This post is packed with so much good news it may cause spontaneous high fives to occur. We’ve got: transformational new funding, an awesome award for TurboVote, a new initiative with government, and a call for civic-minded developers.
New three-year funding from Knight Foundation
You can probably guess what those million reasons are… we’re thrilled to announce major new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation—$1,000,000 over three years. Knight first decided to take a chance on us in December 2011, and since then, we’ve celebrated a lot of incredible milestones. Yet Knight’s decision to double-down feels like our greatest milestone to date.
This grant will help us scale our tech, reach out to hundreds of additional college partners, and become financially sustainable—entirely supported by the colleges, nonprofits and local governments that cover the costs associated with serving their communities. And half the grant is structured as a match! We’re still raising an additional $2 million for our Sustainability Round of investment, so if you know anyone I should be talking to about funding, I’d love your introductions.
TurboVote honored by Ashoka (the Oscars for do-gooders)
Ashoka is one of the world’s preeminent networks of social entrepreneurs, and every year they give out prestigious awards to nonprofits tackling problems in innovative ways. And this year, they chose TurboVote! The award is an honor for Seth, our awesome team, and the hundreds of people who’ve helped us.
Working with government
We love working with colleges and nonprofits, but TurboVote can’t stop there—our mission is to modernize the voting experience for all Americans. To do that, TurboVote must expand our partnerships to include local governments and build technology that’s useful to the public servants doing the hard work of actually running elections (think: Leslie Knope).
(Okay, so Leslie’s actually a city councilwoman. But you get the idea.)
That’s why, this year, we’re going to expand our work by designing new tools for election administrators. Our goal is to reduce the costs of any local government that adopts TurboVote. We kicked off that initiative last month with service design firm Reboot. They’ve already traveled to election offices in Missouri, Kentucky, Vermont, Texas, and Florida to document exactly how election administration works on the ground and are finishing their research odyssey in Denver, Colorado this week. You can read more about their research goals and follow their progress on the Reboot blog.
Help us build a better democracy
While we await Reboot’s findings on what local election administrators need, we’re gearing up to start building these new services. If you know any software developers we should recruit to join this effort, please let us know!