Many of the problems we face can only be dealt with through long-term, systematic changes in society. Progress Alliance offers a way to pool resources, interact with a thoughtful group, and learn in order to help bring change.
At Progress Alliance, we are building a community of donor-advocates that mirrors the diversity of Washington state. By pooling our resources, Progress Alliance members have a much greater impact than we could as individual contributors. There is no minimum donation requirement—members make an annual contribution that is among their largest charitable and political donations. When members participate at a level that is significant for them, we make a powerful impact together.
But it's about more than just money. For members who want to deepen their engagement, Progress Alliance offers workshops and trainings, briefings on critical issues, opportunities to meet social change leaders, and invitations to participate in important strategy discussions. Members help us research new programs, host events, and invite friends to join our community. Others get more deeply involved with the work of the organizations we support, testify in Olympia, go door-to-door in important races, and raise money for important candidates and issue campaigns. We can help you find the best way to use your talent, skills, and energy to make Washington state healthier and more just for all our communities.
Our donors are passionate about a range of issues including social justice, climate, education, women’s rights, the environment, campaign finance reform, and much more. What unites us is the desire to invest in political change in a new way, and create a better future.
Becoming a Member
We ask members to make a financial contribution that is significant for them because we believe that solving our biggest problems takes time and commitment of resources. In return, members can expect the opportunity to engage at many different levels and will enjoy benefits such as: invitations to member-only events, educational briefings on timely issues, connections to social change leaders and organizations, and invitations to participate in strategy discussions.
Progress Alliance of Washington includes three separate entities to maximize our impact: Washington Progress Fund, a 501(c)3 charitable organization; Washington Progress Alliance, a 501(c)4 social welfare organization; and Voter Action, a political action committee. We ask members to consider contributing to all three entities. For more on how to donate, see our Donate page.
Frequently Asked Questions
We believe the most direct path to achieve our vision is a healthy progressive ecosystem that is working together to advance an economy and democracy that works for everyone. A high functioning political movement is coordinated, actively anti-racist, anchored in a unified credible narrative, developing, supporting, and retaining talented leaders, and utilizing highly effective, modern campaign practices that match how our community receives information. To achieve this ambitious goal, we steward vibrant political infrastructure – the network of people, organizations, and capabilities that enable a movement to achieve lasting change. For more about what it means to invest in political systems change, see our Investments page.
Progress Alliance of Washington includes three separate legal entities. Washington Progress Fund, our 501(c)3 charitable organization, allows us to receive donations from foundations and other tax-deductible contributions for non-partisan civic engagement and leadership development. Washington Progress Alliance, our 501(c)4 organization, allows us to invest in policy development, issue advocacy, and political engagement. Having both allows us to give flexible funding in response to the current needs of our grantees. We ask our members to split their donation: 60% to our 501(c)3, which is tax-deductible, and 40% to our 501(c)4, which is not tax-deductible.
In addition, Washington Progress Alliance operates an affiliated political action committee, or PAC, called Voter Action. Our PAC enables us to invest in innovative voter engagement strategies in target legislative districts. Voter Action does not endorse candidates, but invests in pooled independent expenditure strategies that connect voters directly with trusted messengers in key districts. We ask members to consider an additional investment in Voter Action equal to 10% of their total infrastructure donation to our c3/c4.
Progress Alliance is the only organization in Washington state focused on the health of the state's progressive movement across all issue areas and over time. Our unique role is to build a healthy ecosystem in which social change organizations—those working for racial, gender, and economic justice, the environment, and democracy reform—have all the tools they need to thrive. We specifically assess how organizations are working together, identify gaps in our movement's infrastructure and work to fill them, and identify the opportunities and threats that stand in our way of success. It is no one else’s job to tend to this underlying foundation.
Progress Alliance is built to be nimble and respond to shifts in the landscape, and our ability to aggregate individual donations allows us to make larger impact grants that address urgent needs that aren’t in the mission of any of our grantee organizations. Donors come to Progress Alliance to pool their funds around a shared strategy of building a strong progressive movement that lasts beyond a single election cycle, winning lasting systemic political change, and developing an engaged and effective member learning community.
Our funding is almost exclusively for general operating, with our typical grant size landing between $25,000 to $75,000 annually. For our core grantees, we operate on two-year granting cycles so our network has stable funding to plan around. We aim to keep barriers low with simple application processes and minimal reporting requirements, and are open to continuous feedback about our processes to ensure we are meeting our accessibility and equity goals.
In addition to general operating funds, we have an annual budget set aside for technical assistance and training, and opportunity funds that grantees can request at any point by contacting PA program staff. Factors considered in review include when the grantee last received funds of this type, urgency and impact of the project, other requests received, and funding available.
There is no minimum donation requirement. We welcome all those who would like to support our work with their skills, networks, and energy to join at a level that is personally significant for them, and ask that all members put Progress Alliance among their top annual charitable and political contributions. Members make contributions that are personally meaningful for them, with families giving anywhere between $100 to $100,000 annually and most members giving in the $5,000-$10,000 range.
The Progress Alliance model is built on an engaged community of members, operating with a lean staff who work on the ground with each of our programs and grantees. The infrastructure we have created together is intended to be permanent and sustainable. For this reason, our organization depends on our members giving consistently over a number of years toward the future we envision 10 and 20 years down the road. We ask our new members to test drive the organization for one year and then consider making a multi-year commitment.
Yes. Most of our members are busy and passionate people who balance competing priorities. For some, writing their Progress Alliance check is their primary political action each year, and they look to the staff and board of directors to do the organization’s work. Our members are some of our best creative thinkers, but there is no expectation to give time unless you want to.
To get involved or learn more about membership, please contact our Interim Executive Director, Maggie Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.324.2741. You can find our donation instructions on our Donate page. We engage with each of our members directly, so will reach out to learn more about you, your desired engagement, and the issues you care most about.
Careers and Internships
We are currently recruiting our next Executive Director to lead Progress Alliance in our work to advance a healthy progressive ecosystem in Washington state. Earlier this year, we retained Koya Leadership Partners, an executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients. In partnership with Koya, we’ve finalized the Progress Alliance Position Profile and are excited to talk with candidates and sources of candidates.
Please find a link to the Progress Alliance of Washington Executive Director Position Profile on Koya's website here (or a pdf version to download here). To suggest candidates, please contact the Koya team directly at email@example.com.
Potential candidates can express interest in the role by clicking here.