As State Governments Stifle Local Democracy, Funders and Nonprofits Are Fighting Back

 As State Governments Stifle Local Democracy, Funders and Nonprofits Are Fighting Back

Over the last decade, state legislatures have increasingly used preemption to block popular policies enacted in cities. Here’s how top foundations and nonprofits have been working to counter this trend—and why more needs to be done.

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Uncharted Waters: Millions to Find Answers About Democracy, Media, and Technology

Uncharted Waters: Millions to Find Answers About Democracy, Media, and Technology

Dubbing the rise of digital communications and social media “the most profound shift in how we communicate with each other since Gutenberg,” the Knight Foundation aims to catalyze a new field of research on this revolution.

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On the Radar: Inside a Push to Hook up Progressive Donors and Grassroots Voter Groups

On the Radar: Inside a Push to Hook up Progressive Donors and Grassroots Voter Groups

The post-2016 “Trump bump” brought in lots of new progressive donors, and spurred others to ramp up their giving. But front-line organizations looking to get out the vote remain under-resourced. The Movement Voter Project aims to bridge that gap.

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Census 2020: Inside Efforts to Make Sure Rural Communities Count

Census 2020: Inside Efforts to Make Sure Rural Communities Count

The 2020 census has put many foundations on a state of high alert, given the enormous stakes. One tough challenge is ensuring that residents of rural America are fully counted. Who’s supporting census work off the beaten path? And where are grants going?

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A Unique Prize Taps Jewish Wisdom to Defend Democracy. Who Are the Winners?

A Unique Prize Taps Jewish Wisdom to Defend Democracy. Who Are the Winners?

The Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom looks to help people live better lives and shape a better world through the application of Jewish wisdom. For the second year in a row, the prize is backing work that shores up democratic institutions under attack.

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The Private Money Shaping Public Conversation About Restricting Immigration

The Private Money Shaping Public Conversation About Restricting Immigration

For years, the organizations that pushed for tougher immigration restrictions operated on the fringes of policy debates. Now, with a powerful friend in the White House, they are enjoying new influence. We take a deep dive into their sources of funding.

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Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?

Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?

The Campaign Legal Center calls itself “democracy’s nonpartisan watchdog.” That’s a hard role to fill these days, but with plenty of concerned funders in its corner, the D.C.-based organization is determined to safeguard the electoral process in the courts.

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Enfranchised: How a Collaborative Fund Advances Voting Rights and Protections

Enfranchised: How a Collaborative Fund Advances Voting Rights and Protections

For the State Infrastructure Fund, the 2018 elections were a step in the right direction. But the fund’s long campaign to protect voting right and bolster civic engagement still has plenty of ground to cover in the run-up to 2020.

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“The Fight of Our Lives.” How a Funder Collaborative Backs Civic Participation

“The Fight of Our Lives.” How a Funder Collaborative Backs Civic Participation

The Defending the Dream Fund is among the new rapid-response efforts that have popped up since the 2016 election. It recently made its third round of grants—its biggest yet. Who’s behind the fund, and where’s the money going?

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What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

With backing from Knight and other funders, Philadelphia has been engaged in a unique experiment to strengthen the city’s civic engagement ecosystem. This initiative has had to overcome a number of challenges.

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These Billionaire Philanthropists Also Spent Big to Influence This Year's Mid-Term Election

These Billionaire Philanthropists Also Spent Big to Influence This Year's Mid-Term Election

Donald Trump may be a billionaire, but no recent president has inspired fiercer opposition within the far upper class. Many top philanthropists are among those who’ve given record sums in the most expensive mid-term election in U.S. history.

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Betting on Demographics: Behind a New Push to Engage Young Voters

Betting on Demographics: Behind a New Push to Engage Young Voters

If more young people made it to the polls, so the story goes, politics would look a whole lot different. This piece from last year looked at giving by a trio of funders aiming to engage young Americans in new ways—starting with the 2018 mid-terms. 

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Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Lots of grant money has been flowing lately for movement building. The Akonadi Foundation is among those funders now looking to translate that energy into gains at the ballot box, as we explored in an article first published in May.

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Heading into the Mid-terms, Who’s Paying Attention to Cybersecurity?

Heading into the Mid-terms, Who’s Paying Attention to Cybersecurity?

The 2016 election demonstrated the vulnerability of American democracy to manipulation by outside actors. In this article first published in April, we looked at the funders working to bolster election security for the mid-terms.

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"A Fraught Moment." Donors Get Behind a Campus Initiative to Strengthen Democracy

"A Fraught Moment." Donors Get Behind a Campus Initiative to Strengthen Democracy

It’s not just foundations that are channelling new funds to democracy work. Rising anxiety about the future of American civic life is also sparking university giving in this space—including recent donations to UVA.

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Hope’s Next Act: Who’s Giving Big to the Obama Foundation—And Why?

Hope’s Next Act: Who’s Giving Big to the Obama Foundation—And Why?

The Obama Foundation is raising a ton of money as the former president builds a platform to advance his longstanding passion for strengthening U.S. democracy and civic life. Where’s all this cash coming from?

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