“Thank you Groundswell, for believing in and investing in our vision for Black women in Pennsylvania and Ohio. And for the foresight of the IVE [Integrated Voter Engagement] program. In a global COVID-10 pandemic while we organized for Black lives, we outreached nearly 800,000 times to Black women voters in both states – over half a million times in PA – reaching 40k Black voters through nearly 590,000 calls, 95,000 texts, and other efforts.”
– La’Tasha D. Mayes, President and CEO of New Voices for Reproductive Justice
Groundswell’s Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) program supports leading RJ organizations in increasing nonpartisan integrated voter engagement sustainably. IVE is an intensive six-year program that aims to 1) build sustainable infrastructure to increase voter participation among historically underrepresented populations in policy, systems change and the democratic process (within and beyond election cycles); 2) help organizations scale up the core power building components of their work; 3) expand their grassroots base of leaders and volunteers; 4) forge and deepen organizational alliances that increase their reach and influence; and 5) strengthen relationships with public officials.
The current program is setting a solid cornerstone of voter engagement capacity for the RJ movement at large. In 2020, IVE grantee partners successfully built infrastructure in key states that contributed to the remarkable turnout of Black and brown voters in the 2020 Presidential election. The successes you see took almost 10 years of aggressive community organizing using integrated voter techniques. States like Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan all house IVE grantees. They are clear case studies of how our work has been successful and we continue to be committed to IVE and its growth. We are now seeing a new need after Covid 19 to not only include integrated voter engagement work but incorporate healing and digital concepts. IVE’s goal is to ensure competitiveness of our grantee partners once they graduate from the program so they can make long-term change.
Each participating organization will receive the following:
- A $75,000 general support grant to cover a portion of the staff time needed to participate in the IVE and meet the programmatic benchmarks and goals.
- A $40,000 grant to cover the costs of running year-round IVE campaigns.
Ongoing education rooted in race, gender, class, and decolonization lens to create a shared understanding of the theories, strategies, and foundational texts that unify “organizers” across sectors. The education will be integrated into trainings so that the skills-building trainings and workshops are a part of the theory-to-action continuum and support the year-round IVE campaigns.
Intensive, in-person gatherings with other cohort members for co-learning, skills-building, and relationship building. Skills-building workshops include trainings on how to:
- Recruit and retain members/volunteers;
- Utilize a Leadership Ladder of Engagement;
- Identify community-informed issue priorities;
- Develop a sophisticated analysis of the political landscape including clear power maps informing strategic campaign plans ;
- Manage alliance and coalition dynamics to advance your organization’s campaign;
- Execute strategic communications that build the base and shape the narrative.
- Have an effective one on one (and track it!);
- Develop and implement strategic, grassroots-led policy and issue campaigns;
- Analyze data
- Navigate a Voter file and Internal CRM
- Implement the foundations of Digital Organizing
Direct coaching and mentorship
This includes up to 80 hours annually with a seasoned organizer who will coach key staff within the organization to develop internal systems to support effective organizing, design a campaign(s), create an achievable work plan(s), and implement that plan effectively.
Database access and training
All participating organizations will have access to tools, technology, and resources to develop a full functional year-round Integrated Voter Engagement program
Development and execution of mailers
As part of a layered strategy to increase the organization’s community profile and to support the impact of canvassing, phoning, media, etc.
Access to legal counsel
For all participating organizations to ensure full 501(c)(3) compliance for civic engagement activities. All materials and phone and canvass scripts are vetted by Groundswell’s legal counsel.
Organizations develop, with help from their coach, an IVE work plan that tracks impact.
Access to self-care and mind-body self-awareness modalities — such as Somatics, Forward Stance, mindfulness meditation, and yoga — which accelerate culture change, build group cohesion and foster sustainability in movement-building work.