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What We Do

Integrated Voter Engagement

Deeply Investing in Voter Engagement

Groundswell’s Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) program supports leading Reproductive Justice organizations with a deep investment of resources in order to increase nonpartisan integrated voter engagement.

IVE helps build capacity to engage historically underrepresented populations in policy, systems change, and the democratic process within and beyond election cycles.

The IVE program tracks progress in four areas:

  1. base-building
  2. leadership development/mentoring
  3. ally/partnership development
  4. public official relationship identification and cultivation
Khmer Girls in Action

Khmer Girls in Action

A community-based organization whose mission is to build a progressive and sustainable Long Beach community that works for gender, racial and economic justice led by Southeast Asian young women, Khmer Girls in Action worked to pass a $1 million budget to support the Youth Strategic Plan. The Youth Strategic Plan is the result of five years of efforts to support the Invest in Youth Campaign.

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Recent Moves

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 the competitiveness of our grantee partners once they graduate from the program so they can make long-term changes.

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Image courtesy of Centro Por La Justicia

IVE Program Details

Each participating organization will receive the following:

Grant support

  • 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.

Political education

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.

Convenings

Intensive, in-person/virtual 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.

Evaluation support

Organizations develop, with help from their coach, an IVE work plan that tracks impact.

Healing Justice

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.

IVE Program is Non-Partisan

All voter education, get out the vote, and election and voter protection activities will be conducted in a non-partisan manner in compliance with IRS rules and regulations and will not constitute prohibited political activity.

Groundswell and the organizations it provides support to will not express support or opposition for any particular candidate or party and will not target potential voters by referring to issues that divide the candidates.

Groundswell and the organizations it provides support to will review proposed activities with outside legal counsel to ensure that all activities are consistent with the Internal Revenue Code.