Voter Formation Project Is Changing How We Mobilize Voters

In October we hosted Change How We Mobilize Voters Digitally, a webinar featuring Voter Formation Project (VFP). WDN is a proud funder of VFP. Founded by Tatenda Musapatike, VFP’s innovative digital mobilization and organizing strategies push back against voter suppression efforts and make it easier for communities of color to vote. Here we’ll share more about VFP, key takeaways from our webinar with them, and actions you can take to support VFP’s voter mobilization work.

An image of a child wearing a suite and bowtie with the words "I am Votemaster Caleb" at the bottom. The child is Black, with cropped short hair, and looks to be speaking in front of a crowd

VFP’s Expand the Electorate Reel, which pulls from their highly successful voter mobilization ad campaigns. Thank you to VFP for allowing us to share this video.

The disparity between voter registration rates among white and non-white voters is apparent: while 71% of eligible white Americans are registered to vote, just 54% of Asian American Pacific Islanders, 54% of Hispanics, and 64% of Black Americans are registered. During the webinar Tatenda emphasized that the difficulty of reaching Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) through digital mobilization campaigns is exacerbated by barriers like:

  • Voting laws. Laws differ by state and are often put in place to keep voters of color away from the polls.
  • Structural racism in data. Online platforms skew advertising toward people with more data points – who are mostly white and have economic privilege – because it’s cheap and easy. This process leaves behind BIPOC voters and the people we most desperately need to reach.
  • Lack of online voter registration and mobilization research. Under-researched online mobilization tactics dissuade campaigns from taking risks with their digital ad programs and are difficult to measure.
  • Weak online technology. Basic, outdated platforms prevent the creation of sophisticated registration and mobilization programs necessary to reach BIPOC voters.

Recognizing these issues, VFP spent $11 million to target and tailor over 1,000 digital ads to Black and Brown voters in eight key states. And it worked. Watch the short video below to learn how VFP cracked the code to reach voters of color online.

An square picture of Tatenda Musapatike, CEO of VFP, over a purple gradient. The subtitles "And I'm going to keep it 100" and beneath her picture.

VFP’s Founder & CEO Tatenda Musapatike shares how and why VFP deeply invests in new technology and messaging strategies to reach voters of color.

In 2022, VFP will continue to release detailed research and creative frameworks to reach and register half a million BIPOC voters online, mobilize voters in critical elections, scale up digital training for grassroots organizations, and provide digital resources for small, mission-aligned organizations. 

Deep investment in voter engagement strategies, long-term movement infrastructure, and narrative change is both timely and essential. We were overjoyed to host this webinar with VFP and are proud that we are helping to resource their work through our Participation & Representation For All Impact Collective with a $100,000 grant!

As VFP expands their messaging across eleven states, here are some ways you can support them:

  • Spread the word. Tell your friends, peers, and networks about VFP, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Connect. Host a similar briefing or resource them in other ways. You can connect with VFP through their website.

A special thank you to the Participation & Representation Impact Collective for hosting this webinar and to our co-hosts AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, Democracy Alliance, Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, Public Wise, Tides Foundation, and Tides Advocacy.

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