Strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities.
Creating a more equitable future in Greater Seattle.
Seattle Foundation created the Center for Community Partnerships to advance collaborative, systemic change to achieve greater economic and racial equity in the region. The Vibrant Democracy Initiative is our newest Center initiative, with the goal of strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities to allow for more equitable systems change.
Engaging communities in change efforts around issues that directly affect them leads to more effective results and improved sustainability of long-term, positive change. Our ability to create a more equitable future in Greater Seattle requires skilled and informed community partners and without them, representative and truly democratic processes will not be possible.
Our first effort was a partnership with King County Elections to support voter education and culturally relevant technical assistance within limited-English speaking communities. We are working with 22 community-based organizations whose expertise and deep community ties can effectively drive the participation of under-represented communities in the broader democratic process.
Current Grant Opportunity: Voter Education Fund
The Voter Education fund is a government, philanthropic and community partnership to remove barriers to voting in diverse communities. Seattle Foundation, in partnership with King County Elections, will award a total of $400,000 in grants to community-based organizations to provide either a 9-month campaign or a series of smaller events focused on one or more of the following:
• Basic education about how voting works in King County, such as who is eligible to vote and what is vote-by-mail.
• Voter registration.
• Non-partisan opportunities for communities to come together and educate themselves about what’s on the ballot.
• Technical assistance in navigating the voting process, such as helping voters change their address or language preference.
Who should apply?
Any organization that works to reduce inequities in voting access in historically marginalized communities. This includes, but is not limited to, communities of color, limited English speaking communities, people with disabilities, low-income youth, veterans, the homeless and reinstated voters who have been convicted of a felony.
Organizations are more likely to be successful if they:
• Are led and staffed by individuals reflecting the ethnic and cultural communities being served; and
• Have a history or demonstrated ability to reach, convene and engage members from the communities they serve, especially as it relates to voting access.
All activities must:
• Create community interest in participating in elections and voting.
• Be non-partisan, free and open to all members of the public.
• All applicants must be open and inclusive, actively engage diverse community members who live in King County.
• Occur within King County limits.
Type of funding available
There are two levels of funding within the Voter Education Fund:
Campaign Level – Up to $25,000
Organization provides a campaign for up to nine months with a variety of approaches to engage voters or potential voters in the community.
Event Level – Up to $10,000
Organization provides a series of smaller events to engage voters or potential voters.
• April 3, 2017: Program launches and application period opens.
• April 11, 2 -- 3:30 p.m.: Funding workshop to learn more about the program and get technical assistance at The 2100 Building, Community Room B, 2100 24th Ave S, Seattle, 98144 . Please sign up to attend.
• April 13, 6 -- 7:30 p.m.: Funding workshop to learn more about the program and get technical assistance at the Technology Access Foundation’s Bethaday Community Learning Space, 605 SW 108th Street, Seattle, 98146 . Please sign up to attend.
• April 20, 2 -- 3:30 p.m.: Funding workshop to learn more about the program and get technical assistance at Mill Creek Room at Kent Commons (525 Fourth Ave N, Kent, WA 98032). Please sign up to attend.
• May 2, 2017: Application period closes.
• June 1, 2017: Funding award decisions announced.
• Week of June 12, 2017: Training for organizations receiving an award.
For questions or assistance please contact:
King County Elections