All By April: A Philanthropic Commitment to Defend and Strengthen American Democracy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

All By April: A Philanthropic Commitment to Defend and Strengthen American Democracy. 
By: Sanjiv Rao, Managing Director, Movements & Media Democracy Fund 

In the face of the numerous challenges confronting our democracy, the significance of election-related work led by nonprofits cannot be overstated. Yet every election year, these groups tell us the same thing: the funding came too late. Demonstrating our strategic commitment to the field, Democracy Fund launched the All by April Campaign. In just one month, over 100 funders have come together to get funding out earlier and more efficiently so that the money gets where it is needed when it is needed.

At the heart of this campaign are over 135 philanthropic donors (including Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Spitzer Charitable Trust, JPB Foundation, and Overbrook Foundation who were some of the first to sign on) and advisors who have come together with a shared vision: to provide timely and robust support to the nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations tirelessly working towards an inclusive, multiracial democracy. Their pledge to disburse election-related grants by April represents not just a promise, but a tangible step towards empowering these organizations to fulfill their vital mission.

The impact of the All by April Campaign is already palpable. By accelerating the distribution of funds and streamlining grant approval processes, the campaign has provided these organizations with the resources they need to plan, strategize, and execute their initiatives with confidence and efficiency. Specifically, it has enabled them to: 

  • recruit and train poll workers, 
  • organize nonpartisan voter registration drives, 
  • combat misinformation, and
  • support local election officials.  

These are all crucial components of ensuring free, fair, and representative elections.

But the significance of the campaign extends beyond the immediate support it provides. It symbolizes a renewed philanthropic commitment to defend and strengthen American democracy. 

It sends a clear message that individual donors, foundations, and advisors are coming together to have the backs of grantees this year. Where possible, we're each moving dollars sooner or easing application processes or finding other ways to support the nonprofits conducting these essential activities. As funders, this campaign is one way we’re doing our part to make a difference this year.