Defending Digital Campaigns

Type of Activity: General Operating Support
Grantee: Defending Digital Campaigns
Amount: $250,000 in 2019

What is Defending Digital Campaigns?

Defending Digital Campaigns (DDC) is a nonprofit and non-partisan organization committed to bringing cybersecurity tools and resources to federal election campaigns. 

Defending Digital Democracy works to make our political process more secure by providing political parties and campaigns with the knowledge, products, and services to defend themselves from cyber threats and attacks.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Defending Digital Campaign provides free and reduced-cost cybersecurity services to campaigns that are operating at the federal, state and local levels.

Election campaigns lack support for cybersecurity even though they are primary targets for cyber attacks from those who would seek to disrupt an election. Establishing a robust and secure system is difficult due to the high cost of products, lack of technical expertise, and the decentralized nature of political campaigns. Defending Digital Campaigns overcomes these challenges by working with credible vendors to obtain access to cybersecurity tools at a lower cost, and by providing education and information sharing for campaigns.  

Ensuring that our elections are safe from outside influence is necessary to maintain the public’s trust in electoral results. For democracy to succeed, voters need to be confident in the integrity of the electoral process.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Defending Digital Campaigns?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $250,000 to Defending Digital Campaigns.

Civic Engagement and Voting Rights Project

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Color of Change
Amount: $200,000 in 2019 over two years

What is Color of Change?

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. As a national online force driven by more than 1.5 million members, they move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

The Civic Engagement and Voting Rights Project is focusing on expanding voter access and ensuring the votes of all Black people count. Their work includes ending voter intimidation and suppression, including Voter ID laws to increase civic engagement before and after elections. Finally, the project works to ensure that the 2020 Census provides full and fair representation of the current US population. 

Why do we think this project is important?

Color of Change works with its 1.6 million members to defend against election policy that would limit access to the ballot for Black voters and advocate for election reform that expands voter access.

This grant will support Color of Change’s Civic Engagement and Voting Rights Project in their efforts to mobilize communities of color around issues of voter suppression throughout 2020 and 2021. During these two years, multiple legislative and administrative decisions about election policy will be made at the state level.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Color of Change?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a two-year grant to Color of Change’s Civic Engagement & Voting Rights project in the amount of $200,000.

Change the Terms

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Color of Change
Amount: $200,000 in 2019 over two years

What is Color of Change?

Color of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. Through integrated strategies and activities, they mobilize 1.4 million members to act on a range of intersectional issues. Color of Change organizes its members to combat racism, injustice, and attacks on freedom wherever they occur — in democracy, media, the economy, or the criminal justice system. 

Why do we think this project is important?

Change the Terms, a project by Color of Change, organizes stakeholders from civil society, government, and technology to hold social media platforms accountable to the American public in order to advance America’s democratic promise. This grant will fund activity to encourage content moderation and advertising policies on social media platforms. Change the Terms’ coalition, consisting of 40 civil rights, anti-hate, and open-internet organizations, has worked on a set of corporate policies to help tech companies reduce hateful activities on their platforms.

Digital and social media platforms have become a primary source of information for many Americans, and the major role these platforms play in shaping national conversations cannot be denied. But people of color and women in general are too often the victims of harassment and threats, actions that are not protected by the first amendment. Change the Terms’ campaign challenges social media and digital platforms to take more responsibility for their role as stewards of the digital public square. For a democracy to remain healthy, it is vital that voices are not silenced by fear of harassment and violence. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Change the Terms?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a two-year grant to Color of Change for their project Change the Terms in the amount of $200,000. 

Co-Equal

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Co-Equal, a project of Sixteen Thirty Fund
Amount: $282,000 in 2019

What is Co-Equal?

The mission of Co-Equal, a fiscally sponsored project of Sixteen Thirty Fund, is to provide information and advice that helps members of Congress advance policies and conduct effective oversight. 

Why do we think this project is important?

Co-Equal’s experts have decades of experience conducting investigations, developing oversight agendas, and explaining to the public the importance of congressional oversight as a tool to hold the executive branch accountable. Their expertise serves as a valuable resource to members of Congress carrying out oversight duties, investigations, and advancing policy priorities. 

Congressional oversight of the executive branch is a key part of our constitution’s system of checks and balances. Each branch of government must exercise its ability to hold the other two branches accountable in order to uphold the rule of law and prevent abuses of power. Without such accountability, corruption can go unchecked and undermine the health of a democracy. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Co-Equal?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $282,000 to support Co-Equal.

Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME) Action

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: CSME Action, a project of Sixteen Thirty Fund
Amount: $1,000,000 in 2019 over two years

What is CSME Action?

Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME) Action, a project funded by Sixteen Thirty Fund, works to make voting registration easier through pro-voter policy reform advocacy. They are a bipartisan organization dedicated to advancing pro-voter policies at the state level that modernize the voting process and ensure that every eligible voter can have their voice heard. CSME Action supports state-led efforts to defeat bad policies and rules, pivot to strong pro-voter policies, and change the conversation so that both parties engage in pro-voter activities. 

Why do we think this project is important?

CSME Action has extensive expertise in advocating for pro-voter legislation and defending existing voting policies from detrimental changes. 

They advance pro-voter reforms through different strategies, including providing assistance to local leaders who want to modernize their elections for the 21st century — regardless of party affiliation. They also provide resources to support the efforts of organizations and advocates who elevate the voices of individuals negatively impacted by voting registration policies. Because there is a wide range of needs unique to different regions and communities, CSME Action works with community members to identify the right modernization policies for a specific state. This customized approach builds buy-in from local leaders and community members, and ensures that chosen reforms will be the most effective option. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting CSME Action?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $1,000,000 over two years to Sixteen Thirty Fund to support the Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME) Action. 

Bipartisan Policy Center Action

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Bipartisan Policy Center Action
Amount: $350,000 in 2019

What is Bipartisan Policy Center Action?

Bipartisan Policy Center Action (BPC Action) advocates for bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing our country. In close partnership with their 501(c)(3) partner, the Bipartisan Policy Center, BPC Action brings Republicans and Democrats together to achieve policy changes on polarizing issues including congressional dysfunction.

Why do we think this project is important?

BPC Action works closely with the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, rank-and-file legislators, and other stakeholders to advance productive rules changes and reforms that strengthen the legislative capacity of Congress. BPC Action also sponsors Congress That Works, a project to increase public awareness about reform and activate constituent engagement in support of a modern Congress that better serves the American people. Learn more at: congressthatworks.com

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Bipartisan Policy Center Action?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Bipartisan Policy Center Action for their efforts to modernize Congress in the amount of $350,000.

State Open Records and Voting Rights

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: American Oversight, Inc.
Amount: $200,000 in 2019 over two years

What is American Oversight?

A non-partisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog, American Oversight uses the Freedom of Information Act and public records laws to investigate government misconduct. Once documents have been uncovered and published, they work with the judicial system to end corruption and abuses of power within the government. 

Why do we think this project is important?

We believe that voting rights must be protected against voter suppression efforts. Greater transparency into how legislative and administrative election changes are made can deter attempts to disenfranchise voters. American Oversight enables greater transparency by requesting access to state government records and using the legal system to obtain documents when necessary. They make all of this information available to the public, shining a light on voter suppression attempts.

Through the course of their work, American Oversight has found that increased transparency can influence the actions of public officials who realize that their work and communications will be available for public scrutiny. This grant will support American Oversight’s current efforts to uncover paper trails behind concerted efforts to undermine the right to vote. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting American Oversight?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a two-year grant of $200,000 to American Oversight.

Democracy Done Right

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Alliance for Youth Action
Amount: $225,000 in 2019 over two years

What is the Alliance for Youth Action?

The Alliance for Youth Action supports and scales the work of local organizations, building a movement of young people, by young people, and for all people.

The Alliance’s Democracy Done Right project is focused on supporting changes that ensure every citizen is automatically registered to vote, that all citizens can cast their ballot in a secure, accessible way that fits their needs, and that no one has the right to vote taken away for any reason.

Why do we think this project is important?

The Alliance works with a national network of state-based youth-focused organizations leading local Democracy Done Right issue campaigns to secure the access, security, and convenience young voters deserve. Democracy Fund Voice believes our electoral system needs the participation of young voters if the results of elections are going to truly reflect the will of the people, which in turn can increase the electorate’s faith in our political system. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Alliance for Youth Action?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a two-year grant to the Alliance for Youth Action for their Democracy Done Right project in the amount of $225,000.

Alliance for Safety and Justice

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Alliance for Safety and Justice, a project of Tides Center
Amount: $20,000 in 2019 

What is the Alliance for Safety and Justice?

The Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center, works with leaders and advocates to reform the justice system through coalition building, research, education and advocacy.

A multi-state organization,  ASJ aims to replace over-incarceration with new safety solutions rooted in prevention, rehabilitation and support for crime victims. Their work is focused on the largest incarceration states; they partner with state leaders and advocates to implement policy advocacy, organizing, coalition building, research and strategic communications.

Why do we think this project is important?

ASJ’s work on rights restoration and broader criminal justice reform helps build a movement of returning citizens and allies, and mobilizes them to tell the story of rights restoration in Florida and protect the re-enfranchisement of Floridians living with past convictions.

Democracy Fund Voice believes that in order to build a responsive political system in which the public comes first, barriers to voting must be removed. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and any time a group of people are disenfranchised, there is a cost to the health of our political system. 

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Alliance for Safety and Justice?

In 2019, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to Alliance for Safety and Justice in the amount of $20,000.

Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund

Type of Activity: Project Grant
Grantee: Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund, a project of Tides Foundation
Amount: $225,000 in 2019 over two years

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 important? 

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund (FRRCEF) leads the movement to restore voting rights to 1.6 million nonviolent returning citizens (formerly convicted persons) in Florida. We believe this is an important opportunity to ensure these citizens can 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 2019 Democracy Fund Voice approved a two-year grant to FRRCEF’s fiscal sponsor, the Tides Foundation, in the amount of $250,000. A previous grant was made in 2018 in the amount of $200,000.