multiple stakeholders around the issue of language access in elections. Legitimate election outcomes are predicated on a process that is free and fair for all qualified citizens. Accommodating different language needs is essential to ensure that elections are free in fact, and not just in theory.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Arizona State University?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Arizona State University in the amount of $60,000 in 2018.

Campaign Legal Center: Online Political Advertising

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Campaign Legal Center
Amount: Up to $50,000 in 2018

What is the Campaign Legal Center?

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. CLC is adamantly nonpartisan, holding candidates and government officials accountable regardless of political affiliation. Their work includes serving as a watchdog group on ethics and campaign finance issues and participating in legal proceedings across the country to defend the right to vote.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) shines light on the lack of transparency in online political advertising. Opaque and outdated transparency laws make it easy for dark money campaigns to influence elections and political debates online. CLC develops and pushes for common sense solutions that improve transparency of online ads at the state and federal level.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Campaign Legal Center?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to the Campaign Legal Center in the amount of up to $50,000 in 2018.

Four Freedoms Action Fund

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: NEO Philanthropy Action Fund
Amount: $100,000 in 2018

What is the Four Freedoms Action Fund?

The Four Freedoms Action Fund (FFAF) is a project of NEO Philanthropy Action Fund (NEO-PAF) that builds and supports a robust local, state and national infrastructure of immigrants’ rights organizations and leaders. They are conducting a post 2018-midterm mapping and analysis to determine and understand what legislative opportunities there are at the state level to support immigrant communities.

Why do we think this project is a good idea?

We believe that diverse, bipartisan organizations and communities can work together for the common good. Bipartisan efforts are required in order to create safe and secure communities, develop a sense of shared national identity, and make space to defend constitutional norms under attack.  The Four Freedoms Action Fund’s 2018-midterm mapping identifies potential legislative efforts, policy issues, and other state-level opportunities where bipartisan networks can collaborate more effectively.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Four Freedoms Action Fund?

In 2018, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 to the Four Freedoms Action Fund.

National Vote at Home Coalition

Type of activity: Project Grant
Grantee: National Vote at Home Coalition
Amount: $75,000 over one year

What is the National Vote at Home Coalition?

The National Vote at Home Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring the security of our elections and ensuring that voters’ needs are put first.

Why do we think this project is important?

A well-designed vote-at-home system provides alternatives for election administrators, has the potential to save money, and is an option that is well-liked by voters. The combination of these benefits results in a more efficient and accessible voting system.  The National Vote At Home Coalition will utilize research, education, and network-building to improve how election officials, advocates, and the public interact with Vote by Mail solutions. We believe that improving and increasing vote at home options will enhance efficiency in election administration and increase voter participation.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the National Vote at Home Coalition?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a one year grant of $75,000 in 2018 to the National Vote at Home Coalition to increase understanding of Vote by Mail solutions and their benefits to the election process.

Open Society Project

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Niskanen Center for Public Policy
Amount: $175,000 in 2018

What is the Niskanen Center for Public Policy?

The Niskanen Center for Public Policy is a 501(c)(4) organization that works within the governing networks of American politics to advance policies and politics animated by a spirit of thoughtful moderation.

Why do we think this organization is important?

The Niskanen Center for Public Policy is dedicated to protecting democratic institutions and processes. They believe that maintaining a liberal democracy is not a partisan issue, and that American rights and institutions must be actively protected. To this end, their Open Society Project has developed a center-right network of individuals and organizations opposed to the spread of illiberal, nativist populism.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Niskanen Center?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to the Niskanen Center for Public Policy in the amount of $175,000 in 2018.

TXBIZ Votes: Online Voter Registration

Type of activity: Project Grant
Grantee: TXBIZ Votes
Amount: $75,000 over one year

What is TXBIZ Votes?

TXBIZ Votes provides non-partisan and unbiased information about where candidates and elected officials stand on issues important to Texas employees, industry sectors, and consumers.

 Why do we think this project is important?

We believe in solutions and institutions that work to support election administrators and improve processes. Election Administrators in Texas have to consistently deal with large amounts of paper registration forms. Online Voter Registration is a reform policy that greatly benefits the public, as well as state and local election officials, by streamlining the voting process. Currently, Texas is the largest remaining state without Online Voter Registration, and it has some of the lowest electoral participation and registration rates in the country.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting TXBIZ?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a one year grant of $75,000 in 2018 to TXBIZ Votes to support ongoing state-based efforts to modernize elections in Texas.

Welcoming America

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Welcoming America
Amount: $90,000 in 2018

What is Welcoming America?

Welcoming America is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides the roadmap and support institutions need to become more inclusive toward immigrants and all other residents.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Democracy Fund Voice is committed to supporting voices across the political spectrum who stand up for our democratic norms and institutions. We believe in the dignity of every individual and in the equal protection of their rights under the law.

Welcoming America works to build a movement of inclusive communities by bringing together a network of local governments and nonprofits through an innovative social change model. Founded in 2009, Welcoming America connects local communities with training, resources, national leaders (including Congress), and networks to create initiatives that help motivate policy, reinforce welcoming principles, and communicate the socioeconomic benefits of inclusion.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Welcoming America?

In 2018, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $90,000 to Welcoming America.

Faith in Texas Action

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Faith in Texas Action
Amount: Up to $100,000 in 2018

What is Faith in Texas Action?

Faith in Texas is an affiliate of the Faith in Action national network, the nation’s largest network developing civic leadership in low- and moderate-income faith communities to advocate for economic and racial justice.  Faith in Texas trains teams of lay leaders in local churches, mosques and synagogues, serving low and moderate-income people. The Justice Teams identify systemic problems that affect their community, and move entire congregations to action through powerful policy campaigns.

Why do we think this organization is important?

The Belonging Communities project of Faith in Texas Action will build new civic capacity in geographic areas that are politically uncontested, particularly suburbs, exurbs, small cities, and states with undivided government. To solve geographic polarization, they will engage faith communities to embrace a “politics of belonging” in areas that are currently polarized and sharply divided.

Faith in Texas creates space for empathy, storytelling, and shared action across the boundaries of race, religion, and economics.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Faith in Texas Action?

Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Faith in Texas Action in the amount of up to $100,000 in 2018.