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E-Democracy.org – Project Blog

E-Democracy.Org Seeks Online Fund Raisers, Grant Writers

Written by Steven Clift

E-Democracy.Org is putting together a development team.

The goal of this team is to:

1. Fund implementation of our new strategic plan –

We seek to identify potential funding sources and develop a number of grant proposal based on our strategic plan – http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/105 . Our near term objective is to package our local “online town hall” Issues Forum model – http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/87 – for expansion and specifically double our low cost, volunteer-based network to a total of 20 communities. This requires resources for marketing and training, technology enhancements (we use open source tools), extensive outreach/organizing, and $10-20K total US per community identified for the first couple years and less thereafter.

2. Develop new project/pilot/features grant proposals –

We have a number of innovative ideas ripe for development as special grant proposals. Some of these ideas are outlined from here – http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/111 . In short, we have a base of 10 communities in three countries with non-partisan “democracy committees,” some are interested in citizen engagement and politics or bridging the digital divide, and some new rural communities and high concentration immigrant neighborhoods (see details on recent two grants – http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/112 ) might add more citizen media to our cornerstone “Issues Forum” model. We also have experience with election information and online candidate debates. We hosted the world’s first election information website in 1994. We are open to research oriented projects and partnerships as well.

3. Support our participant and supporter donation efforts –

We are specifically interested in working with someone who has experience with creative fund raising online. Our rough goal is to raise enough from our participants across 20 communities (currently in ten) to support at least one full time equivalent position. This will Generating donations from 15% of an estimated 10,000 registered participants averaging $50 a year would generate $75,000 a year. We also want to package what we do to motivate “supporter” donations. Because we are strictly non-partisan and focus on building democracy and community in an inclusive manner, developing a compelling pitch compared to strong advocacy causes is a challenge we must meet.

4. Work with an exciting team and mission –

E-Democracy.Org is evolving from an all-volunteer initiative to one with a small staff that supports those volunteers. My recent Ashoka Fellowship allows me for the first time to focus full-time on the organization (my speaking on the Internet and democracy across 27 countries used to subsidize my donated time). Our team includes Tim Erickson, our lead on Issues Forums, and a very engaged Board. I am currently focused on securing major donations (mostly from individuals) and developing the infrastructure for our first participant pledge drives focused first on our oldest and most developed Issues Forums. More – http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/115

Here is what I envision right now, but I can be flexible if you have a better plan.

1. Lead Grant Writer – A contract to help prospect and generate six grant proposals over the course of a year. Three based on core strategic planning identified needs and three for project ideas that are viewed to have better funding opportunities. We expect someone very hands on who leads us through the grant development process and plays the role of lead editor.

2. Online Fund Raising Consultant – A contract for 5 to 10 hours a month to develop and implement online fund raising techniques, particularly to develop a base of “supporters.” This person will also be asked to advise and assist (but not lead) our participant pledge drive efforts (2 drives planned in 2008).

E-Democracy.Org would like to collect resumes and brief one page outlines on services offered including fees/rates/etc. I have a deadline in late January to apply for a technical assistance matching grant within Ashoka (only available to U.S. Ashoka Fellows). Our proposal must name the consultants up front. If you’ve been interested in connecting with the Ashoka network, this is a bonus opportunity for any consultant we select.

Please send your resumes and one page outline by Monday, January 7 to:

team@e-democracy.org

Sincerely,
Steven Clift
Founder and Board Chair, E-Democracy.Org

P.S. While E-Democracy.Org is based in Minnesota, about half our network is in England. We also have a regional forum in New Zealand. Much of the fund raising will be initially U.S. focused, we do seek to build a global base of donating supporters as we expand.

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2 Comments on E-Democracy.Org Seeks Online Fund Raisers, Grant Writers

Kramer auto Pingback[…] be that much easier for you to assist our efforts. Please see our project blog post for details: http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/131 Or if you can recommend a good grant writer, drop us a note with their contact details: team ( at ) […]

Kramer auto Pingback[…] Clift E-Democracy.Org P.S. Thanks all for passing on word about our search for grant writers: http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/131 Now we are collecting advice on how to best convert some of our supporters and participants to […]

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