Tech + Politics: Crowdfunding Our Democracy

by Jessica Alter, co-founder, Tech for Campaigns

A week ago, Tech for Campaigns launched our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and began the next chapter in bringing Tech + Politics together. Several people have asked why we chose to raise money through crowdfunding. The answer is simple: we want to build community while demonstrating that everyone who is frustrated and incensed can have an outlet and be part of the solution. This campaign is all about closing the gap between technology and politics by bringing people together in a meaningful way to be part of the conversation: technologists with campaigns and voters with leaders in both politics and tech.

We all want to be part of a winning team, but to do that, we can’t just continue to throw money at campaigns. We need to change the tactics and infrastructure. That’s what Tech for Campaigns does and we’ll be able to do even more with your support.

The benefits are clear:

  1. We’re raising funds to develop 500 projects in 2018. This expands the reach of these campaigns while also building lasting infrastructure and a deep knowledge base — one that will make it possible to scale even more in the future. Eventually, all progressive and centrist campaigns will have access to expertise and strategies we’re building today. After all, it’s 2017, and the average person spends six hours a day online. That means every campaigns should have access to a top-notch digital team. With the help of donors and volunteers, we can make it happen.
  2. We’re helping to start real conversations and in-depth dialogues between people across the country. What would you ask former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo or former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm if you had the chance? What about Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman and Stacey Abrams, candidate for the Governor of Georgia? Our backers will have the chance to take part in TFC Fireside Chats with some of the brightest minds in technology and politics.
  3. We’re making it possible for people to give money and know where it’s going and what it’s doing. Contributions are being used to solve the tech divide in elections nationwide… and especially down-ballot races. State-level campaigns can have a huge impact, yet they don’t get the attention that national elections do. State legislatures are important farm teams for developing candidates for the House, the Senate and even the White House. But what’s even more critical is redistricting: It’s done by state legislatures in 37 states, which means it matters very much who’s in charge.

By crowdfunding Tech for Campaigns, we’re we’re doing our part to put the power back into the hands of the people. We’re raising money from the people and putting it together to fund our goal: to go from helping 50 campaign projects in 2017 to 500 in 2018. We’ll be able to connect even more volunteers to local and state campaigns across the nation to help them develop databases, build websites, and create social media campaigns.

Clearly, it’s a message that’s resonating. After just one day, the Tech For Campaigns crowdfunding initiative raised over $100,000. To change politics in America, we need a different solution. So get involved: back the campaign, spread the word, or join our community of volunteers.

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