Non-profit

Youth Engagement Fund (Democracy Alliance)

Type:

Voter Mobilization Group

The Youth Engagement Fund is a center-left voter mobilization group created by the Democracy Alliance, a network of highly influential funders within the Democratic Party and the political Left. The Democracy Alliance itself generally coordinates funding strategies rather than engaging in grantmaking; consequently, the Youth Engagement Fund itself is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and fiscal sponsorship provider. [1]

The Youth Engagement Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) “sister” affiliate of the Youth Engagement Fund, and a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund.

Political Activities

According to a 2016 report by the Democracy Alliance, both the Youth Engagement Fund and the Youth Engagement Action Fund promote voter mobilization efforts that aim to increase voter turnout and political engagement among young people, with the expressed purpose of bolstering the progressive movement. The funds used a number of state-based allies to target the following states:

Arizona

  • AZ Student Vote Coalition

Colorado

Florida

Ohio

  • Ohio Student Association

Pennsylvania

  • One Pittsburgh
  • PA Student Power Network

Nevada

  • Nevada Student Action

North Carolina

Virginia

  • VA Student Power Network

Leadership

The funds share an advisory board consisting of Allison Barlow, program director for the Wallace Global Fund; Daaiyah Bilal-Threats, National Education Association; Keesha Gaskins, program director for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Dave Horwich, counsel for Beyond Consulting; Alethia Jones, program director for the Open Society Foundations; Julie Kohler, senior adviser to the Democracy Alliance; Aaron Merkin, senior confidential specialist for the National Education Association; Ian Simmons, a member of the Democracy Alliance; Frank Smith, senior political adviser to the Democracy Alliance; Anne Summers, executive director of the Brico Fund; Bill Vandenberg, director of special initiatives for the Open Society Foundations; Jamal Watkins, vice president of civic engagement for the NAACP; and Luna Yasui, senior program officer for the Ford Foundation.

Austin Belali, the director of the Youth Engagement Fund and the Youth Engagement Action Fund, is listed as the group’s contact.

Funding

According to a 2016 Democracy Alliance report, the Youth Engagement Fund raised approximately $3,400,000 and had expenditures of $2,800,000. The Youth Engagement Action Fund had revenues of $450,000 and had expenditures of $210,000. [2]

References

  1. “Democracy Alliance 2020 Investment Portfolio.” Democracy Alliance. Published Fall 2016. Accessed May 1, 2019. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/04/Democracy-Alliance-2020-Investment-Portfolio-Report.pdf ^
  2. “Democracy Alliance 2020 Investment Portfolio.” Democracy Alliance. Published Fall 2016. Accessed May 1, 2019. Available: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/04/Democracy-Alliance-2020-Investment-Portfolio-Report.pdf ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Ian Simmons
    Advisory Board Member
  2. Julie Kohler
    Advisory Board Member
  3. Daaiyah Bilal-Threats
    Advisory Board Member
  4. Ilona Prucha
    Donor Collaborator
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