Propel Capital in New York City has announced the launch of a $5 million fund to catalyze investment in local organizing strategies aimed at building progressive political power.
Propel Democracy, as the fund is called, will award grants to rising leaders and organizations with a clear vision and strategy for creating progressive change in states of electoral importance, with a focus on communities that have been underrepresented in local, state, and national legislatures and political bodies. To date, the fund has awarded $1 million in grants and expects to award an additional $2 million in 2018.
Grants awarded in 2017 include $150,000 to Color of Change PAC in support of its efforts to create an organizing structure that provides African-American organizers with the training, tools, and resources they need to engage their communities and boost voter turnout and support for progressive candidates up and down the ballot; $50,000 to Sister District to expand its national network of teams working to mobilize resources to "sistered" districts and secure wins in state legislatures that reverse Republican gerrymandering of those districts; and $100,000 to the Electoral Justice Project — the Movement for Black Lives to build the electoral engagement capacity of African-American-led grassroots organizations working to combat efforts to suppress the African-American vote.
"Supported by technology and national armies of volunteers with an unambiguous desire for change, these local mobilization efforts will be the driving force behind a major progressive rebound in 2018 and beyond," said Propel Capital co-founder and CEO Sarah Williams. "With additional funding and coordination among like-minded groups, these organizations will have the power to lead a generational transformation in American electoral politics. That's why we're moving our resources now — not in six or nine months."