“When Should We Start Investing in 2024 Turnout?”
Alexis Anderson-Reed, CEO of State Voices
OK, you may know the answer but we’re going to say it: The time to invest in 2024 voter turnout is now.
We can’t say this enough: If we wait until 2024, we will be too late.
We believe all those hyperbolic political emails clogging our inboxes are bad for democracy and an insult to people’s intelligence. That’s why we only say something is urgent when it really is.
Right now, it’s urgent.
Why We’re Sounding the Alarm
Locally-based grassroots organizations collectively deploy tens of thousands of organizers, who engage tens of millions of voters. These groups are key to stopping voter suppression, extending voting rights, and registering voters well before voting starts — but they need full funding in 2023 to address urgent threats and seize opportunities to go big in 2024.
Consider the following:
- 14 states have made abortion illegal since June 2022.
- At least 11 states have passed 13 voter restriction laws in 2023.
- State legislatures have introduced a staggering 735+ anti-LGBTQ bills so far in 2023, taking a heartbreaking toll on the mental health of queer youth.
- This month saw a sharp increase in support for political violence — “kindling” that could catch fire in reaction to looming political indictments and unprecedented trials, dramatically threatening voting rights and fair elections in 2024.
- Grassroots organizations are struggling to recover from one of “the worst years in philanthropy history” — especially groups led by and organizing in communities of color which have historically received less funding than white-led groups.
Why Early Investment Goes Further
We are calling on pro-democracy funders to frontload 2024 giving, for the same reason financial advisors say to invest now in retirement and kids’ education: Compound interest.
Simply put: Every dollar we invest today in local grassroots organizing will yield far more votes in 2024 than a dollar a year from now.
As Alexis Anderson-Reed, CEO of our partner State Voices, put it: “The earlier we begin our work, the more impactful we can be. We can plan. We can strategize. We can ensure that every dollar makes a difference.”
What can groups achieve with early, sustained funding?
- Staffing: Retain skilled, experienced staff vs. hiring new staff months before the election.
- Organizing: Recruit leaders and build an engaged, galvanized, long-term constituency.
- Infrastructure: Establish critical organizational systems, from digital tools to voter data.
- Policy Change: Frame the agenda, shift public opinion, and win tangible victories on key issues, thus giving people a reason to stay involved.
How to Optimize Your 2023-2024 Giving
Our recommended giving timeline:
- Give 50% of your total 2023-2024 budget by September 2023.
- Give 75% by March 2024.
- Give 100% by July 2024.
If you have a Donor Advised Fund (DAF):
Go one step further by joining the #HalfMyDAF campaign. How it works: Simply distribute 50% of your existing DAF funds by September 29, and #HalfMyDAF will match your donation up to $5,000.
Let’s Do This.
If every pro-democracy funder heeded this call, we’d cause such a surge in 2024 turnout among disenfranchised voters that it would dominate the headlines well into 2025.
You can adopt our recommendations above through existing giving channels, or if you’d like, you can give through Movement Voter Fund and we will move resources to the geographies with the greatest need for investment.
Let’s do this.