Stronger Democracy Award
Launched on March 25, 2021, the $22 million Stronger Democracy Award will fund bold solutions to strengthen democracy in the U.S. The award is sponsored by Additional Ventures—with additional support from philanthropists Cipora and Vlado Herman and an anonymous donor in the ICONIQ Impact community—and will help drive structural reforms to improve political representation and increase the participation of all citizens in the United States’ democratic process.
On February 3, 2022, Lever for Change and ICONIQ Impact announced the five finalists for the Stronger Democracy Award. The Award received 172 submissions from nonprofit organizations across the United States. Applications were evaluated during a four-month review process involving peer applicants and multi-disciplined experts from around the country who evaluated the submissions based on four criteria: whether they were transformative, feasible, innovative, and scalable.
The finalists are now featured in our Bold Solutions Network, where we match donors with nonprofits and social enterprises whose solutions to significant social challenges were highly ranked after rigorous evaluation in one of our competitions.
The finalists are listed below in alphabetical order (follow links to their Bold Solutions Network profile pages for more information):
- All Voting is Local: Through grassroots power-building, data analysis, and strategic communications, the Leadership Conference Education Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will fight to eliminate needless and discriminatory barriers to the ballot before they happen in order to build a democracy that works for us all.
- Building a Movement for Robust Multiparty Democracy: Working Families Power, Center for Working Families, and New America will build the state-based organizational power, political relationships, and popular support needed to win reforms that lead to a multiracial democracy.
- Civic Revolution: Building a Diverse Democracy: Accelerate Change, Inc., PushBlack, ParentsTogether Foundation, Pulso, and Noticias para Inmigrantes will develop a force of 100 million diverse citizens who consistently share news, policy, and voting information with friends and family, increasing voter participation and pressure for democracy reforms.
- The Documenters Network: A Civic Infrastructure for Connected Communities: City Bureau’s national, people-powered network will train and pay those most impacted by public policy to document government meetings and build a community around democratic participation.
- Everyday Activist: Rise Education Fund will partner with BallotReady and Black Youth Vote! to erase gaps in civic participation among 7 million youth by scaling up an innovative model and technology for peer mobilization by 2024.
About the Award
The Stronger Democracy Award will fund bold solutions that address systemic barriers and advance structural reforms in three key areas: voting and elections, policymaking, and civic engagement.
In the summer of 2022, two Stronger Democracy Finalists will each receive a $10 million grant—the first from Additional Ventures and the second from an anonymous donor in the ICONIQ Impact community. A separate $2 million grant from philanthropists Cipora & Vlado Herman will be awarded to one of the other finalists.
More details can be found on the Award website: www.strongerdemocracyaward.org.
The donors invite other philanthropists to join them in funding top-ranked organizations working to strengthen American democracy. Donors interested in providing additional funding for the Stronger Democracy Award should contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change.