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VOTE: A Strategic Vision for Legacy Funding

Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) is a grassroots organization founded and run by formerly incarcerated people (FIP), their families, and allies. They work to restore the full human and civil rights of those impacted by the criminal justice system. Their mission is underpinned by the belief that those most affected by the incarceration system have the experience, expertise, and power to improve public safety without mass incarceration.

VOTE focused on laying the groundwork in preparation for a future campaign — an investment that would positively impact future revenue. 

They began by conducting a scan to identify where and how to strengthen their overall donor interaction and cleaned and segmented their donor list. They added automated engagement by developing a series of welcome emails for new leads and first-time donors. To build a deeper connection with donors, they implemented a multichannel campaign that included mailing an annual report to VIPs, sending postcards to drive traffic to the website, and posting social media follow-ups.


VOTE also had to shift its internal culture to grow its donor base. With support from Progressive Multiplier, they worked on communicating the significance of fundraising as a critical part of organizing among staff and volunteers. They built excitement by hosting a staff competition for recruiting donors. 

Their efforts created a larger donor pool more deeply engaged in the mission. Ultimately, VOTE launched organization-wide regional giving days and a sustainer program. 

As a result, VOTE saw the number of all donors – including first-time donors – increase, and their average gift size grew from $47 to $70. VOTE raised $29,000 through the grant period and added 190 new donors.

The Georgia Muslim Voter Project (GAMVP) was founded in 2015 in response to prevailing anti-Muslim rhetoric in mainstream politics. GAMVP has activated over 100,000 Muslims across Georgia by hosting programs that make the electoral and legislative processes accessible.