Woman registering people to vote Photo by Ed Crisostomo

Increasing Civic Engagement

California funders partner with communities to strengthen democracy

A new report, Bolder Together 2, captures lessons from a funder collaborative working to boost civic participation in diverse communities.

California’s demographics are changing fast, but rates of voting and civic participation haven’t kept up. In four rapidly growing counties across the state, a group of funders is working with local organizations to support diverse communities to lift up their voice and exercise their power on issues that affect their rights and their quality of life.

The work of the funders and their local partners is yielding important lessons as states and communities across the country begin to experience the dramatic demographic shifts that are transforming California. A new report, Bolder Together 2, documents key lessons for philanthropy from this work so far.

The report is a follow-up to a 2011 report that told the story of the funders’ early efforts. Now, after five years of grantmaking and intensive work in the four counties, California Civic Participation Funders tells a fuller story about how local organizations are coming together and working across issues to mobilize diverse communities to flex their democratic rights.

The funders also reflect further on how philanthropy can work with local communities to create a nation where government acts in the interests of all of the people.