Our Strategy

Flip the Vote’s recommended investment strategy is informed by rigorous data analysis, our past track record, and our commitment to maximizing the impact of our collective political investments in furtherance of a more inclusive, equitable, and just American democracy. 

Read about Flip the Vote's 2022 successes here.

This year, Flip the Vote continues the fight to protect our democracy. 

Across demographics, places, and parties, Americans turned out in the 2022 election to protect our freedoms and elect leaders who respect the will of the people, act in our interests, and allow us to provide for our families. While the “red wave” did not materialize, our democracy is still under attack. Despite high-profile losses in the last election, Republican elected officials continue to embrace election denialism, suppress BIPOC votes, and use gerrymandering to secure outsized majorities in statehouses across the country. They are using these majorities to attack reproductive rights, assault the dignity and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people (stoked by escalating aggression toward transgender people), ban books, block common-sense gun reform legislation, and slash funding for important safety net programs. To overcome Republicans’ financial and structural advantages in 2024, we must start now to support the work of grassroots groups on the front lines of fighting voter suppression efforts and building electoral power in communities of color in strategic states. 

Our strategy is grounded in seven compelling rationales:

When people of color, unmarried women, and young adults vote, we win.

The “New American Majority” comprises 64% of eligible voters, and this group is 22% more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans. However, members of the New American Majority are 20% less likely to vote than others. (Based on data provided by the Center for Voter Information.) Engaging and turning likely-Democratic voters into reliable voters is essential for winning.

In particular, data from the 2020 election confirms that turning out voters of color leads to Democratic victories. At the presidential level, almost 40% of Biden’s votes came from BIPOC voters, compared to just 15% for Trump. Thanks to grassroots groups supported by the Flip the Vote community and others, turnout among Black, Latinx, and Asian voters reached record highs, which contributed to Biden’s victory. Following this exceptional turnout in 2020, Republicans intensified their voter suppression efforts in 2022. As just one example, in Wisconsin, a top GOP official and member of the state election commission openly bragged about suppressing the Black vote in Milwaukee. While Republican officials across the country work to suppress votes, the grassroots groups with which Flip the Vote collaborates organize people in their communities – both to expand access to voting and to engage in powerful civic engagement more broadly. 

A small number of swing states are critical for winning in 2024.

The states that were key to Democratic victories in 2020 and 2022 will continue to be battleground states in 2024. For 2024, we will make funding recommendations in phases, balancing the importance of early money with attention to key races as they unfold.  All of the funds raised will go to Flip the Vote's recommended grassroots groups, each of which has a proven track record of registering and turning out voters in must-win states. We will decide which states to focus on by prioritizing:  

The most effective way to win in key swing states is by supporting relational organizing groups – not by donating to specific candidates.

A 2019 meta-analysis conducted by the Analyst Institute found that “relational organizing” increases turnout by 2.8 percentage points on average, while other methods – like digital or TV campaign ads and mailers – are less than a third as effective. Relational organizing involves local community members engaging voters in their neighborhoods multiple times, year round. Our partner groups engage potential voters around issues that matter and are often decided locally, including minimum wage laws, access to health care, or penal system reform. In so doing, our groups help people connect the dots between these issues and elections, such as a city council or ballot measures, building power around these issues. The engagements continue with  vigorous get-out-the-vote operations during election seasons. And then the cycle begins again. There are no off years with relational organizing.

This grassroots, issue-based approach works. Take Arizona in 2020. Biden won the state by 0.3% – that is, 10,500 votes. Before the 2020 election, our partner group LUCHA registered 11,200 voters in Arizona. Relational organizing, in other words, can tip the balance in races that are won on tiny margins. Another benefit of relational organizing is that research shows that people who vote once are more likely to vote in future elections. 

Investing in Flip the Vote’s recommended groups now is the best way to ensure they have a maximal impact on the 2024 elections.

Investing early and smarter will make a big difference for Democratic candidates. A study of spending in the 2020 election concluded, “While Democrats outspent Republicans in 2020, we are not spending smart enough to maximize our chances of winning elections moving forward ... Meanwhile, too little is spent on mobilizing voters, especially down ballot.” The primary recommendation from this important study is to donate early so organizations can “invest in the infrastructure needed to support effective field, get-out-the-vote, digital organizing, and digital communication campaigns.” Our goal at Flip the Vote is to provide everyone in our network ways to maximize our collective impact – by giving our partner groups a leg up now – far enough in advance of the 2024 election so they can use the dollars most strategically. So donate as much as you can right now. 

Turning out voters for state and local races helps win national races.

People often talk about “coattails” – the idea that strong national candidates help state and local candidates from the same party win. But the reverse is also true!  A study of the 2020 election affirmed the “reverse-coattails” or “trickle-up” effect that Flip the Vote endorses. This study showed that excitement for local Democratic candidates – even in deeply red jurisdictions – made a “detectable difference” in Biden’s favor, regardless of whether they won their local races. Our partner groups connect with voters in their communities over important state and local candidates and issues, and people who turn out to vote for these local races vote blue all the way up the ballot.

Flip the Vote’s recommended groups are not only turning out voters but also building lasting political strength and leadership in their communities.

The grassroots organizations that Flip the Vote recommends for investment develop new, local, diverse Democratic down-ballot candidates. Down-ballot wins increase Democratic influence in state legislatures that are pursuing discriminatory voter suppression and redistricting policies, which of course affect our national elections. Moreover, a thriving democracy depends on communities exercising power in the politics that affect them directly at the local level, whether related to schools, public infrastructure, or policing. These groups are also testing out new messaging and engagement approaches, building powerful coalitions around issues that matter most in their communities, striving for representation and accountability from their elected officials, and combating systemic racism.

Investing in groups with the freedom to engage in overtly political outreach is the most direct way to influence the outcome of elections.

Many people like to donate to 501(c)(3) nonprofits because those donations are tax deductible. While donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax deductible, this designation allows such groups more flexibility to do the voter targeting, lobbying, and partisan work necessary for Democrats to win elections and for the groups to help build long-term political power in their communities. Because donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax deductible, these groups tend to be underfunded, increasing the impact of our investment.