May 2, 2022
CHICAGO, IL – Today, Progressive Turnout Project announced the priority round of Turnout Grants, an initial investment as part of PTP’s commitment to giving one million dollars in grassroots funding. This funding will expand direct voter contact through five innovative grassroots groups working in strategic states.
“While we execute comprehensive, strategic voter contact initiatives on a national basis to rally Democrats to vote in 2022, we want to also support grassroots groups who have deep knowledge of and relationships with voters in their local communities,” said Alex Morgan, Progressive Turnout Project executive director. “These folks, via impactful, research-driven strategies, will encourage voting in new and innovative ways, complementing the work we do at PTP. We’re excited to support these incredible organizations.”
The cohort of priority grantees, highlighted below, applied in February and were selected to receive early funding to launch and test their turnout efforts. The PTP team is currently reviewing materials received by the application deadline on May 1st.
18by Vote is a nonpartisan youth-led organization that aims to help 16, 17, 18-year-olds understand how, when, and why to vote. Founded in 2016, the 18by Vote team is activating hundreds of thousands of young people, like themselves, across the country to engage civically through their peer-to-peer voter registration and education programs.
Their Turnout Grant will support the expansion of their paid youth Civic Leaders training and Civic Organizer programs in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida. PTP’s investment will triple their relational impact across 18 regions, as fellows carry out innovative voter registration and education work on the ground, connecting with approximately 180,000 youth and new voters.
Founded in 2004, when Wisconsin Voces members started a 501(c)(4) arm in order to mobilize voters to elect pro-immigrant candidates throughout the state. During the 2020 elections, VDLFA built up one of the largest relational voter programs in the country by recruiting 1,299 Voceros to grow their network of Latinx, immigrant, and multiracial youth voters.
The Turnout Grant will help scale and test their relational “Super Voceros “ or trained volunteer leaders program throughout Milwaukee and Racine, increasing their voter contact rate from 71% (2020) to 87%. This expansion has already started, with Voceros connecting with their personal voter networks to generate sustained engagement through all four Wisconsin elections this year.
Started in 2020, The Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance (API PA) is a 501(c)(4) focused on building long-term power for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Pennsylvania. API PA coordinates political, electoral, and legislative work to hold elected officials accountable, while engaging in culturally competent and linguistically accessible direct voter contact and builds solidarity with other aligned communities of color across the state.
This Turnout Grant will support the creation and testing of a first-of-its-kind Language Access Center for API PA, committed to making voting accessible by connecting with Pennsylvania voters in over 15 languages. The LAC will translate materials, be a voter contact hotline, and provide vote-by-mail resources, and more.
Conceived in 2020, Shape Up the Vote is a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) that provides opportunities for barbershops and salons to easily participate in relational organizing around elections. As local influencers, barbers and stylists are ideal and trusted messengers to engage their clients as voters – and their businesses are vital places for those conversations to happen.
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.
Focus Action Network was founded in 2020 when co-Founder Julia Chang Frank recognized that Pennsylvania’s election was threatened by poll worker shortages. FAN used relational organizing tactics in all of their campaigns, including nonpartisan work for the Georgia Senate Runoffs in early 2021 and advocacy for the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
Anton Moore started Unity in the Community in 2009, in response to gun violence and high poverty rates in his community of South Philadelphia. During election season, Unity in the Community makes voting fun, with celebratory events such as DJs at the ballot box and polling locations, GOTV caravans, and a GOTV block party.
The Turnout Grant funds will go to both organizations to make possible a new “Super Connector”program they’re partnering on in Philadelphia. This scaled-up relational organizing program will include a controlled scientific test to assess their impact. Unity in the Community will hire and train 150 “super connectors” to each contact a minimum of 100 voters, supporting these individuals as they complete voter registration, vote by mail, and GOTV engagement.
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. Since 2015, our trained field staff, fellows, and volunteers have made more than 59 million voter contact attempts across 39 states. PTP is grassroots funded, with more than 2.3 million unique donors and an average contribution of $19.13.