About Us: Progressive Turnout Project is the largest voter contact organization in the country, specifically dedicated to mobilizing the Democratic Party and defending democracy. Our mission: rally Democrats to vote.
As part of our roadmap to success for the 2022 election, we committed to a new initiative to expand voter contact — providing early funding to grassroots organizations across the country with individual grants of up to $250,000 . This Turnout Grants program complements our existing programming while supporting additional research and building capacity for direct voter contact.
Last week, we had the pleasure of introducing our supporters to five of our Turnout Grantees — and our special guest Ryan Busse, author of Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America —during our call about the power of engaging communities.
The discussion was centered around the strategies our grantees are testing to connect with voters in creative ways. On the call, our panelists discussed the prevention of gun violence as a unifying issue, mobilizing youth voters, and new voter contact strategies.
The Grantees featured in this webinar were:
Julia with Focus Action Network &
Anton with Unity in the Community
Their Turnout Grant will make possible a new Super Connector program, including hiring and training 150 super connectors to each contact a minimum of 100 voters, then support those voters as they complete voter registration, vote by mail, and GOTV engagement.
Julia, on the importance of early funding:
“We really appreciate this funding early on, we can really hit the ground running [with our relational program] all the voter registration and vote by mail tools are up and running, so people can actually start doing what we want them to do.”
Anton, on consistency and community:
“We build with our community in our neighborhoods throughout the year, and then we come to them and say ‘Hey look, you know that issue that you care about, we need you to vote and get engaged.’ And people are open to it, because they see us year round.”
“When you build a relationship and you talk to people and you engage with them on a grassroots level and find out what’s going on with them personally, they are more open to get involved and get engaged. That’s why our relational program has worked so well.”
Ava with 18by Vote
Their Turnout Grant will help expand their paid youth Civic Leaders training and Civic Organizer programs, connecting with approximately 180,000 youth and new voters across 18 regions.
Ava, on the benefits of early civic engagement:
“What we’re doing as an organization is building an active network of youth, who have registered to vote and have registered their peers to vote. Our ultimate goal is to have young people maintain and grow their local civic communities, and many of the young people who have worked with us actually go on to work with other organizations that are based in their communities, or are doing national work around youth organizing.”
Jordan with Georgia Shift
Their Turnout Grant will fund the hiring of paid campus fellows as well as a campus organizer. This organizer will support the training of student cohorts, and the implementation of campus specific voter engagement plans.
Jordan, on what he’s most excited about:
“Our storytelling program is so fun to watch play out. We talk to folks about the issues that are on their minds. It is so fun. It energizes us. We ask ‘if you could change one thing, what would it be,’ and the answers are so amazing.”
Andy with Shape Up the Vote
Their Turnout Grant will expand their successful model used in New York and Virginia in 2021, allowing organizers to scale the program and build relationships with around 5,000 barbers and stylists across Georgia. Funding will also support the development and distribution of outreach kits and data.
Andy, on what’s at the core of their work:
[Shape Up the Vote’s] core strategy hasn’t changed this year, which is to empower others to organize around voting, especially the people who are trusted messengers in a community.”