We have known for a long time that low-income families are powerful political actors regardless of election cycles.

That’s why since 2012, Marguerite Casey Foundation (MCF) has invested more than $15 million in integrated voter engagement (IVE) across the country, including $5 million over the next year in 50 community organizations.

Civic engagement is one way that low-income families gain power – an integral strategy for building a movement led by communities.

Philanthropy has supported democratic engagement for generations. But imagine if philanthropy expanded its investment.

With support from philanthropy, nonprofits and neighbors, families around the country could increase their civic participation. They and their communities could gain more power to drive solutions to the challenges of poverty – solutions and challenges they understand better than anyone. And our democracy would be much richer.

It’s clear that we need more voter engagement, so how can foundations support IVE work?

  1. Provide unrestricted funds well in advance of election cycles.
  2. Fund cornerstone organizations already anchored in communities.
  3. Successful voter engagement requires wins that are real for low-income families.
  4. It’s not enough to fund voter registration and voter mobilization.
  5. Together, grassroots groups can change the narrative.

Read the full article about integrated voter engagement by Luz Vega-Marquis at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.