Non-profit

One for Democracy

One for Democracy is a collaboration of philanthropists and donor advisors established to influence the outcome of the November 2020 election. Started by former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, the group asks its donors to pledge 1 percent of their net worth to the organization so that it may distribute the funds to several nonprofits which claim to be fighting voter suppression and increasing voter turnout in November. [1]

History

On March 4, Novogratz attended a dinner in New York City which included philanthropist Molly Gochman, former democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and the director of the Novogratz family’s philanthropic organization Billy Watterson. [2] The group discussed issues such as voter suppression and voter participation, which led to the idea of setting up a donor advised fund and the 1 percent pledge. Since March, the group has raised over $38 million from roughly 70 individuals and organizations while maintaining a goal of raising over $100 million by election day. [3] Watterson said the group’s goal to defend democracy through “Expanding the vote by registering and mobilizing voters,” “Protecting access to the vote through expanding vote by mail and protecting in-person voting, and finally defeating Donald Trump because he is an existential threat to our democracy.” [4]

Funding

On its website, the group lists several left-leaning donors that have made the pledge of donating 1 percent of their net worth to the organization. [5] Aside from Novgratz and Gochman, the list includes Jeremy Mindich, co-founder of asset firm Scopia Capital; technology investor David Slifka; Andrew Blumenfeld, co-founder of digital software firm CallTime.AI; Ian Simmons and his wife, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, who co-founded the investment firm Blue Haven Initiative. The Pritzker family includes Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Penny Pritzker, the secretary of Commerce under President Barack Obama. [6] Additional donors to the fund included Ibrahim AlHusseini, founder of investment firm Full Cycle; and Jason Flom, founder of recording group Lava Records. [7]

Organizations that have received support from One for Democracy include the Voter Participation Center, the Voter Protection Corps, the Organizing Empowerment Project, Vote at Home, and New Florida Majority. [8]

Leadership

Members of its advisory board include Tony Gavito, president of donor hub Way to Win; Heather Smith, former president of voter registration group Rock the Vote; and Billy Wimsatt, the executive director of donor group the Movement Voter Project. [9]

References

  1. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  2. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  3. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  4. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  5. “Pledgers.” One for Democracy. Accessed August 27, 2020. https://www.onefordemocracy.org/ ^
  6. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  7. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  8. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^
  9. Schwartz, Brian. “Voting groups get $38 million boost from donor funds backed by wealthy Democrats.” CNBC. August 27, 2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/voting-groups-get-38-million-boost-from-donor-funds-backed-by-wealthy-democrats.html ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Heather Smith
    Advisory Board Member
  2. Billy Wimsatt
    Advisory Board Member
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