Other Group

Way to Win

Way to Win (also known as Way to Win Action Fund) is an organizational strategy hub for left-leaning organizations that helps identify key elections that the Democratic Party needs to win in order to gain control of various legislative bodies. Way to Win then directs the efforts of other left-leaning donors and organizations towards those key campaigns. Since its founding in 2018, Way to Win has published detailed, data-based reports that explain key elections and encourage support from left-of-center donors and activists. [1]

Political Activities

Plan to Win

In the leadup to the 2020 election, Way to Win published the “Plan to Win,” an in-depth strategy guide for Democrats to regain control of the White House, U.S. Senate, and several state governments. [2] The most detailed portions of the plan were shared only with left-of-center member organizations, but the publicly available summary shows that the plan focused on elections in eleven states, including Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, and Virginia. [3]

Beyond Trump

In 2021, Way to Win partnered with Data for Progress to produce “Beyond Trump: A Theory of Political Transition,” a report that used historical and present-day data to present an argument for shifting the Democratic Party’s policy in a far-left direction and a plan for how to do it. [4]

The report’s central contention is that left-progressive activists need to build stronger nonprofit institutions to influence the Democratic Party and move it further left, rather than allowing the Democratic Party to direct the nonprofit base of support. [5] The report also argues that the Republican Party is mainly pushed by outside institutions supporting conservative ideas, while the Democratic Party is directed by establishment politicians and party officials. [6] The organization claims that, after winning the 2020 elections, it is just as vital that left-wing activists win “the battle for the soul of the Democratic party” against the more moderate center of the party. [7]

Way to Lead PAC

Way to Win also operates an affiliated PAC called the Way to Lead PAC. [8] According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports, the PAC was the most active during the 2019-2020 election cycle, raising $2.4 million in contributions and spending $2.2 million. [9] Way to Lead received funding from a number of sources, including the Way to Lead Sate Power Committee, an affiliate of the Way to Lead PAC, and wealthy left-leaning mega-donors including Andrea Soros, Susan Pritzker, Rebecca Liebman, and Patricia Stryker. [10] Way to Lead made contributions to several left-leaning PACs, including the United We Dream PAC, the New South Super PAC, the CASA in Action PAC, and the WIN Justice PAC. [11] In total, Way to Lead contributed $1.4 million to other PACs, but also spent roughly $76,000 on its own advertisements attacking former President Donald Trump and supporting President Joe Biden. [12] [13]

Grantmaking

In a preview of a “Presidential Playbook” created by Way to Win for the 2020 elections, the organization reported that in 2018, it “moved $22 million to flip the House and build a multiracial electorate.” [14] The organization’s 2018 public disclosures, however, indicate that the organization’s total expenses amounted to only $7 million that year, suggesting that Way to Win is involved in facilitating and directing substantial contributions from other organizations, rather than distributing funds from its own accounts. [15]

During the 2020 election cycle, Way to Win announced that it had “moved $85 million this cycle,” nearly quadrupling its 2018 total. [16]

Way to Win does make its own contributions to other left-leaning groups. Instead of making payments as grants, the organization pays large sums to other advocacy organizations through independent contractor consulting fees. The organization reported paying 24 different consultants just over $7 million in 2018, and $7.1 million to 32 different consultants in 2019. [17] [18]

While nonprofit organizations are required to disclose all organizations that received grants on their IRS Form 990s, they are only required to disclose a handful of independent contractors, so the full list of organizations to which Way to Win makes payments is unknown.

The limited disclosures available from 2018 show that Way to Win paid $725,000 to the Center for Community Change Action, $525,000 to the Democratic Party of Georgia, $427,000 to the Texas Organizing Project, $363,000 to Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), and $345,500 to New Virginia Majority. [19]

In 2019, Way to Win paid $859,666 in management fees to New Future Project, a for-profit corporation registered in California that shares Way to Win’s address and is owned by Leah-Hunt Hendrix, co-founder of Way to Win. [20] [21] Way to Win also paid consulting fees of $500,000 to NEO Philanthropy Action Fund, $350,000 to the Texas Freedom Network, $350,000 to United for Respect, and $300,000 to the New Georgia Project Action Fund. [22]

Funding

Way to Win received $7.7 million in grants during 2018 and $12.2 million in 2019. [23] [24] As a nonprofit advocacy organization, Way to Win is not required to publicly disclose its donors, though other organizations’ public disclosures reveal some of its funding.

In 2018, Way to Win received roughly $388,000 from Voqal, a lobbying nonprofit network which advocates for increased government regulation of public broadcasting, and its regional affiliates. [25] The organization also received $250,000 from the Open Society Policy Center, a left-leaning lobbying group associated with the Open Societies Network, which is funded by billionaire financier and liberal donor George Soros. [26]

In 2019, Way to Win received $25,000 from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a left-of-center “dark money” organization. [27]

Leadership

Victoria Gavito is president of Way to Win. Gavito was also the founding executive director of the left-of-center Texas Future Project. [28]

Way to Win is also led by co-founder Leah Hunt-Hendrix, who also owns the New Future Project and acts as an advisor to the Sister Fund, a private foundation tied to her family. [29] [30]

Way to Win co-founder Jennifer Ancona also works at Way to Win as the chief strategy officer. [31] Ancona also leads the Way to Lead PAC. [32] Previously, Ancona has worked as vice president at the Women Donors Network, director of strategic communications at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, and as a consultant for Democracy Alliance. [33]

Ashindi Maxton, executive director of the Donors of Color Network and board member at Voqal and the Texas Organizing Project, and Whitney Tymas, the leader of the Safety and Justice network of organizations and former board member of the Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF), also sit on the Way to Win board of directors. [34] [35] [36]

References

  1. The Plan to Win, April 22, 2021. https://plantowin.info/^
  2. The Plan to Win, April 22, 2021. https://plantowin.info/^
  3. The Plan to Win, April 22, 2021. https://plantowin.info/. ^
  4. “Beyond Trump Report: A Theory of Political Transition.” Plan To Govern, December 10, 2020. https://plantogovern.us/beyond-trump/^
  5. “Beyond Trump Report: A Theory of Political Transition.” Plan To Govern, December 10, 2020. https://plantogovern.us/beyond-trump/. ^
  6. “Beyond Trump Report: A Theory of Political Transition.” Plan To Govern, December 10, 2020. https://plantogovern.us/beyond-trump/. ^
  7. “Beyond Trump Report: A Theory of Political Transition.” Plan To Govern, December 10, 2020. https://plantogovern.us/beyond-trump/. ^
  8. “Team.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/team. ^
  9. “WAY TO LEAD PAC – Committee Overview.” FEC.gov. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00686832/?cycle=2020. ^
  10. “Browse Receipts.” FEC.gov. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00686832&two_year_transaction_period=2020. ^
  11. “Browse Disbursements.” FEC.gov. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?committee_id=C00686832&two_year_transaction_period=2020&data_type=processed. ^
  12. “WAY TO LEAD PAC – Committee Overview.” FEC.gov. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00686832/?cycle=2020. ^
  13. “Browse Independent Expenditures.” FEC.gov. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.fec.gov/data/independent-expenditures/?committee_id=C00686832&two_year_transaction_period=2020&cycle=2020&data_type=processed&is_notice=true. ^
  14. “Presidential Playbook.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/playbook. ^
  15. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/02_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201812_990O_2020020617114568. ^
  16. Win, Way To. Way to Win Announces Over $85M Moved as Part of their “Plan to Win,” A Roadmap for Winning Progressive Power at Every Level of Government, September 30, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/way-to-win-announces-over-85m-moved-as-part-of-their-plan-to-win-a-roadmap-for-winning-progressive-power-at-every-level-of-government-301141813.html^
  17. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/02_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201812_990O_2020020617114568. ^
  18. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2019 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/10_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201912_990O_2020101317366538. ^
  19. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/02_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201812_990O_2020020617114568. ^
  20. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2019 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/10_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201912_990O_2020101317366538. ^
  21. “NEW FUTURE PROJECT, LLC.” OpenCorporates. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_ca/201720810029. ^
  22. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2019 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/10_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201912_990O_2020101317366538. ^
  23. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/02_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201812_990O_2020020617114568. ^
  24. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2019 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/10_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201912_990O_2020101317366538. ^
  25. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2019 (Form 990).” IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/840943035_201903_990O_2020011317020961.pdf. ^
  26. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/222028955_201812_990O_2020021917160569.pdf. ^
  27. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” Influence Watch Archive. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-2019-990.pdf. ^
  28. “Team.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/team. ^
  29. “NEW FUTURE PROJECT, LLC.” OpenCorporates. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_ca/201720810029. ^
  30. “Team.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/team. ^
  31. “Team.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/team. ^
  32. “Team.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/team. ^
  33. “Team.” Way to Win. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://waytowin.us/team. ^
  34. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/02_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201812_990O_2020020617114568. ^
  35. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2019 (Form 990).” IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/840943035_201903_990O_2020011317020961.pdf. ^
  36. “Return of organization Exempt from Income Tax 2018 (Form 990).” ProPublica. Accessed June 15, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/825528039/02_2020_prefixes_82-84%2F825528039_201812_990O_2020020617114568. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Leah Hunt-Hendrix
    Co-Chair, Website Domain Owner
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