EFFECT 2010 ANNUAL REPORT
Vice President of Programs
Director of Communications
Director of Development
Chief of Staff
LETTER FROM THECEO THANK YOU FOR THE IMPORTANT ROLE YOU PLAYED IN MAKING 2010 THE MOST SUCCESSFUL YEAR IN THE HISTORY of Mobilize.org! We’re grateful to the Taproot Foundation, whose support has made the publication of this annual report possible. It’s my pleasure to share with you where we’ve been, where we’re going and the important role you’ll continue to play in our ability to improve communities by investing in Millennial-driven solutions. In 2010, Mobilize.org convened 100 Millennial veterans in Los Angeles, 500 environmental enthusiasts in New York and 125 community college students in North Carolina. We asked each group of these powerful Millennials to identify issues they face on their campuses, in their communities, and in our democracy. We provided an interactive, creative space for them to work together and develop solutions that address those unmet needs. We listened to their conversations, paid attention as they told us what they need in order to take a leadership role in implementing their solutions and invested tens of thousands of dollars in those 725 Millennials to turn their ideas into innovative projects that will have a broad impact on our society. This is what we call the Mobilize.org Effect. On behalf of the Mobilize.org team, thank you for your support. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to invest in projects like Team Rubicon and the others that come alive on the following pages. To learn more about our work, investments and plans for our future, please visit us online at www.mobilize.org. Keep Mobilizin’, Maya Enista
Chief Executive Officer
MISSION MOBILIZE.ORG IS A NATIONAL MILLENNIAL-LED O RG A N IZ ATIO N T HAT I MPRO VES T HE WAY DEMOCRACY WORKS BY INVESTING IN MILLENNIAL-DRIVEN SOLUTIONS.
PHILOSOPHY MOBILIZE.ORG BELIEVES THAT IN ORDER TO CREATE LONG-TERM, SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGES FACING OUR SOCIETY, MILLENNIALS MUST AUTHENTICALLY ENGAGE THEIR PEERS IN IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS AND PROPOSING SOLUTIONS. MOST IMPORTANTLY, MOBILIZE.ORG BELIEVES MILLENNIALS MUST HAVE THE RESOURCES NEEDED TO IMPLEMENT THESE SOLUTIONS ON THEIR CAMPUSES OR IN THEIR COMMUNITIES. WE VIEW OUR WORK AND INVESTMENTS IN MILLENNIAL IDEAS AS A CATALYST FOR MEANINGFUL, COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING AND ACTION THAT LEADS TO SYSTEMIC SOCIAL CHANGE.
MILLENNIAL /MI ‘ LE NI EL /
INDIVIDUALS BORN BETWEEN 1976-1996. SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS GENERATION NEXT OR GENERATION Y, TECH SAVVY, DIVERSE, OFTEN SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS AND CIVICALLY ENGAGED.
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NEXTLEVEL DEMOCRACY MOBILIZE.ORG IS PIONEERING AN INNOVATIVE ENGAGEMENT MODEL THAT LEVERAGES THE unique characteristics of the Millennial Generation—collaboration, diversity, technological savvy and an entrepreneurial spirit—to ensure Millennials actively participate in our democracy and have the skills, resources, relationships and support needed to move our communities and our country forward. Mobilize.org provides opportunities for members of the Millennial Generation to move from passive to active citizenship and to seize leadership opportunities at every age and at every level.
Through our work, Mobilize.org lends an important voice in discussions where the young adult perspective is often absent. Utilizing our unique convening power and innovative programming to address issues such as financial literacy, the environment, veterans support and education, the organization’s leaders and Millennials within our network are often sought to contribute their perspectives on philanthropy, leadership, community development, social media, and education.
DEMOCRACY2.0 DEMOCRACY 2.0 BEGAN AS AN IDEA DEVELOPED BY MILLENNIALS EAGER TO “TAKE ACTION” to confront the issues affecting our society, and specifically the Millennial Generation. Today, Democracy 2.0 is at the core of our work as we engage Millennials in the next level of civic engagement; that includes collaborating to develop solutions to our society’s most pressing challenges and building the democracy Millennials want to inherit, and lead. In 2006, with a rich history of convening Millennials for national discussions and providing them with the tools to affect public policy, Mobilize.org convened a team of 50 organizational leaders, Millennial activists, academicians and researchers to strategize how to engage more young adults in its work. At the meeting, the group developed an idea for a declaration
of principles that would outline the Millennial Generation’s ownership of and responsibility to the democratic process and for a national conference that would include an award ceremony to honor Millennials whose civic work embodied principles established in the declaration. These conversations helped coin “Democracy 2.0” as the phrase describing the collaboration and problem solving that Mobilize.org facilitated around the country. It also became the framework for future Mobilize.org Democracy 2.0 Summits, Democracy 2.0 Awards and the foundation for the Mobilize.org Democracy 2.0 Declaration. In four years, Democracy 2.0 has evolved from an idea to a movement that engages Millennials around the country in solving problems on their campuses and in their communities.
DEMOCRACY2.0 AWARDS DEMOCRACY 2.0 SUMMITS
DEMOCRACY 2.0 AWARDS
DEMOCRACY 2.0 SUMMITS ARE THREE-DAY, GATHERINGS WHERE 100 TO 500 MILLENNIALS convene to discuss challenges facing our society, work collaboratively to propose solutions and compete for the funding and resources needed to implement those solutions. To date, Mobilize.org has hosted nine Democracy 2.0 Summits on issues including financial literacy, unemployment, and the community college completion crisis. More than 1,500 Millennials have attended and participated in Democracy 2.0 Summits, and through interactive webcasts, more than 20,000 have participated online.
THROUGH THE USE OF INTERACTIVE KEYPAD VOTING TECHNOLOGY, SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS become high-stakes philanthropists, awarding more than $25,000 per summit to the ideas they feel have the greatest capacity to succeed. Through this unique method, in which peer-participants evaluate and choose award winners, Mobilize.org has invested over $125,000 in 26 Millennial-led projects.
DANIEL KAUFMAN ONE PERCENT FOUNDATION
MILLENNIALS AND PHILANTHROPY CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SUGGESTS THAT ONE ACCUMULATES WEALTH OVER A LIFETIME AND THEN MAKES CHARITABLE DONATIONS DURING HIS OR HER TWILIGHT YEARS. BUT DANIEL KAUFMAN and his colleagues at the One Percent Foundation recognized something important about philanthropy: organizations that accept donations often reflect the values of their funders. Daniel Kaufman and his team then realized there was an opportunity to help more Millennials become philanthropists while they are still young. “We see philanthropy as a form of civic engagement, the same as voting or volunteering,” Kaufman says, “But it’s an area where Millennials are sorely underrepresented.” A goal of the One Percent Foundation is to become a credible funding source that reflects the values of the Millennial Generation. Its unique giving-circle model makes it easier for Millennials to pool resources and support causes. Here’s how it works: Participants commit to giving one percent of their annual income to the Foundation. Each quarter, the Foundation awards a grant to a nonprofit. Grant recipients are nominated by participants, vetted by volunteers and then voted on again by participants to receive awards.
HOW MOBILIZE.ORG HELPED WHEN KAUFMAN ATTENDED HIS FIRST DEMOCRACY 2.0 SUMMIT, HE DIDN’T KNOW what to expect. “We had to give a one-minute pitch to the entire community. Then we met with experts in business planning, financing, communications—every facet of what you’d need to make an idea real,” he says. “We spent the next half-day meeting with all of these individuals getting feedback on our presentation and model.” The group followed with a longer presentation and ultimately won a Democracy 2.0 Award. “The money was used to invest in our web infrastructure, so we moved to a more professional website that had the functionality we needed to manage the circle at a greater scale,” Kaufman says. After the summit, the One Percent
Foundation received national media attention and entered a new and exciting phase. Since then, the number of participants has more than doubled, and the Foundation is testing ways to replicate its model. “The thing that I’m most grateful about the Mobilize.org Award is that it was the first external organization to validate what we were doing,” Kaufman says. “I think that our idea was something that resonated with the Millennial community, this dream of creating a culture shift around philanthropy so Millennials can fund the issues and organizations that they’re compassionate about.”
IN A WORLD OFTEN DAMAGED BY INSTANT GRATIFICATION, WE MUST COMMIT TO CREATING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS.
JACOB WOOD TEAM RUBICON
MILLENNIALS AS FIRST-RESPONDERS AFTER TOURS WITH THE MARINES IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, JACOB WOOD WANTED TO PUT HIS MILITARY TRAINING TO USE IN HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS. HE GOT HIS CHANCE WHEN AN earthquake devastated Haiti. While other organizations were slow to respond, Wood and eight friends rapidly traveled to Port-au-Prince and set up shop. By the time word got around about what Team Rubicon had done, they had raised $150,000 and were managing a group of 60 volunteers to support their mission. The “Golden Window” is the time between when a disaster strikes and when critical care is needed to save lives from dying of acute injuries. After their experience in Haiti, Team Rubicon dedicated itself to fielding small, self-sustaining, mobile teams of specially skilled first-responders. “For a lot of veterans, this is a way to continue serving even after they take their uniforms off,” Wood says. “It allows them to use military skills that don’t transfer to the civilian world, and it allows veterans with mental fatigue and PTSD to serve again with a mission that saves lives.”
HOW MOBILIZE.ORG HELPED TEAM RUBICON PARTICIPATED IN THE BEYOND THE WELCOME HOME SUMMIT, WHICH focused on the unique challenges and opportunities Millennial veterans face when returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. After a brainstorming session, and coaching from business and marketing experts, Team Rubicon pitched participants on their mission and the gear they needed to thrive. They won a Democracy 2.0 Award, which helped them buy communications equipment and medical supplies that support their quick-response ethos.
But that’s not all: “The most important things we got out of the summit were relationships,” Wood says. “We learned about tools and resources available to us, but the relationships that we built with Mobilize.org and the experts helped us develop our organization.”
IT’S OUR DEMOCRACY, IT’S TIME TO ACT.
SARAH SCHACHT KNOWLEDGE AS POWER – CIVIC SPARK
MILLENNIALS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL EFFECTIVE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT DEPENDS ON THE TRANSPARENCY OF GOVERNMENT PROCESSES, THE ACCESSIBILITY OF ELECTED OFFICIALS AND MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITIES FOR CITIZENS TO ENGAGE their representatives. But many of the organizations supporting open government initiatives only focus on transparency, without helping citizens build their civic skills and increase their engagement. Sarah Schacht realized that Millennials can affect change by increasing transparency and the diversity of voices in the legislative process. She founded Knowledge as Power (KAP) to make tracking and influencing municipal and state legislation easier. By first working with legislatures to open up their information (many limit access to legislative information), KAP creates transparency. KAP’s core online service, KAPcitizen, provides citizens personalized information in the legislative process, allowing users to follow legislation and effectively communicate with legislators.
HOW MOBILIZE.ORG HELPED KAPCITIZEN IS A PROGRAM THAT APPLIES KAP’S SYSTEM OF TOOLS TO THE SEATTLE government. Schacht pitched her program and was selected to win a Democracy 2.0 Award by Millennials at the Constitutional Convention Democracy 2.0 Summit. “It was a highly competitive and rigorous process,” she says. “It made every applicant really think about how they were going to accomplish the challenging work ahead.” Schacht’s proposal received the highest votes and won a Democracy 2.0 Award. “As I worked to get Seattle to implement our legislative tracking
service for the City Council, having the grant was incredibly powerful,” she says. “It got me into meetings with council members and led to a working relationship with the mayor’s office.” KAP also benefitted from Seattle’s matching grant program, which allowed Schacht to market the service to citizens and execute a local civics skill-building program. “Without Mobilize.org’s support, and given the tough financial situation within city governments, the conversations I had about opening up Seattle’s city government wouldn’t even have started,” she says.
WE ARE COMPELLED BY THE CRITICAL STATE OF OUR PRESENT DEMOCRACY TO ESTABLISH A NEW VISION.
LEADERSHIP THE SUCCESS OF MOBILIZE.ORG’S WORK EXTENDS FAR BEYOND OUR ABILITY TO catalyze participation or the engagement of summit participants in Democracy 2.0 projects or in their communities. Mobilize.org also believes it is important to provide skill-building and leadership development trainings to the Millennials we serve. A key resource is our Mobilizer’s Guidebook, which guides young activists through the process of identifying
an issue they care about, to establishing a mission and setting goals, to building a fundraising plan that ensures sustainability and helps measure impact. Our goal is to equip Millennials with the practical skills they need to build confidence and to support their ability to serve as powerful change-makers on their campuses, in their communities and for our country.
THE PRESENT STATE OF OUR DEMOCRACY IMPEDES OPPORTUNITY FOR REAL CHANGE.
FACEBOOK HITS SINCE JULY 2010
NUMBER OF COPIES OF THE MOBILIZER’S GUIDEBOOK SOLD TO DATE
SINCE JULY 2010
DEMOCRACY 2.0 SUMMITS
15,000+ CURRENT SIZE OF MOBILIZE.ORG’S NETWORK
15,000+ VIEWS OF OUR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
THE NUMBER OF VIEWERS OF THE WEBCASTS OF OUR DEMOCRACY 2.0 SUMMITS
AMOUNT MOBILIZE.ORG HAS DISTRIBUTED TO THE DEMOCRACY 2.0 AWARDEES TO DATE
MEDIA MENTIONS OF MOBILIZE.ORG IN 2010, NINE WITHIN MAJOR MEDIA OUTLETS, REACHING OVER 1 MILLION PEOPLE
INCREASE IN TWITTER FOLLOWERS
SINCE MARCH 2010
130 MILLION $
INCREASE IN “LIKES” ON FACEBOOK SINCE MARCH 2010
NUMBER OF DEMOCRACY 2.0 SUMMIT PARTICIPANTS TO DATE
MILLION ($100 MILLION DECREASE IN TUITION + $30 MILLION IN SUBSIDIZED HOUSING) – THE AMOUNT IN CHANGES AS A RESULT OF CAL LOBBY DAY, THE EVENT THAT STARTED MOBILIZE.ORG IN 2002
NUMBER OF MEMBERS WHEN MOBILIZE.ORG BEGAN IN 2002
HISTORYAND GROWTH HISTORY
MOBILIZE.ORG WAS FOUNDED IN 2002 ON THE CAMPUS OF UC BERKELEY BY DAVID SMITH and a group of 10 students. Facing a significant tuition increase that jeopardized their education, Dave and members of the UC Berkeley student government organized the first “Cal Lobby Day,” a gathering of 110 students at the Capitol in Sacramento, California. The purpose of this day was to provide students the opportunity to share their stories with elected officials, and for the elected officials to hear, firsthand, the challenges their young constituents face.
NINE YEARS AFTER OUR FOUNDING ON A CAMP US IN CALIFORNIA, MOBILIZE.ORG HAS GROWN into a national organization with a network of tens of thousands of Millennials in every state. Through partnerships with a variety of organizations in the public sector, Mobilize.org’s programming and capacity to fulfill its mission has also grown exponentially. Most notably, in 2010, Mobilize.org acquired GenerationEngage, a partner in the field of civic engagement. Utilizing technology to convene young citizens on and offline, GenerationEngage connected Millennials, elected officials and civic leaders in meaningful dialogue and community service. The accession of GenerationEngage into Mobilize.org has allowed both organizations to expand their reach and strengthen support of Millennials who are positively affecting the future of communities around our country through intergenerational conversation and collective action.
The meetings students held with elected officials that day resulted in a temporary moratorium on student tuition increases, saving the students approximately $92 million in student fees. The meetings also led to the passage of a $30 million housing bond to build affordable student housing closer to campus. With the courage of one Millennial mobilizing himself and his peers to identify problems and working collaboratively on sustainable solutions, the Mobilize.org story began.
…OUR GOVERNMENT IS ONLY AS EFFECTIVE AS THE SUM OF ITS CITIZENS.
MOBILIZE.ORG HAS GROWN AT A SWIFT RATE SINCE OUR INCEPTION. THE GRAPH BELOW ILLUSTRATES THAT THE ORGANIZATION HAS SECURED A SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING AS WE HAVE BOOSTED OUR membership, project awards and programming in recent years. As our funding grows, the organization will continue to focus on engaging Millennials through quality programming and outreach efforts.
MOBILIZE.ORG TOTAL REVENUE $900,000 $800,000
$700,000 $600,000 $500,000 $400,000
TOP 2010 FUNDERS s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation s The Goldhirsh Foundation s John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
s The McCormick Foundation s The Whitman Institute s Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
BOARDOF DIRECTORS KARI DUNN SARATOVSKY
Vice President of Social Innovation
Lincoln Park Strategies
The Case Foundation
RAFIQ R. KALAM ID-DIN II, ESQ. CYNTHIA GIBSON
Teaching Firms of America
Professional Preparatory Charter School
Senior Vice President The Philanthropic Initiative
MARY BETH O’TOOLE Founder + CEO
Transfer Media Group
Pabian & Russell, LLC
Co-founder of Mobilize.org
Vice President of Research
America’s Promise Alliance
Representative Tim Walberg (MI - 7)
BETH CIESLIK Manager of Civic Affairs Target Corporation
DEMOCRACY2.0 DECLARATION DEMOCRACY IS AN UNFINISHED PROJECT. IT’S TIME WE UPGRADE. We, the Millennial Generation, are uniquely positioned to call attention to today’s issues and shape the future based on the great legacy we have inherited. Our founding fathers intended for every generation to build, indeed to innovate, on the American experience. We realize that as young people we are expected to be the leaders of tomorrow, but we understand that as citizens we are called to be the leaders of today. We are compelled by the critical state of our present democracy to establish a new vision. In a world often damaged by conflict and intolerance, we must commit to develop common ground through equality and open mindedness. In a world often damaged by social isolation and materialism, we must commit to community at the family, local, national and global levels. In a world often damaged by instant gratification, we must commit to creating sustainable solutions. In a world often damaged by apathy and disillusionment, we must commit to civic participation and inclusion of all voices.
The present state of our democracy impedes opportunity for real change. We must connect the specific issues failing our population with their underlying systemic causes. Our government seems unable or unwilling to adequately address our broadest problems, including economic inequality, America’s role in the world, and the effect of money on the democratic process. But we must remember, our government is only as effective as the sum of its citizens. Low civic participation means the most disadvantaged people in society are neglected and we overlook many potential solutions to our problems. Our generation is telling a different story. We are uniquely positioned to foster community engagement through social networks of all kinds. It is our responsibility to use information and technology to upgrade democracy, transform communication and advance political engagement and civic participation. We are social networkers, we are multitaskers, we are communicators and we are opinionated. The informality of our generation breaks down traditional barriers and opens doors for inclusiveness and equality. Most importantly, we are leaders in a society that yearns for leadership.
IT’S OUR DEMOCRACY, IT’S TIME TO ACT.
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This brochure was made possible by a pro bono team with the Taproot Foundation.
Mobilize.org Annual Report 2010