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Alliance Partner Organization Request for Information

The Democracy Alliance is in the process of developing the 2009/2010 DA Portfolio of recommended organizations. Over the past several months, the staff has worked with content area experts, other funders, academics, Alliance Partners and the DA Investment Strategy Committee (ISC), to develop investment recommendations for the next round of the DA Portfolio. As a current Alliance Partner Organization (APO), if you are interested in being considered for inclusion in the 2009/2010 DA Portfolio, please respond to the following Request for Information by September 29th, 2008.

Background on the Democracy Alliance


The Democracy Alliance is a first-of-its-kind partnership of philanthropic and political donors who are committed to supporting organizations that form the foundation of the progressive movement infrastructure and further our vision of a progressive America. The Democracy Alliance has developed an innovative, collaborative investment model in furtherance of this goal. Alliance Partners come together at investment conferences where they have an opportunity to engage with each other, with organizational leaders, leading experts, and opinion makers. Democracy Alliance Mission: The mission of the Democracy Alliance is to strengthen democracy by partnering with, making human and financial investments in, and fostering collaboration among progressive leaders and institutions committed to turning the Alliance's Vision for America into reality. Democracy Alliance Vision for America: The Democracy Alliance envisions a just, prosperous, and secure America; an America where Government serves the people and engages the world constructively to advance justice, prosperity and security for all peoples; where we keep ourselves safe from attack; where healthcare is affordable and available to all; where we respect our country's workers and pay them fairly; where position, power and wealth are earned not inherited; where schools prepare our children for the 21st century; where religion is respected but not imposed; where all people are equally regarded; where our diversity is celebrated and our communities are inclusive; where our energy efficiency leads the world; where our natural environment is revered and protected; where balanced budgets are the norm; and where there are sensible limits on the power of both corporations and government.

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What We Seek: The Full Portfolio


The Alliance recommends supporting progressive organizations whose goals and activities fall into four sectors: Ideas, Leadership, Media, and Civic Engagement. In all sectors, the Alliance looks to support organizations that: Build power or reach in key progressive audiences or constituencies in a way that advances progressive issues beyond single election cycles. Demonstrate progressive values and an understanding of and commitment to the progressive movement. Anchor the work of the progressive movement in a critical priority area. Have a track record of and potential for genuine impact. Fill a strategic role: working nationally or in key regions, providing key resources to a sector or the entire movement; and/or building economies of scale. Demonstrate diverse organizational leadership and contribute to the creation of a diverse progressive movement. Demonstrate collaboration; contributing to integrated infrastructure, sharing of best practices, and coordination of efforts. Build progressive infrastructure through effective use of new media. Contribute to structural change through support of an independent judiciary.

In the section below, please find specific priorities, including some new priority areas that have been identified for further consideration and possible inclusion in the 2009 /2010 DA Portfolio. In addition to reporting on your overall program for the year(s) ahead, if your organization has goals or programs that are especially aligned with the priorities listed within your current sector or any of the other sector priorities, we encourage you to highlight them in the materials you submit.

Civic Engagement
Sector Goal: To build permanent engagement infrastructure to win political power and push public policy changes; and to build an open, vibrant democracy. What We Seek in Civic Engagement Builds progressive power in and out of election cycle Targets key progressive constituencies Contributes to building long-term progressive power in addition to electoral victories Geographically strategic Defensible cost for impact as measured, for example, by cost per vote or registration Makes effective use of technology and other innovations Research based; makes use of best practices

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Funding Priorities Tools: The best electronic tools available to facilitate organizing. This includes an enhanced voter file as well as online organizing tools and services. Collaboration: Achieving efficiency and effectiveness in voter mobilization work through collaboration and coordination of the players in civic engagement in strategic geographic areas. Key Constituencies: Key constituencies- this includes groups or tables that are focused on building power through indigenous leadership/community organizing capacity connected to electoral and issue advocacy work, among progressive and rising progressive audiences: in particular Latinos and young people, and also including African Americans and unmarried women. Reform: Working toward transformative structural reforms of our democratic process that will increase voter participation among progressive constituencies. Local and state-based organizing: Developing local leadership and building an indigenous progressive local infrastructure. This could include the training and development of community organizers, both through training programs and social change work around a specific issue.

Ideas
Sector Goal: To support ideas from their earliest creation through policy implementation; and to support progressive policy through legal systems, ensuring that those policies that are implemented are not overturned. What We Seek in Ideas Engages in research that investigates political and social problems and envisions concrete policy solutions Effectively allocates resources between ongoing research and infrastructure needs Links research with concrete policy solutions Cultivates new voices and generates new ideas to energize the progressive movement Actively engages with the progressive principles of inclusiveness and social justice

Funding Priorities Policy Solutions: Large, multi-issue think tanks that possess the capacity to advance progressive ideas and policy through the middle and latter stages of idea development, including messaging and communications, and effectively support lawmakers and legislation at all levels. Where possible, the meta-issues of economics and national security/foreign policy should be addressed through these vehicles. Early-stage ideas: A variety of vehicles that focus on multi-issue idea generation and development, at the early and middle stages of the idea lifecycle, including journals, academic networks, books, non-traditional think tanks. Where possible,

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the meta-issues of economics and national security/foreign policy should be addressed through these vehicles. Legal Theory: Organizations that work to advance and protect progressive values and policies at all levels of the legal system. This specifically includes organizations that focus on advancing progressive legal theory.

Leadership
Sector Goal: To identify, recruit, develop, retain, and support authentic leaders from across the broad spectrum of the progressive community who can implement long-term progressive change. What We Seek in Leadership Contributes to long-term development of a progressive leadership pipeline Identifies and develops authentic leaders from diverse communities Develops state and local leadership development infrastructure

Funding Priorities Youth: The development of a more robust youth development strategy, which includes investing in organizations targeting young people, given the demographic realities of the Millennial Generation. Public Sector Leaders: The recruitment and training of good progressive leaders for office at all levels of government, in order to develop the farm team that will eventually bring us the next generation of elected and judicial leaders. We are also interested in supporting legal/judicial leadership development and networking. Non-profit Sector Leaders: The training of strong, progressive, and diverse leaders across our portfolio and across the non-profit world. This includes community organizers, policy people, and executive director leaders. In addition, this should also include development and ongoing training programs for midcareer leaders.

Media
Sector Goal: To shape public opinion towards progressive values and priorities. What We Seek in Media Creates alternative narrative to mainstream media Utilizes new media to engage key constituencies Advocates for a more independent, noncommercial media Works with Ideas infrastructure to disseminate progressive ideas and messages in the mainstream and/or alternative media

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Funding Priorities Structural Media reform: Organizations working in the area of media reform, with the specific goal of maintaining an open, independent, and accessible media. Media Monitoring: Defensive mechanisms to rebut conservative misinformation and messaging. New Media Vehicle: A venture based alternative funding vehicle for new media distribution channel projects. Content: Content generators, primarily through new media vehicles, capable of developing and mainstreaming progressive ideas. Channels and content aggregators with trusted messengers, especially for audiences of strategic focus. Emerging low-cost/high-impact distribution mechanisms like the blogosphere, mobile technology, online publications, and progressive radio that reach key audiences.

Elements of Proposal (What to Submit)


Since we have substantial information about your organization from previous self-reports and our recent evaluations and assessments, we are primarily interested in your 2009/2010 proposed goals, programs, and budgets. We also are interested in any organizational and governance changes that you see occurring in the next two years. We ask you to submit complete, concise, and accurate responses to the following questions: Cover Page Please include a cover page or heading for your proposal that includes: Name of Organization, sector in which you are submitting (Civic Engagement, Ideas, Leadership or Media) and phone, address and e-mail for the Executive Director or other point of contact.

For 2009/2010: Mission, Goals and Activities Please describe your organizations mission. What are your key goals for the next two years? Please describe for the following four areas: program, organizational capacity, finance, and collaboration. How will you measure your activities and impact? What benchmarks or metrics will you use? How, if at all, will the programmatic goals of your organization for 2009/2010 be influenced by a new Presidential Administration? What are the principal activities/programs that you plan to undertake in 2009/2010? Are they new activities/programs? How are they related to the priorities stated above? Who will be your principal constituencies? Have they changed from previous years? What plans, if any, do you have to collaborate with other organizations? Please describe.

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Governance/Management Please describe your general governance structure including: board structure and membership, frequency of meetings, and important committees or projects. Please describe how decision-making processes are structured to include the Board, Executive Director, and members or constituents, where applicable. Please list your organizations senior leadership and development staff (both inhouse and consultant), their backgrounds, and the length of their service in the organization.

Technology, Innovation, and Communications Please summarize your technological and communications capacity and plans, including any ways that your work makes strategic use of new media.

Finances and Fundraising In narrative form please describe your funding needs for 2009/2010 including expected overall budget for each year and apply those needs to how you plan to achieve your programmatic goals. (If applicable, use corresponding fiscal years.) Please describe your fundraising and revenue generating strategy. Do you currently have a cash reserve/endowment? If so, how many months of operating expenses are on hand? What new fundraising strategies will you employ to ensure that you are able to sustain the work you undertake should DA support be reduced in future years? Please include in the appendix audited financial statements from the last two years (if available).

Appendix (please provide the following documentation) List of Board of Directors Organizational Chart Strategic Plan (if available) Attached Finance Template Attached Diversity Statement

Your responses (not including the Appendix) must be limited to ten pages or less. Brevity is a virtue. Anything more will not be considered. Please provide four (4) hard copies of your response, one of which must be originally signed by an officer of your organization and unbound to facilitate copying. Please also submit an electronic copy of your response via email. The electronic copy of your response must be created using Microsoft Word.

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Application Process
Responses will be reviewed and assessed by staff, Alliance partners, and others with expertise within each sector. In certain cases, we may ask groups to be available for an interview, but we do not anticipate holding interviews or site visits for all current APOs. After sufficient diligence, the Alliance Board of Directors will determine whether and how to present organizations to the Partnership for funding. The Alliance anticipates the following general time frames in connection with this process. We ask you to please be available to meet with the Alliance during this period for any follow-up discussions regarding your funding request. Important Dates September 29, 2008: Response due to the Democracy Alliance October 2- October 17: Possible scheduling of interviews Early December 2008: Announcement of 2009/2010 DA Portfolio

Decisions regarding investments in this funding cycle will be subject to review and approval by the Investment and Strategy Committee, the Alliances Board of Directors, and also by the Alliances legal advisors. Please keep the funding request as simple as possible. Elaborate bindings, displays, and promotional materials are not required. Any information supplied by your organization for which you desire confidential treatment by the Alliance should be marked CONFIDENTIAL. Submit all requests and related materials both by U.S. mail or courier service and by email to the following address: Democracy Alliance Investment Services 1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 5000M Washington, DC 20036 E-mail: fwong@democracyalliance.org 202/263-4291 (direct) 202/263-4280 (main number)

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GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS This Request for Information is copyright 2008 The Democracy Alliance. Neither this document nor its attachments may be copied, published, or distributed, either in whole or in part, without the express written consent of The Democracy Alliance; these rights will be vigorously protected and may result, at a minimum, in rejection of your funding request. This document contains information that is proprietary to the Alliance. All information supplied by the Alliance in this document is privileged and confidential and may not be disclosed to any third party. Any dissemination, distribution, reproduction, or disclosure, in any form, of the content of this document is forbidden without the prior written approval of the Alliance. The Alliance reserves the exclusive right to accept or reject any or all funding requests, in whole or in part, that it deems, at its sole discretion, to be in the best interest of the Alliance and/or its Partners, and to waive any informality, irregularities, or technicalities in any responses received. While the Alliance may proceed to discuss and negotiate with more than one organization upon evaluation of the funding request, organizations may be eliminated from consideration in this funding cycle for reasons at the sole discretion of the Alliance. Incomplete responses or responses that are not prepared in accordance with this document may be eliminated from the evaluation process. All funding requests and related materials submitted shall become the property of the Alliance. The Alliance reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to request modification of any or all responses. This document does not constitute a contract or acceptance; it is merely a solicitation for information. Through the issuance of this document, neither the Alliance, nor Alliance Partners, will be bound to enter into a contract for either funding or recommending for funding any respondent. The Alliance may modify or cancel this document at any time with no obligation or liability to any party.

A FINAL WORD We look forward to discussing your response with you and thank you sincerely for your time, interest, and the important work you do every day.

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Finance Template
Please provide a line item budget for 2009 (or corresponding fiscal year) that includes the following categories:
Category Staff Benefits Consultants Travel Meetings Supplies Materials Printing Occupancy Other Total Projected Cost

Please, additionally, provide a budget breakdown of your 2009 budget by the following categories:
Category % Fundraising/Development % Administrative Overhead/Indirect % Program Projected Cost

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Projected Income Statement for 2009


(Please exclude projected contributions from the Democracy Alliance)
Projected Income for 2009 Income Received for 2009 as of August 30, 2008 Additional Projected 2009Income (not received) Total 2009Income (Received plus Additional Projected)

Individual Donors Institutional Foundations Earned Income Total

Projected Income Statement for 2010 (if known)


Projected Income for 2010 Income Received for 2010 (if any) as of August 30, 2008 Additional Projected 2010 Income (not received) Total 2010 Income (Received plus Additional Projected)

Individual Donors Institutional Foundations Earned Income Total

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Diversity Statement
As set forth in our Mission Statement, the Democracy Alliance is committed to partnering with organizations that strive to be representative of the diversity of the progressive movement at large. For this reason, we would appreciate your answers to the following questions: Does your organization have a policy for developing a diverse staff and board? If so, please include. If your organization lacks diversity, please indicate whether the organization has any plans to address the issue.

We also ask that you provide us with any information you collect on the diversity of your staff and Board of Directors. You may include this information in the form that you collect it or by filling in the chart below, the ongoing use of which we consider to be a best practice.
Support Staff Program Staff Managerial Staff Board Members Constituency/ Membership (if applicable)

Total Racial/Ethnic Composition African American Arab-American Asian American Latino Caucasian Native American Other Sexual Orientation (if voluntarily self-reported) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Gender Male Female Transgender Income/Education Low income background or first generation college

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