The 2023 Alliance Network Monthly Donor Competition
It’s time for the Alliance Network’s 2023 Monthly Donor Competition!
This week, 11 Alliance Network organizations will go head-to-head in a friendly match to grow their own monthly donor program, helping create a sustainable base of grassroots funding. Sustainers are vital to powering the work of organizations on the ground and building the infrastructure needed to transform the communities our network serves. A strong sustainer program helps organizations remain sustainable and beholden to their base of supporters by having a stream of support they know they can count on for the long run.
This tradition has helped our network laser-focus on local grassroots giving. If there’s anything these challenging years have taught us, it’s how critical it is to be able to count on a steady, predictable stream of funding. A reliable flow of monthly dollars allows youth-led organizations to continue their work no matter what while building financial independence. By being a monthly donor, you are playing a vital role in powering our movement to win the future we deserve.
Meet the Players
*Last updated on 10/6/23
# of New Donors
$ Raised Per Month
$ Raised Per Year
One-Time Donors Converted
Total Calls Made
Total Non-Staff Engaged
Here’s how the Alliance Network Celebrated National Voter Registration Day
It’s officially Civic Holiday season!
Last week, the Alliance Network celebrated National Voter Registration Day. Youth organizers in our network have dominated the voter registration game for the last ten years and we’re not slowing down yet. The Alliance Network was on the ground locally getting young people in their communities registered to vote. Check out what some Alliance Network youth organizers were up to last week. 👇🏽
Asian Community Development Council
ACDC celebrated NVRD with everyone’s two favorite things, puppies and boba! All attendees were encouraged to bring their dogs and a pen to register to vote while sipping free boba!
The Detroit Action crew spent NVRD registering young voters on the Wayne County Community College and Wayne State campuses.
Last week, Engage Miami held 13 events on college campuses across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
The Forward Montana team was posted up on campuses in Billings, Bozeman, Browning, Butte, and Missoula to help students update their voter registration, ask us any questions about the upcoming election, win prizes, or hang out with the Forward Montana staff, fellows and volunteers!
Leaders Igniting Transformation
Organizers at LIT hosted events all week long! They kicked off the week with two “Lunch and Learn” programs for high school seniors, followed by community voter registration at a supermarket. Then, their team did some street canvassing, and they closed the week out with a block party!
MOVE Texas hosted various events throughout the week to celebrate NVRD! In addition to hosting voter registration drives, they hosted a celebration concert and three flagship community events on college campuses in Laredo, Denton, and San Antonio.
The MS Votes team and partners spent the day registering voters on college campuses, in high schools, and in communities across the entire state on NVRD!
North Carolina Asian Americans Together
NCAAT celebrated the civic holiday all week long doing voter registration across 15 high schools, colleges, and communities statewide!
New Era Colorado
New Era spent the day tabling at campuses across Colorado reminding young people to register or update their voter registration ahead of the 2023 Colorado election!
The Washington Bus
The WA Bus team partnered with Solid Ground, a housing justice organization, to table at community colleges and events across King County.
What’s Coming Up
Voter registration, done! ✅ Here’s what you can look forward to as we continue rolling out the season of Civic Holidays!
National Voter Education Week – October 2nd-6th, 2023
You can always continue ensuring your friends and family are ready for their next election by using the Alliance #VoteReady hub where we have tools to check your voter registration status, see what’s on your ballot, and make a plan to vote.
Happy National Voter Registration Day! As a co-founder of the civic holiday, NVRD is one of our favorite days of the year! Today, the entire country unites in getting our communities registered to vote, and celebrating being voters. If you’re already registered to vote, don’t sweat it. There’s still plenty of things you can do today to celebrate the start of Civic Holidays season!
Here are 5 things to do on National Voter Registration Day even if you’re already a registered voter:
1. Double Check Your Voter Registration
Just when you might think you’re registered and ready to go, now is the best time to double check that your voter registration is up-to-date.
Click here to check your registration status and be sure that:
✅ You are in fact registered to vote
✅ Your address is accurate
✅ Everything is spelled correctly
2. Learn About Your Next Election
You can never be too prepared to head to the polls! Click here to save the date for your district’s next election! This is also a great time to make sure you have your state’s required form of ID before your next election.
3. Check What’s On Your Ballot
After you’ve figured out when you’ll be heading to the polls again, take some time to see what’s going to be on the ballot! Oftentimes, ballot measures and referendums can be confusing, so make sure you plan ahead and do your research before casting your ballot. Use this tool to get a sample ballot ahead of your next election.
4. Make Sure Your Friends and Family are Registered to Vote
A simple call or text could help someone you know avoid missing important voter registration deadlines. Reach out to just three people in your life and remind them to check their voter registration status on our Vote Ready page today!
5. Support a Voter Registration Event Near You
Join the Alliance Network in kicking off Civic Holidays season by joining one of the network’s events in your community this week:
Not located near one of our network orgs? Click here to find an NVRD event near you.
How Youth Organizers Are Fighting for Student Rights
Happy back to school season, Alliance Fam!
Across the Network, as students are heading back into the classroom and gearing up for another year of learning, Alliance organizers are continuing the year-round fight for students’ rights. The Alliance Network’s syllabus for the year consists of protecting free speech, advocating for automatic voter registration and student voter IDs, developing college and high school students to become leaders, and defeating curriculum restrictions in state legislatures.
Take a look at what some of our network organizations are doing this school year to help protect students and their rights.
Loud Light has been leading the way in Kansas in protecting schools and student’s free speech and civil rights by fighting back against book bans, anti-LGBTQ policies, so-called “anti-critical race theory” legislation, and school funding cuts.
Loud Light is also celebrating a recent victory in successfully advocating for the first passage of a local CROWN act ordinance in Lawrence, Kansas that protects students at the university of Kansas from race-based natural hair discrimination. Another victory Loud Light organizers recently secured for Kansas college students was establishing a permanent polling place on the Washburn University campus in Topeka, Kansas!
Follow Loud Light on social media to see how they continue this work throughout the school year.
Organizers with MNYC were key advocates for passing automatic voter registration and pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds earlier this year. MNYC has also been lobbying in support of standardizing college student voting options. Thanks to their work, all students eligible to vote in Minnesota can register with their college and/or university ID card!
Follow Minnesota Youth Collective on social media to see how they continue this work throughout the school year.
Down in Mississippi, the MSVotes team has been hard at work launching their high school and college fellowships to help develop a new wave of young community leaders across the state. They’ve also been continuously working in schools to ensure students and teachers alike are registered to vote!
Follow Mississippi Votes on social media to see how they continue this work throughout the school year.
This fall, OSA will continue to organize to defeat Senate Bill 83, also known as the Higher Education Destruction Act, which attacks DEI programming and collective bargaining rights for public university employees, and would ban the discussion of “controversial topics” like climate change, race, gender, and sexuality in college classrooms.
This spring, OSA organizers gave testimony, met with legislators, and held two direct actions at the Ohio Statehouse in opposition to SB 83, and were able to successfully stop it from being rammed through in the state budget. This fall, they plan to ramp up organizing efforts to make sure that legislators get the message loud and clear that Ohio’s students will not stand for this bill.
Follow Ohio Student Association on social media to see how they continue the fight against SB 83.
Meet Our New Vice President of Capacity Building, Rudy Garrett!
We are thrilled to announce that Rudy Garrett, former Co-Executive Director of Chicago Votes, has joined the Alliance for Youth Action as the Vice President of Capacity Building!
A Hoosier native, Rudy graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies. She moved to Chicago in August 2013 to attend culinary school, but found her inner organizer instead. After working at a law firm, Rudy joined Chicago Votes, an Alliance for Youth Action affiliate, as a Field Organizer to build a more inclusive democracy by putting power in the hands of young Chicagoans.
Check out some of Rudy’s accomplishments during her tenure at Chicago Votes:
Founded the get-out-the-vote program, Parade to the Polls®, which has turned out over 10,000 first-time voters between the ages of 17 and 25 in Illinois;
Graduated over 250 young leaders from Chicago Votes leadership development programs including the Chicago Votes DemocracyCorps Fellowship, Legislative Internship, One Summer Chicago Internship, DemocracyCup Fellowship, and independent internship programs;
Facilitated the Just Democracy Illinois Coalition, Illinois’ most successful collective of 120 grassroots organizations and advocates dedicated to building a more equitable democracy. Just Democracy is responsible for passing landmark voter modernization policies including online voter registration, same day voter registration, extended grace period voting, and automatic voter registration.
As Vice President of Capacity Building at the Alliance, Rudy will support the advocacy, data, organizing, and field programs of our network and help us implement our strategic plan. For the last ten years, the Alliance Network has led some of the most innovative and exciting electoral and issue advocacy work across the country. As we re-envision what capacity building looks like at the Alliance, we are honored to have the opportunity to grow with and learn from an incredible organizer from within the Alliance Network.
The Alliance is able to uplift, share, and train on effective practices across a variety of disciplines in youth-led organizing to help increase the impact of local organizations and elevate peer-to-peer learning. Rudy’s transition to VP of Capacity Building is essential to the Alliance’s ability to foster independent, healthy youth-led organizations.
With Rudy leading the way, the Alliance’s capacity building efforts will further our ability to support young people as they build political power in their communities across the country. Rudy’s leadership at Chicago Votes and her tenure serving in the Network ED Council, an integral piece of the Alliance Network’s leadership, gives her a unique insight into what is needed to support all network organizations through deep capacity building that enables organizational growth and sustainability.
We look forward to the amazing impact Rudy will have on the Alliance Network and our ability to expand youth civic engagement across the country.
The Alliance Network’s Summer Highlights
What was your favorite part of summer ’23? Was it catching Oppenheimer and the Barbie movie on the same night? Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour? Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)? Or this season of The Bachelorette?
Ours was seeing all of the incredible work youth organizers in our network put in to continue developing strong leaders and turn out voters, all while taking time to rest and restore through self-care!
Here is how the Alliance Network crushed their summer bucket list:
In early August, LIT brought high school students to Wisconsin’s capital for the Youth Power Summit. They spent three days training and expanding their organizing knowledge with the LIT staff.
This summer LIT also graduated 49 young people from their Black Hogwarts summer institute, a leadership program that focuses on educating young people on civic engagement, and the data and digital tools and tactics used to organize communities.
In Oregon, Next Up graduated 51 young people from the UPTURN cohort, a 4-week workshop series curated to develop the collective power of young people and support them in navigating being leaders in social movements.
MNYC recruited 12 fellows for a summer fellowship that taught basic organizing and base building skills, as well as field tactics like canvassing and high traffic tabling. The fellows knocked over 5000 doors in youth-dense neighborhoods across the Twin Cities to survey young people on issues that are most important to them.
A cohort of nine fellows from across Washington state participated in The Bus’ organizer boot camp. The fellows knocked on doors, registered voters at events, and supported WA Bus events like Bus Bash and Candidate Survivor.
NCAAT held a three-day Youth Leadership Institute, a program to guide young people through exploring what it means to stay grounded, nurture our present selves, and guide our ability to become future leaders.
This July, GYJC closed out their annual summer organizing program, Ed Justice University (EJU), with the first annual EJU summit! This program introduces organizing strategy and opportunities to young people in Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah.
In July, Engage Miami and coalition partners WON against racial gerrymanderers when a federal judge ordered the City of Miami to adopt the plaintiff map they submitted as the official district map for the City of Miami! Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Engage Miami’s request to vacate an appeals court’s block on their new maps. While disappointed by this decision, Engage organizers are gearing up to continue the fight for fair maps. in 2024.
OSA worked to turn out voters for the Issue 1 special election, which was an attempt by the Ohio Legislature to make it more difficult to pass abortion protections as a constitutional amendment this fall. OSA knocked over 50,000 doors in the run-up to the election. In early August, Ohio voted NO to Issue 1, a big win ahead of the fall election, by a 57-43 margin.
This summer, organizers with MOVE Texas helped Austin become the first city in Texas to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This strengthens the city’s commitment to stopping its expansion of fossil fuel production, phasing out existing fossil fuel projects, prioritizing a fair energy transition, and urging the Federal Government to prioritize climate action.
This summer, Forward Montana released the third edition of Transcendent Joy, a zine for and by LGBTQ2S+ Montanans. This year’s theme is “Big Gay Planet,” which evokes the interconnectedness between queerness and nature.
GYJC organizers have been out all summer collecting signatures to get the fight against Cop City on the ballot, building their base of young people, and planning the launch of their Young People’s Platform, which will be the basis for their fight for a better future for all Georgians.
Youth organizers from across the Alliance Network gathered at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago for our network-wide convening, Alliance X. Bringing nearly 200 youth organizers together, Alliance X was a celebration of the Alliance Network successfully building youth power for the last 10 years, and an opportunity to learn from one another as well as civic engagement and organizational health experts from across the country.
Check out our full conference recap on the Alliance blog!
A Recap of Alliance X, Celebrating 10 Years of Youth Organizing
Last week, youth organizers from across the Alliance Network gathered at the Palmer House in downtown Chicago for our network-wide convening, Alliance X. Bringing nearly 200 youth organizers together, Alliance X was a celebration of the Alliance Network successfully building youth power for the last 10 years, and an opportunity to learn from one another as well as civic engagement and organizational health experts from across the country. Youth organizers left the conference with deepened relationships in the Alliance Network and renewed energy to build youth power in their states.
Here’s a breakdown of what each day at Alliance X looked like.
Staff traveled from across the country to meet in Chicago, Illinois and kicked off the week with a welcome reception. Alliance staff got the chance to mingle in-person with network organizers and leaders, many of whom we’ve only communicated with via zoom. All attendees also received welcome bags that included print copies of the newly-released Democracy Done Right Zine.
We kicked off day two of the conference with introductions from the Alliance Team and a presentation from Chicago Votes on the history and culture of the city, and how their team is organizing young people to continue improving Chicago and Illinois. Afterwards, we heard a very moving address from Alliance Executive Director, Dakota Hall on his theory of change and what direction the Alliance is moving in for the next election year.
After our opening presentations, we all headed across the street to Millennium Park to enjoy a lunch outside together! Post-lunch, attendees went into different breakout sessions led by Alliance staff, network leaders, and some external facilitators.
To start our third day of Alliance X, we heard from the Chicago Votes team again. This time, they rallied the group around their Unlock Civics and voting in prisons work to empower voters behind bars. After lunch the Alliance Network headed into an afternoon of breakout sessions highlighting various topics like team management, running local campaigns, and grant writing.
On the last full day of conference sessions, Alliance X attendees had the honor of hearing from our plenary speaker, communications strategist Anat Shenker-Osorio, who taught us about the power of the Race Class Narrative – a proven messaging and organizing framework that weaves together race, class, and gender, advances our progressive worldview, and counters right-wing divide and conquer politics. We learned that as we witness the toxic and potent attacks on our freedoms across the country, it is critical for us to respond by setting our own agenda, rather than reinforcing our opposition’s frames.
To close out the conference, we spent day five doing a FASHION SHOW! We had different Alliance Network organizations show off their team’s merch with a short presentation to music of their choice. Needless to say, the Alliance fam got creative (and competitive 😂)
Since 2013, the Alliance Network has led major victories on economic justice, restorative justice, climate change, democracy reform, and more. Let’s continue creating a world where our democracy works for everyone and where all people – no matter where they come from, what they look like, or how they identify – live in loving, safe, and thriving communities.
We Created a Zine! 🎉
We are so excited to present to you… 🥁 Democracy Done Right, our first-ever democracy and voting rights zine! 🎉
Protecting the right to vote and access to the ballot box remains an important issue for young people—especially for youth organizers in the network. The Democracy Done Right zine celebrates all of the progress we’ve made as a nation thanks to youth organizers in the Alliance Network, while uplifting the power of artwork from artists across our network.
“At the end of the day, our voices are each individual and unique, but can come together to make something bigger than life if we choose to represent our collective power as authentic young, Black, Brown, LGBTQ+, femme, disabled, neurodivergent, working class, immigrant, whole people as not only part of a healthy democracy, but healthy, beautiful, diverse society.”
“My piece is about diversity in the voting space as well as making voting and caring an impactful act of love. I want black and brown folk alike to see my piece and see that there is a space for them to be seen and heard.”
“Democracy done right means peace and healing. [In my piece] [the] bear is at the capitol symbolizing a gender neutral leader (acceptance of others) and the bear itself symbolizes a non-traditional leader in the world of politics. The bear is speaking about various topics ranging from weed legalization to undocumented rights. Each is a symbol for those movements. The pavement says “for us” symbolizing democracy actually works for the people who have been silenced for too long.”
“These collections of pieces were created for Chicago Votes’ ‘Voting in Prison’ rally and lobby day to illustrate realities to challenge the dominant narrative that prisons are just and people in prison deserve to be there. The pieces speak to the laws that created our racially unjust system, and the current inhumane conditions we force people to live in.”
“My submission tells us what a democracy done right looks like to me because it showcases the journey of transition and how democracy will not be “done right” until we all feel as though we are “enough”. In order to get there, a lot needs to change and get done.”
“As attacks on education intensify in Florida, we are preparing to see the next phase of right wing attacks to target our libraries, which is why now more than ever, we must protect libraries! They are our sanctuaries and community space and where ideas can be freely discussed. This art piece would reflect the importance and beauty of libraries and our role in upholding democracy by protecting these sacred spaces and asking for more investment and expansion of their services.”
Through the Alliance’s capacity building services, several network organizations have expanded their voting rights advocacy this year. As featured in the zine, here’s how Alliance Network organizations that are a part of our new Advocacy Cohort advances local democracy and voting rights work ahead of 2024.
Engage Miami – Given the state-level political climate, Engage Miami is focusing on local opportunities to expand democracy in Miami-Dade County. In 2023, Engage Miami is putting efforts into advocating for Miami-Dade County Public Schools to increase the effectiveness and implementation of the voter registration program for students in high schools.
Forward Montana – In recent years, Forward Montana has engaged in litigation challenging some of the most egregious anti-voter bills in the country. Anti-democracy legislation is threatening the very foundations of Montana’s democratic system, but in 2023 Forward Montana is leading a coalition of partners in working to combat anti-democracy legislation.
Chicago Votes – Through their Unlock Civics program, Chicago Votes has challenged the status quo in jails and prisons, bringing civics to the inside. Alongside the Unlock Civics Coalition, Chicago Votes is focusing on ending felony disenfranchisement in Illinois with House Bill 39. If passed, HB39 would expand the right to vote for currently incarcerated people in prisons statewide, allowing Illinois to join Maine, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. as places that allow people in prison to vote.
Mississippi Votes – Mississippi is one of the few remaining states in the US without a ballot measure process. To lay claim to direct democracy, and to increase accountability and transparency, Mississippi Votes launched The Mississippi Ballot Measure Process Reinstatement Campaign.
Since President Biden announced his student debt relief plan nearly a year ago, 44 million people have been hopeful that they could regain some financial freedom. Today, that hope was diminished by the Supreme Court. This morning SCOTUS released its decision on Biden v. Nebraska – ruling against those who bear the burden of student loan debt.This is a major setback in our fight for economic justice. Millions of young people turned out at the ballot box and in the streets to demand action for financial freedom, and once again they’ve been let down. The Alliance Network has been on the front lines of this fight since the beginning, and we’re not letting up now.
So, what does this mean? Starting September 1st, ALL student loan borrowers can expect their loan interest to resume, and can expect to start making payments in October.
Despite today’s loss, one thing is clear: the fight for student debt cancellation is far from over.
Young people understand another world is possible – a world where we can live out our dreams and not live in debt – and now we know more than ever that we have the political power to make it happen. Continue supporting the Alliance Network and our youth organizers who are working towards bringing us closer to a just economy.
Let’s keep moving forward.
Here’s the 411 On Our Capacity Building Work
Last year, we launched a new strategic roadmap to lead us into the next phase of the organization over the next five years. If you’ve joined us on our journey to expand and reimagine how we fuel the growth and sustainability of the year-round grassroots organizing in the Alliance Network, thank you! If you’re new here, we define capacity building in three big ways:
Building a strong community of youth leaders and providing hands-on support
Managing the extensive toolbox of resources and support.
Providing access to tools and tech so our network can achieve scale and impact.
A major part of the reimagining driven by our new strategic roadmap is focusing our resources on strengthening and expanding our capacity building services. Now that we’re nearly halfway through 2023, we’re bringing you an update on the capacity building work we’ve done with our network thus far, and a sneak peek on what’s to come.
Celebrating 10 Years of the Alliance
This August, the Alliance Network will come together in Chicago, Illinois for an in-person conference to celebrate our 10th anniversary and work together to envision the next 10 years of the Alliance Network! We’ll provide in-person capacity building with nearly 200 network staff members and create a national strategy to approach the full spectrum of youth organizing work for the 2024 election and beyond. Stay tuned for our updates from Chicago!
Highlights from Site Visits
Over the last couple months, members of the Alliance team have traveled across the country to meet with the amazing leaders at Chicago Votes, Loud Light, Mississippi Votes, New Era Colorado, New Hampshire Youth Movement, Poder in Action, and The Washington Bus. Each site visit’s goal is tailored to each organization’s needs. Some teams worked on conceptualizing and strategizing advocacy campaigns, while others utilized the Alliance’s support across several areas of their organization. Overall, through these visits, our team can provide in-person support and identify critical areas where continued capacity building is needed either from the Alliance team, peers in the network, or other experts long-term.
Although many Alliance Network organizations have wrapped up their legislative work, our capacity building efforts continue year-round because youth organizers in our network organize 365 days a year, and preparation for 2024 starts now!
Alliance Network Cohorts
Another way the Alliance Network orgs can tap into our capacity building support is by joining one of our cohorts! The Alliance Network cohorts are spaces for network staff to learn from and alongside their peers. Here’s a quick look into what we’ve been working on:
The Development Cohort met in March for a workshop led by professional fundraiser and nonprofit executive, Michelle Muri on community-centered fundraising. The group explored racism within philanthropy by asking how our systems became unjust, what is unjust about them, who we are within these systems, and where we can make change.
In April, the Operations Cohort gathered for part two of an HR and Employment Law 101 training they began late last year. The group discussed discrimination, harassment, retaliation, investigating harassment complaints, employee conflict management and how to spot it in the workplace as well as necessary elements to include in performance improvement plans.
In May, the Communications Cohort held a Press & Media panel for Alliance Network comms staff to hear from journalists on how to navigate the industry, build relationships with reporters, and successfully pitch their stories to reporters
In June, our Data and Program cohorts had a joint session to discuss the elements of how data moves through an organization and what can be done to improve those processes. Their session featured examples from New Era Colorado, Forward Montana, and Poder in Action, and highlighted Ohio Student Association’s Relational Organizing program ran in 2022 to discuss its innovative data strategies and data entry challenges.
Additionally, a cohort of Alliance Network Executive Directors from Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, and Minnesota gathered in Montana for their first in-person meeting since 2020! While some of the Network EDs have been able to meet in-person over the past few years, this space was equal parts productive and bonding. The EDs dug into conversations regarding programming, budgets and organizational health, and accountability to each other and the Alliance.
Leveling Up Our Resources
This year, we’re also revamping the Shared Resource Library! Being a network that reaches 20 organizations across 18 different states, the Shared Resource Library exists to provide the network with support at any time, from any distance. While organizing can certainly vary state-to-state, we’ve created a hub filled with general templates, guides, trackers, and trainings to ensure our network organizers are starting their work on the right track.
Recently we’ve added more advocacy resources, a variety of tailored hiring resources, a new slate of data resources, and updated programming resources ahead of 2024. We will also collect in-person feedback on the Shared Resource Library from Alliance Network staff members at our network-wide conference in August.
The Alliance team is so grateful to have you along with us on this journey to grow progressive people power at the local level. Investing in powerful young leaders and strengthening the capacity of their organizations changes our communities for the better and builds a bench with the most diverse and progressive leadership our country has ever seen.
Donate to the Alliance
Join us by investing into building youth power across the nation with a donation to the Alliance! Your contributions help us continue and expand our capacity building services that are essential to driving our mission of growing an unstoppable people-powered movement led by young people. Donate to the Alliance today to help us continue site visits, growing our cohort program, and maintaining our Shared Resource Library.
If you’d like to stay connected with how we’re implementing our new five-year plan, level up your email subscription to become an Alliance Ally! Receive more exclusive email updates from the Alliance team and catch a glimpse of the work behind the work.