Stakeholder Update - November 2017

Hi Everyone!  You're getting this update because you've expressed an interest in our work at Ohio Voice and we want to make sure you're receiving regular updates.  Here are some recent highlights:

  • Late last week, we got amazing news - The Gund Foundation board approved a grant of $800,000 for the next 3 years!  They have signaled strong support for our work - right now and into the future - and we are so grateful!  We also have $100k commitments from the Movement Voter Project and State Voices, other smaller contributions in hand, as well as promising proposals in at Joyce and Piper, and support for our revenue project from an anonymous donor (who many of you know :), CWA, OEA, OFT, AAUP, and AFSCME Council 8.  But special thanks to the folks at Gund - their anchor in-state support is a huge step in the right direction!  We believe that we can do highly impactful work with our 30+ partners and that many of our conversations with people like you can help make it happen.  Gund is in big, and we hope you will be too!
  • We presented the first draft of our strategic plan to our board meeting yesterday.  We'll have it complete by the end of the month.  It will run down our areas of focus, including: Supporting Partner Programs, Running Backbone Programs, Thought Leadership & Experimentation, and Internal Process.  Within these areas, we'll be working on ensuring high-level data management support and field coordination, building new projects around leadership development and racial equity, continuing our work on voting rights and budget/revenue, and much more.  We are thinking strategically about how we can work with and support a wide range of partner programs, including ballot initiatives, advocacy efforts, and civic engagement programs of all kinds.  To discuss this strategic planning with our partners, we hosted a daylong meeting last month where folks were engaged and excited - here's one photo:
  • Our team is building and it is strong.  James Hayes, our Deputy Director who started in September, is amazing - he's building relationships with partners, funders, and other stakeholders and bringing a brilliant strategic perspective to our table.  Camille Wimbish, our Election Administration Director, is back from maternity leave and picking up right where she left off, bringing years of experience to lead our voting rights and democracy efforts in collaboration with our many partners.  Nick Bates is stepping up into a key role - in partnership with me - on our state budget and tax policy work and continues to support all of our new programs.  Finally, we just posted a position this week to hire a Data & Digital Director (job description attached, please feel free to share).  And I'm just so excited to be a part of this phenomenal group, and to have the opportunity to work in this space with all of you!

We'll certainly be reaching out to you, but please always feel free to contact us!  I'll be in DC this week.  James will be in NYC in early December.  We'd love to link up.  We're happy to get on the road (or just the phone :) to talk with you, your board, or any other stakeholders you think we should be connecting with.

I plan to send an update about once a month as we're moving and shaking.  I would appreciate it if these were not shared widely - they are meant as top-level updates for stakeholders and funders of our work.  Please let me know if you have suggestions for things to add or subtract.