Seth Flaxman is co-founder and executive director of Democracy Works. Today, Knight Foundation is announcing $2.5 million in new support for the organization.
I am a bit biased. Democracy Works would not exist without Knight Foundation taking a bet on us in 2012, but I believe that its continued support for our work at this moment in history will directly strengthen democracy. We’ve committed to raising an additional $2.2 million to match Knight’s funding; signaling the need for more organizations, more companies, more foundations, and more people to get behind this goal.
Yet, the big lesson I want to underline a thousand times with this new announcement is the way Knight has embraced the full strategy of our organization, not just a specific project or program. We’re not a traditional nonprofit organization, and our work often doesn’t fit neatly into any clearly defined program bucket.
The mission of Democracy Works is to modernize voting for the way we live now. Our vision is to become the digital connective tissue for a 21st century American democracy. We want to connect citizens to the atomic unit of a democracy: their vote. We don’t simply aim to help someone participate in a particular election; we want them to become a voter who sees participation in every election as core to their personal identity.