About Movement Voter Fund

Our Story

Who We Are

Movement Voter Fund (MVF) helps funders deploy resources for greatest impact by investing in grassroots groups working to advance democracy, equity, and sustainability in the United States.

Movement Voter Fund (MVF) is a fund of Tides Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity nonprofit organization.

Our Vision

A thriving multiracial democracy in which everyone can flourish.

Our Mission

We support local organizing to strengthen democracy and transform policy by advising, organizing, and inspiring donors.

Our Theory of Change

To build a thriving multiracial democracy, we must invest in local youth and community-based organizations to exercise their voting and issue organizing power.

The MVF Model
  1. Target geographies with the greatest need for investment in civic engagement.
  2. Invest in the best local voter organizing groups, with a focus on youth, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and immigrant voters.
  3. Organize voters to boost civic participation, education, and policy work to advance justice.
  4. Win policies that advance democracy, equity, and sustainability in the United States.



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Why Movement Voter Fund Exists

Since 2016, MVF has moved tens of millions of nonpartisan dollars to hundreds of groups in over 40 states, securing hundreds of policy and budgetary victories at the federal, state, and local level — and hundreds of billions in federal funds for clean energy, poverty reduction, and more.

We often think of grassroots groups as small. Yet their impact is enormous — larger than many national groups and, in many ways, the major political parties.

MVF’s partners collectively train, develop, and deploy tens of thousands of local voter organizers who engage tens of millions of voters – with a focus on the most disenfranchised voters: young people, voters of color, and other marginalized communities.

They gain major policy wins on every issue and at each level of government. They punch above their weight. Yet they rarely get the credit or funds they deserve.

Funders face a conundrum: Who has time to do due diligence on thirty grassroots groups in, say, Wisconsin? Who has the capacity to administer and evaluate thirty additional grants?

MVF was created to solve this problem – to serve as an honest broker between national funders and local groups.



Areas of Work

Movement Voter Fund’s work consists of four core “pillars” which uniquely position us to catalyze progress:

  1. Strategic Grantmaking: We advise hundreds of foundations, families, and individual donors on tailored giving, while also managing a major in-house grantmaking portfolio.
  2. On-the-Ground Research: Our grantmaking is guided by rigorous analysis and extensive research on the field of local community organizing in all 50 states. Our team of deeply-experienced, on-the-ground advisors is in constant touch with hundreds of local organizations, issue-based alliances, and coalitions across the country.
  3. Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: We supply extensive, tailored support to hundreds of local issue- and community-based partner organizations across the country, in the form of tech tools, consultant support, training and coaching, and more. Learn more about our Capacity Building Program »
  4. Alliance Building: We play a strategic and catalytic role in statewide civic organizing “ecosystems” to strengthen coordination and collaboration, identify gaps, address crises, and respond nimbly and strategically to emerging opportunities.



Our Role in the Field

We focus on organizations whose work is deeply rooted in advancing racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice, as well as building the leadership and engagement of marginalized communities and providing them with the funds, skills, and support necessary to take their work to the next level.

Our model is based on partnerships. We partner with donors who want advice on how to invest in grassroots organizing and capacity building for under-resourced groups in the field. And we partner with grassroots organizations to support the deep organizing and civic engagement so critical to democracy.

Our local grassroots partners are rooted in their communities. Leaders build trust with the people in their communities, identify their priorities, inspire action to solve problems, and transform representative government from the streets to the halls of government.

We know where and who to fund because we listen to the experts: people in vulnerable communities who best know the challenges they face and the right solutions to those challenges.

Each year, our team of state advisors analyzes the field, works with partners and state organizations to develop strategic plans, and identifies the budget gaps faced by our partners. In turn, our donor team advises our donor partners on where and in which groups to invest their funds.

Although we fund hundreds of organizations across the country, our largest investments support c3-eligible voting rights, voter engagement, and election protection efforts.

This work is further strengthened by our vibrant Capacity Building Program, through which we offer and pay for critical support to our partners, ranging from organizational and leadership development to skills training to tech tools to safety and security.

The model works. MVF has helped and advised hundreds of donor and philanthropic partners to strategically move tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of local grassroots organizations in more than 40 states, enabling our partners to build power in communities across the country and make the promise of democracy real for all Americans. Our ecosystem continues to grow as we build stronger relationships with frontline organizations and support their needs.

MVF also has a 501(c)4 sister organization, Movement Voter Project, which enables us to provide legal support to leaders managing legally complex (c)(3)/(c)(4) tandem organizational structures as well.

While MVF and our local partners work on a wide range of issues, we believe that democracy is the ultimate “single” issue. There is no goal that can be achieved in the United States without a vibrant democracy, whether your priorities are sustaining the environment, improving education and social services, economic fairness, protecting the rights of immigrants and religious minorities, housing, mental health, reproductive and sexual rights, or any other issue. We must strengthen and expand our democracy. That means building it from the ground up by investing in local community-based organizations.

Please join us in supporting nonpartisan grassroots democratic organizing at the local level.

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Board of Directors

Billy Wimsatt

Billy Wimsatt

Billy Wimsatt has more than 25 years of experience in journalism, philanthropy, organizing, and social entrepreneurship, advising hundreds of donors to strategically invest tens of millions of dollars, often with crucial seed funding to start and to scale. Founding and building Movement Voter Fund has been the culmination of decades of work to support movements and progressive electoral and social change. Before launching MVF and its 501(c)(4) sister organization, Movement Voter Project, Billy co-founded several efforts, including the League of Young Voters, Generational Alliance, Solidaire Network, Student Power, and Rebuild the Dream, and has consulted with numerous organizations including Rock the Vote and Green For All. Billy is the author or editor of six books on social change and his writing has appeared in national publications. He has been invited to speak widely, including at Stanford, Yale, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and MIT’s Graduate School of Architecture and Planning.

Jodeen Olguín-Tayler

Jodeen Olguín-Tayler

Jodeen Olguín-Tayler has nearly 20 years of experience leading initiatives to build a more inclusive democracy and an economic system rooted in racial and gender equity. Following her role as campaigns director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations, Jodeen served as vice president at Demos, where she designed and launched the Inclusive Democracy Project. As a program officer at the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, she expanded the civic engagement program, leveraging over $26 million dollars. Currently, she is leading the Investing in Racial Equity and Democracy” initiative at the Amalgamated Foundation. A mother and queer Chicana, Jodeen sits on the board of directors of several impact investing ventures, as well as the National Institute for Money in Politics, the Chicana Empowerment and Climate Justice Fund, B Local Colorado, GALvanize, the Community Power-Building Fund, Business for America and the southwest Abortion Fund. Prior to joining the board at MVF she was a senior donor advisor to many of MVF’s major donors, and provided coaching support to over two dozen grantees.

Taj James

Taj James

Taj James is the founding partner of Full Spectrum Capital Partners, founder and board president of Movement Strategy Center, and co-founder with Kat Taylor of The Good Life Pledge. Through partnership with Full Spectrum Labs, the Impact Finance Center, and the Dev Labs Venture Fund, Taj collaborates to build ecosystems and marketplaces for innovation that lift up solutions and leaders emerging from communities that have been marginalized historically. A graduate of Stanford University, Taj was a recipient of a Next Generation Leadership fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation and was named a “Local Hero” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Working with transformational leaders, small teams, networks, and anchor institutions, Taj enjoys exploring what it means to nurture the community we have and create the community we need. Taj lives with his family in Oakland, California.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relationship between Movement Voter Project (MVP) and Movement Voter Fund?

Movement Voter Fund is the 501(c)(3) affiliate organization of Movement Voter Project, a 501(c)(4). All civic engagement work done with support from Movement Voter Fund is designated strictly for nonpartisan educational and charitable purposes and follows IRS rules for 501(c)(3) activities.

What is the relationship between Movement Voter Fund and Tides Foundation?

Tides Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity that acts as a philanthropic intermediary and houses DAFs and other types of funds. Movement Voter Project advises a fund at Tides Foundation, and this partnership allows us to receive tax-deductible donations and move money to our partners on the ground. Movement Voter Fund received independent 501(c)(3) Public Charity statu​​s from the IRS in late 2021, and we are preparing to receive direct funding in the future. At present, please continue to direct donations to the Movement Voter Fund at Tides Foundation.

Is Movement Voter Fund listed on Charity Navigator or Guidestar?

Movement Voter Fund received independent 501(c)(3) Public Charity statu​​s from the IRS in late 2021, and we are preparing to receive direct funding in the future. For now, we continue to partner with Tides Foundation to receive donations before they are re-granted to organizing groups. You can find profiles for Tides Foundation on both Charity Navigator and Guidestar.

Does Movement Voter Fund have a 990?

Movement Voter Fund received independent 501(c)(3) Public Charity status from the IRS in late 2021, and we are preparing to receive direct funding in the future. For now, we continue to partner with Tides Foundation to receive donations before they are re-granted to organizing groups. You can find recent Form 990s and other financial disclosure documents for Tides Foundation on the Tides Foundation website.

Are donations to Movement Voter Fund tax-deductible?

Donations to Movement Voter Fund at Tides Foundation are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed under the law. Please visit the Tides Foundation website for additional information.