The State Infrastructure Fund (SIF) supports state-based organizations working to build and sustain a strong infrastructure for nonpartisan civic engagement and increase voting rates in historically disenfranchised and other underrepresented communities.
By strategically investing in a set of states where local funders already support collaborative civic participation efforts, the fund will build on the historic increase in voter registration and turnout that occurred during the 2008 election and seek to prevent the drop-off that has occurred in the 2009 and early 2010 elections from becoming more widespread. Specifically, the Fund will support efforts to:
- Augment local and state get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts;
- Strengthen and align groups’ media outreach and strategic communications capacity; and
- Increase the use of tools that build capacity for voter mobilization and facilitate coordination between and among civic/voter engagement groups (e.g., voter data files, training).
In 2010, the State Infrastructure Fund will primarily focus its grantmaking on a set of four to six states, with the goal of adding new states in 2011. Meanwhile, a percentage of the funds would be used to provide short-term, rapid response support, allowing the Fund to be nimble and responsive to developments on the ground.
To date, key donors to the newly-created State Infrastructure Fund include the Carnegie Corporation, Bauman Foundation, HKH Foundation, Gill Foundation, McKay Foundation and Tides Foundation’s Belvue Fund. Although the fund has secured some initial support, we are actively recruiting additional funding partners. Representatives from each participating foundation will participate in the fund’s Steering Committee, which will select states for investment and make grant recommendations.