MVP works to strengthen progressive power at all levels of government by connecting donors — big and small — to the most effective and promising grassroots organizations in the country working at the intersection of movements, community organizing, and elections.
We aim to increase investment in frontline organizations led by the most impacted communities to increase turnout of the progressive base, build long-term political power, and ultimately to transform our country at the local, state, and national levels. In the 2020 cycle, MVP successfully moved over $120 million to over 600 local groups across the country, focused in the most critical states.
There are thousands of grassroots organizations working to build a true democracy and move the U.S. forward on issues of economic fairness, racial justice, immigrants rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, access to healthcare, and environmental sustainability. But not nearly enough direct funding or individual donations go to these groups. In the meantime, billions of dollars are spent each election cycle on TV ads and consultants. We are working to change that!
At MVP, we believe in organizing and organizers. We know that the way to win is by working at the intersections of social movements, grassroots communities, and elections to ensure that we both win big and build long-term progressive power. Our job is to:
Empower donors – from grassroots donors to major donors to foundations – to embrace the impacts of their resources beyond elections. We connect them to the most effective grassroots voter organizations in the country that mobilize their communities in critical states and build organizing power that lasts beyond the election cycle.
Move resources to directly impacted communities. We recommend both 501(c)(3) non-partisan groups and explicitly progressive 501(c)(4), 527, PAC, State PAC, or Super PAC groups that work in communities representing the true diversity of the American people: in communities of color; among working class, rural, low-income, LGBTQ, elderly and young/new voters and voters with disabilities, among students, renters, veterans, new Americans, those for whom English is a second language or isn’t spoken at all, and others who may have additional barriers or need additional support to have their voices heard in the civic process.
Create new opportunities to fund the impossible and possible. We seed exciting, new, under-the-radar projects and get them on the map. We also work with movements, organizers, and leaders nationally and locally to develop electoral interventions in ways that work for them.
We identify the geographies most in need of investment by looking at what’s happening at the national, state, and local levels. We draw on in-depth political analysis and aggregated polling, coupled with the insights from our national and state advising teams. We look for opportunities where we can amplify our impact by supporting grassroots organizing that can protect communities and voters on the local, state, and national level.
Based on our analysis of political priorities and organizational capacity, we cluster states in tiered priorities and develop individual state-by-state investment targets.
To identify and select groups in each state, we engage in a group vetting process led by a team of skilled state advisors who bring years of experience focused on local, in-state movement building and political campaign work.
In each geography, we try to fund multiple groups with different strengths to build a mutually-supportive and resilient organizing ecosystem. We focus on funding groups that do year-round local organizing work in addition to voter mobilization work during election cycles), with a strong emphasis on people of color and youth organizations.
History & Success
In early 2016, we spent six months consulting with more than fifty experts to develop an initial list of local movement groups organizing in communities across the country. During 2016, we invested in four small New Hampshire organizations who contacted 85,000 voters in communities being overlooked by national groups because they didn’t historically vote at as high a rate. This led to increased voter turnout, especially among communities who aren’t as likely to show up to the polls, in an election that was won by Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan by just 1,027 votes.
We were deeply dismayed by the broader outcome of the 2016 election, but we did not stop organizing. In Alabama’s special Senate election in 2017, MVP played an especially unique role in seeding, helping to incubate, and funding two major locally-driven, Black-led GOTV efforts: Woke Vote and Black Voters Matter Fund (which in turn supported 35 groups in 17 counties). These groups drove historic black turnout that year, and built power for expanded organizing in subsequent years.
In the 2019-2020 cycle, MVP worked with 41,000+ donors to move more than $120 million, surpassing our initial goal 3 times over. We supported 636 local groups across 42 states. Our local partners were instrumental in close state-level victories in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan.
In addition to driving electoral victories, MVP has been the first funder to seed or incubate more than 30 gap-filling organizations in key states. This includes groups like North Dakota Native Vote, Lancaster Stands Up (Pennsylvania), Florida Student Power Network, and Faith Organizers Alliance (the major African-American voter engagement group in Nevada).
We are only getting started. By making long-term investments in groups organizing their communities and turning out voters, we can build lasting power and make the 2020s a progressive decade.