State Infrastructure Fund
The State Infrastructure Fund (SIF) increases civic participation and advances voting rights among historically underrepresented communities by supporting nonpartisan organizations that engage their communities and promote voting rights through advocacy, organizing and litigation.
The first step towards a healthy and fully participatory democracy is to ensure that all eligible Americans — particularly those who have been historically underrepresented at the polls —are engaged, empowered and cast a ballot that counts in every election.
How We Work
Founded in 2010, the State Infrastructure Fund supports 501 (c)(3) organizations that implement programs in the following areas:
- Integrated Voter Engagement Grantmaking: SIF supports organizations in states that increase voter participation rates in historically underrepresented communities by tying voting to salient issues through year-round advocacy, organizing, leadership development and voter mobilization.
- Voting Rights and Reforms Grantmaking: SIF supports organizations that protect and advance the voting rights of historically disenfranchised communities through litigation, monitoring, education and activism.
In addition to grantmaking, the State Infrastructure Fund also encourages coordination and collaboration among the funding community and field.
SIF has raised more than $60 million since its inception. Over the past nine years, this funding has:
- Helped build state-based networks of nonpartisan organizations that coordinate plans and implement integrated voter engagement campaigns;
- Established a voting rights litigation collaborative of 12 prestigious interest law organizations that combat voter suppression in the states;
- Provided resources for oversight and coordination of these national litigators’ efforts with monitoring, documentation and messaging around voting rights at the field level; and
- Supported innovative research and evaluation projects that have identified and lead to the adoption of best practices for both civic engagement funders and practitioners.
Taken together, this funding, coordination and networking represent the “state infrastructure” that the State Infrastructure Fund seeks to build. This infrastructure promotes collaboration, capacity building and collective impact; reduces duplication; provides opportunities for genuine involvement by people who represent their communities; and results in increased engagement among historically underrepresented voters and communities.
SIF is committed to advancing collaboration and coordination among both funders and the field. The revised 2019/20 state funding strategy is focused in three regions: the South, Southwest and Rust Belt.
SIF will support organizations working in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The State Infrastructure Fund’s deep level of expertise is recognized among both its grantees and the funding community. The fund distinguishes itself by serving as the primary and most experienced donor collaborative engaged in building and promoting a coordinated infrastructure of nonpartisan nonprofit organizations conducting voter engagement and voter protection at the state and local levels. The State Infrastructure Fund supports only non-partisan 501(c)(3)-permissible work.
Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Irving Harris Foundation
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
Wallace Global Fund
Three anonymous foundations and several individual donors
From our members
“SIF is the best collaborative fund at creating a center of gravity for both voting rights and civic engagement work that attracts all major and smaller players interested in these fields.”
“SIF provides an opportunity for state– or issue-based funders to connect to the larger field of democracy funding, while lifting up their own examples and expertise.”
“SIF bridges a values-based approach with evidence-based research that tests assumptions and moves us all forward.”
The State Infrastructure Fund is housed at NEO Philanthropy. NEO’s collaborative funds are designed to help donors make more agile and effective national and state-level grants.