It is with a great deal of sadness that we share the news that Project Vote will suspend its operations indefinitely, effective May 31st.
This decision was made by the board of directors and management of Project Vote, and it was not made lightly. The funding environment for voting rights and civic engagement work has never been easy, and it has grown increasingly challenging over the past few years as foundations have cut back on their giving in this area, the civic engagement environment has been restructured, and competition for limited funding has increased. For a single-issue nonprofit like Project Vote—without a diverse portfolio of work to fundraise on—we were ultimately forced to admit that our current model had become unsustainable.
All of us at Project Vote are very proud of the work we have accomplished over the years with a small, dedicated staff and a very tight budget.
We helped millions of Americans get registered to vote through our direct engagement projects, and we’ve trained countless organizations to run efficient, effective voter registration drives. We’ve won lawsuits in more than a dozen states to enforce the NVRA and ensure low-income Americans were provided the opportunity to register to vote, and we estimate this work alone has accounted for at least three million additional registrations. We’ve pushed back against suppressive legislation—particularly around voter registration issues, which was our primary focus—and helped pass laws in many states to make it easier for eligible Americans to register and vote. The positive impact of this work will be felt for several election cycles to come.
We are also very proud of our extensive library of research, advocacy materials, and articles about key issues in voting rights. We’ve committed to ensuring that this material will remain available on the Project Vote website, www.projectvote.org, for the next few years, and we hope the voting rights community continues to find it useful.
All of this work was made possible through the support of a number of foundations and individuals. We would like to thank the Agua Fund, the Arkay Foundation, CREDO Mobile, the Herb Block Foundation, the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, John and Sarah Henry, the Marisla Foundation, Ken Olum, the Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund, George Wallerstein, our anonymous funders, and the many individual donors who have supported us through the years.
We would also like to thank our organizational partners, our pro-bono law firms, and all of the colleagues, co-workers, and consultants—all too numerous to mention—who helped Project Vote fulfill our mission and achieve our goals.
Finally, Michael Slater would like to express his appreciation and gratitude to the individuals who have served on our Board of Directors over the past nine years that he served as Executive Director: Sunday Alabi, Frank Askin, Renee Brereton, Leigh-Anne Cole, Christina Greer, Margaret Groarke, Craig Kaplan, Donna Massey, Robert Master, Lorraine Minnite, Maxine Nelson, Frances Piven, Gustavo Rivera, Helen Schaub, Julie Smith, David Steward, Emery Wright, and Garland Yates.
All of us believe that the fight for the right to vote has never been more important. At Project Vote, we had hoped to spend this year pushing back against the Trump administration’s inevitable attack on voting rights, and to protect the NVRA in particular. This is vital work that still needs doing: we encourage the funding community to fully support these efforts, and we wish our colleagues success as they carry on the fight.
The Staff of Project Vote
Michelle Kanter Cohen