Our Investments

 

Why invest in political systems change?

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.

In practice, this means:

  • Our movement is following the lead of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, LGBTQ communities, young people, and women in decision-making roles.
  • We have a multiracial, cross-class movement where activists, community leaders, and donors are organized so their voices are loud and clear where elected leaders are making key decisions.
  • We are telling a unified and emotionally compelling story about the economy, the positive role of government, and our vision for the future, how we get there, and who is standing in our way.
  • We are coordinated, with shared voter engagement, policy, and electoral plans that are at the scale needed to win.
  • We are recruiting and supporting candidates up and down the ticket who share our values, and then support and hold them accountable once they are elected.
  • We advance powerful and transformative policy proposals, backed by a movement of the communities most impacted. 
  • Our democratic systems are reflective of the diversity of our state – with voters, movement leaders, and elected officials reflecting the demographics of the communities they live in and serve by race, class, gender, age, and LGBTQ status.

 

Progress Alliance challenges our movement to reclaim ownership of the rules of our economy and democracy so that it works for all of us. To achieve this ambitious goal, we steward Washington's vibrant political infrastructure – the network of people, organizations, and capabilities that enable a movement to achieve lasting change.

 

Core Investment Areas

A successful movement is built on a network of well-run, coordinated organizations that share resources, strategies, and expertise.
Winning elections and enacting policy solutions is only possible with an expanding constituency of well-informed, active community members and voters that includes young people, people of color, women, and immigrants.
To inspire the public and persuade elected officials, it takes unified and emotionally compelling stories about our vision for the future, how we get there, and who stands in our way.
To drive political change, we need skilled candidates, elected officials, and movement leaders who reflect the diversity of the people they represent, share our values, and champion our issues.
To create a healthy and just Washington state where economic success is shared and democracy works for everyone, we need smart, high-impact policy solutions that are informed by communities most impacted.
To ensure that our democracy works for all of us, everyone must have the opportunity to participate in politics, and our systems must hold elected officials accountable to the public interest.

Current Core Investments

All In for Washington

Core Investment Area: Planning & Collaboration
Changing the conversation about government, taxes, and the economy at a scale needed to win significant revenue reform through organizing, research, and a public education campaign.


Amplify

Core Investment Area: Leadership Development
Recruits, trains, elects, and supports progressive leaders in Washington, prioritizing people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and young people.


Asian Counseling and Referral Service

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
Fosters social justice, well-being, and empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communitites by providing community-based health services and promoting long-term, year-round civic engagement to amplify the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on issues critical to their well-being and empowerment.


Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
Works to transform our democracy by politically engaging and empowering the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and holding our leaders accountable to progressive values of social, economic, and political justice.


Communications Hub

Core Investment Area: Message & Communications
Provides tools, training, and research to create consistent and emotionally compelling messaging for the progressive community in Washington state. Serves as the home of the Heroes’ Narrative, a powerful storytelling framework that infuses progressive values throughout political and social change communications.


Fuse Washington

Equal Rights Washington

Core Investment Area: Policy Development
Works to ensure and promote dignity, safety, and equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Washingtonians through policy advocacy, community outreach and engagement, and political organizing.


Fuse Washington

Fuse Washington

Core Investment Area: Message & Communications
Provides the organizing and communications power needed to win critical issue and electoral campaigns and strengthen the foundation for increased success over time. The state's largest progressive organization, Fuse mobilizes grassroots activists, organizes coalitions, develops messaging, and produces high-quality research.


OneAmerica Votes

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
Advances the fundamental principles of democracy and justice by building power in immigrant and refugee communities across the state through advocacy, civic engagement, and leadership development.


Our Votes Count

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
Engages low propensity voters in political campaigns with a focus on communities of color, young people, and low-income communities. Our Votes Count engages voters year over year, building relationships and power with the community.


Puget Sound Sage

Core Investment Area: Policy Development
Builds community power for shared prosperity in our regional economy through community-based participatory research centering those most impacted, coalition organizing, policy advocacy, and leadership development. Puget Sound Sage generates in-depth research that illuminates the region's most pressing economic, environmental, and equity issues. 


RVC

Core Investment Area: Leadership Development
Strengthens the power of communities of color in order to create a more equitable society through capacity-building, leadership development, and operations support.


 

Sovereignty Hub

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
A collaborative of sovereign tribes building collective community and political power to develop an intertribal policy agenda and electoral strategy.


State Innovation Exchange Washington

Core Investment Area: Planning & Collaboration
Provides tools, training, and resources to Washington State Legislators to shape and communicate impactful public policy, build capacity to lead with their constituents, and foster long-term collaboration between legislators and grassroots movements.


Washington Bus

The Washington Bus

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
Mobilizes young people to build a more progressive Washington state through civic and cultural engagement, leadership development, issue organizing, and voter engagement. The Bus puts young Washingtonians in the driver’s seat and gives them the tools and training they need to be organizers, legislators, and leaders.


Washington Bus

Washington Community Action Network

Core Investment Area: Organizing & Mobilizing
Organizes for racial, social, gender, and economic justice in Washington state. The largest grassroots community organization in the state, Washington CAN works with a wide coalition of labor, senior, faith, and community groups to organize people and empower them to take action. 


Washington State Budget & Policy Center

Washington State Budget & Policy Center

Core Investment Area: Policy Development
Uses research and analysis to advocate for budgets and tax codes in Washington state that invest equitably to serve all Washingtonians, advance social and economic policies that lift up low and moderate income families, eliminate disparities based on race, and offer all communities the opportunity to thrive.


Win|Win

Core Investment Area: Planning & Collaboration
Cultivates a network of progressive organizations coming together to advance racial, social, and economic equity across Washington through civic engagement. Win|Win provides coordination, data analysis, and capacity support for our movement, enabling groups to make use of sophisticated voter information and serving as a strategic planning hub.


How We Fund

Progress Alliance exists to win solutions at the scale of the problems we face. That means, for example: a state revenue system that is adequate, stable, and progressive; clean air and water and protected natural beauty; people living healthier lives full of opportunity and free from oppression; and an economy that builds prosperity for all communities. We work to make change through democracy, and to this end, we invest in political systems change and infrastructure organizations working within our six core investment areas.

We are committed to multi-year funding for 17 core organizations and projects, listed above. Other organizations and projects are considered annually, within the context of our budget and strategic plan goals for the year. We review investment proposals on an invitation-only basis from organizations that meet our criteria.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of our considerations include: Transformative impact in one or more of our six core investment areas, alignment with our strategic plan goals, racial justice analysis and impact, geographies and communities engaged, project leadership, and more.

Progress Alliance of Washington includes three separate legal entities. Washington Progress Fund, our 501(c)3 charitable organization, allows us to receive 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.

In addition, WPA 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.

Progress Alliance is not a foundation and we don't have an endowment. We're a donor alliance, meaning we fundraise every dollar we grant out every year from our members. 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.

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.

We are highly collaborative, and aim to be a resource and strategy partner with our network and larger political community. That means providing capacity building resources, connecting organizations, individuals, and funders in our networks, and plugging in as a thought partner in strategy where appropriate. We acknowledge that power dynamics are inherent in funder/grantee relationships and aim to collaborate in a way that consciously dismantles white supremacy, and is rooted in trust, mutual respect, connection, authenticity, and bold risk-taking.

Progress Alliance grant applications are on an invitation-only basis. We conduct landscape assessments prior to making new investments and work with our partners to stay abridged of new coalitions and organizations in the political community. That said, we are not infallible! We want to make sure all new projects and organizations who fit into our scope of work are on our radar. Please use this form to tell us more about your organization, and a staff member will follow up if the information you provided, timing, and Progress Alliance strategy align. Please note that completing an inquiry does not guarantee a response as staff capacity is limited, and not all work will fall under our scope or budget abilities.