7 Million Strong

By Nov. 3, 2020 seven million young people of color will have turned 18 since the 2016 presidential election. These seven million first-time voters are one of the most powerful, untapped bloc of citizens in the country. Their voices — and votes — need to be heard.

The Roddenberry Foundation will make grants between $500-$10,000 to organizations, team, and individuals across the country.

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7 Million Strong

Are you working to increase voter registration at local high schools? Are you supporting issue awareness at HBCUs? Perhaps you’re trying to develop a digital strategy in response to Covid-19 to reach Latinx students?

If this sounds like you or you’re engaged in similar work in supporting young people of color with voting, voter registration, civic education, or community outreach — you should apply for up to $10,000!

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Issue Areas

Civic Education and Engagement

We seek a society in which more Black, Latinx, Asian American, and Native American youth are able to advocate for policies and candidates that improve their safety, their education, and their futures.

To do so, we want to support those of you who are prioritizing the needs of underrepresented voices in the political process. We aim to support efforts that advance the knowledge, skills, and engagement of young people of color towards greater civic participation and political activism.

This work is being done with the interests, identities, and life experiences of young people of color front and center and using creative and innovative strategies including, but not limited to media, technology, online campaigns, and grassroots organizing to achieve your goals.

Voter Mobilization and Registration

Voting should be easy, accessible, and convenient. However, in many places, it’s not. And it’s even harder for first-time voters and for young men and women of color. For folks who haven’t voted before, statistics show that it’s likely they won’t vote, particularly if they live in a community where voter ID laws, registration restrictions, voter roll purges, and other suppression strategies are common.

Given this reality, we’re looking to support those of you who are championing voting rights, expanding the electorate, driving voter turnout, making voting more accessible, and supporting first-time voters. This could include but is not limited to increasing voter registration, outreach, and mobilization; and voter tracking and data management. And given the repercussions of COVID-19 on all these efforts, we are also looking for digital strategies and other non-traditional means of reaching new voters.

Timeline and Applications

1
Application Launch

April 30, 2020

Between April 30 and May 29 you are invited to learn about the 7 Million Strong Fund, register for an account in our system, review the application, and apply.

Apply Now ➝

2
Application Deadline

May 29, 2020 by 5:00 PM Pacific

Complete your registration and submit your application no later than Friday, May 29, 2020 at 5:00 PM Pacific. Applications cannot be submitted after the deadline and will not be considered.

Apply Now ➝

3
Application Review

May 29, 2020 – July 3, 2020

The Roddenberry Foundation reviews submissions to ensure they comply with eligibility and rules. Advisors provide specialized expertise, and applications are evaluated against a scoring rubric.

4
Awardees Announced

Mid-July 2020

7 Million Strong awardees are announced on this website, The Roddenberry Foundation social media, and via press release.

Criteria

Criteria

  1. Focus on communities and youth of color: Is your approach tailored to young men and women of color? Do your services or strategies address the specific needs of these individuals and communities?
  2. Community-based: Is there a deep understanding of the community? Is the community engaged in the work?
  3. High potential for impact: Do you use a creative approach that will yield immediate impact? What is the potential for making a difference on the ground?
  4. Actionable: Given the urgency, will this initiative meet objectives immediately? Are you prepared to execute now? Do you have the right team? What makes this the right strategy for this moment?

Eligibility

Eligible candidates for 7 Million Strong may be individuals, teams of individuals, non-profit organizations, or social enterprises. We are particularly interested in grassroots and youth-led organizations, teams, or individuals efforts.

To be eligible, all applicants must:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older. If under 18 years old, please see FAQ.
  2. Be individuals and organizations based in and whose work is focused solely on communities in the United States
  3. Submit an application in English
  4. Include completed responses to all required application questions
  5. Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the 7 Million Strong Fund grant program
  6. Be able to legally receive grant funding

Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated by our internal team as well as by select advisors who will be reviewing applications against a set of specific benchmarks that include an applicant’s track record, potential for impact, strategies, and ability to execute quickly and effectively.

Track record: ideally, applicants have a deep commitment and understanding of the issue and community. They have experience, a support network, and relevant knowledge to lead this work and prepared with the skills to activate the community to achieve intended results.

Impactful strategies: ideally, applicants have strategies and robust plans that will produce tangible results. They have clearly described what success looks like, the resources required and articulated clear, achievable impact and benefits for target population.

Ecosystem: ideally, applicants possess an intersectional and inclusive approach with potential for deep community engagement. They have secured and/or identified key resources and partners and they leverage (or improve on) existing models/best practices.

Questions & Answers

What are the size of the 7 Million Strong grants?

Grants can range from $500-$10,000. Requests above $10k will be automatically disqualified. Please align your request with what you need — if you need $7k, don’t ask for $10k. In deciding how much to request, consider how much funding you need right now.

What are the deadlines for funding?

Deadline for funding is May 29, 2020 at 5pm Pacific.

Are you only considering voter initiatives that focus on the presidential election?

Not at all. This grant covers all local, state, and federal races in 2020.

The budget for my initiative is much larger than the 7 Million Strong grant. What should I do?

If your project requires significant funding, identify what you can accomplish with a 7 Million Strong grant. If, for example, you have a $200k budget, we want to know what you can do with $10k and why it’s important we support you and your idea.

How long do I have to complete my grant and what is required for reporting?

You will have six months (from the time of receiving funds) to complete the grant activities as outlined in your proposal. At the conclusion of your grant, you’ll be required to submit a short written report outlining your activities associated with the grant. This will include a very simple budget analysis, among other questions.

What entities can apply for funding?

Applicants can be individuals, teams of individuals, and non-profits. But regardless of non-profit status, all granted funds must be designated for charitable purposes.

I work at 501(c)4. Can I apply?

No. 7 Million Strong funds cannot go to support any 501(c)4 organizations.

This is a grant about youth voting. If I’m younger than 18, can I apply?

Applicants must be 18 or older. You are welcome to partner with a friend, parent, teacher or mentor who is 18 or older to submit an application.

Can these funds be used in support of candidates?

No. Funds must be for non-partisan purposes. If you have questions about this, please review the IRS’s “The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations.”

Can these funds be used for salaries?

Absolutely. If people are being hired for your initiative, or if you have staff who are currently salaried, but the funding needs to be directed to their ongoing wages, that is acceptable. Other indirect costs will also be considered, so long as it is clear why these indirect costs are essential for your proposal.

Your other programs have budget caps. Is there a budget cap here?

There is no budget cap. Entities of any size may apply.

7 Million Strong

The 7 Million Strong application is now closed. Thank you to all who applied!

We will announce awardees in mid-July 2020.

To receive updates about other Foundation initiatives and get notifications of the next application launch, sign up here:

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