Seattle Foundation and King County Elections Partner for Fifth Year to Launch 2021-2022 Voter Education Fund Grant Cycle
Seattle Foundation partners with King County Elections to increase voter participation in historically excluded communities. Deadline to apply for funding is April 2, 2021.
Seattle Foundation and King County Elections are partnering for a fifth year on the Voter Education Fund. The partners have collectively committed $950,000 in grants over the next two years to organizations working to increase voter participation within historically excluded communities. We are pleased to offer multi-year grants to selected organizations who will receive funding to lead voter registration and education efforts for the 2021 and 2022 election cycles. The Voter Education Fund is a grant program under Seattle Foundation’s Vibrant Democracy Initiative.
The Voter Education Fund will prioritize grants to organizations that work to reduce inequities in voting access in historically excluded communities who have faced systemic racism, been targets of voter suppression, and increased barriers to participation. Our focus communities for this funding opportunity includes, but is not limited to, Black, Indigenous, people of color, people experiencing homelessness, people convicted of a felony, limited-English speaking (LES) communities, people with disabilities, and youth of color.
Organizations are now eligible to apply for a maximum of $40,000 over two years for catalyst-level funding for groups experienced in civic engagement doing ongoing voter registration and education or $15,000 over two years for capacity funding to produce a series of events. The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 grant cycle is Friday, April 2, 2021.
King County Elections and Seattle Foundation publicly announced the Voter Education Fund in a press release this morning including the following statements:
“Alongside an equitable economy and resilient environment, a just democracy is a critical pillar of any vibrant community. Supporting equitable representation should be an imperative for us all in order to ensure those who are most marginalized have a voice in how they engage in our democracy. We are proud to team up with King County Elections on the Voter Education Fund and appreciate their partnership in ensuring all have fair representation in our community,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation.
King County Elections Director Julie Wise stated, “As elections administrators it is our democratic duty to ensure every eligible voter has access to the ballot. Confronting the shameful history of voter suppression—that has disproportionately impacted BIPOC communities—is vital to the work we do. The Voter Education Fund helps us get out the vote by supporting grassroots organizations, who are already putting in the work and have established relationships within their communities, with the resources needed to give everyone a voice. That is democracy in action.”
Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and forthcoming recovery, we welcome proposals from organizations leading voter registration and education efforts that are in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, including virtual events and other culturally relevant, safe, and creative ways to engage focus communities.
In 2019, the Voter Education Fund invested $950,000 in 39 community-based organizations to provide nonpartisan voter outreach in historically underrepresented communities. Previously funded organizations are eligible to reapply.
To apply for a VEF grant:
Interested organizations should apply here. To be eligible, organizations must be categorized as a 501c3 nonprofit or be fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit.
We recommend that potential applicants attend one of two optional informational sessions to learn more:
- Informational session 1:
- Date: Tuesday – March 9, 2021
- Time: 12:00-1:30pm
- Informational session 2:
- Date: Monday – March 22, 2021
- Time: 4:30-6:00 pm