Democracy Works is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization using technology to help voting information “fit the way we live” in the 21st century. Democracy Works technologists partnered with the Pew Charitable Trusts, Google, and state and local election officials to develop the Voting Information Project, which has been supported in part by the Rita Allen Foundation. The Voting Information Project collects and disseminates polling information and election results into standardized, readily available online formats, and will provide data for more than 70 elections in 2016. The Rita Allen Foundation also supported the advancement and expansion of Democracy Works’ TurboVote, an online application that streamlines voter information. Partnerships with higher education networks helped to bring TurboVote services to more than 250,000 people by 2014. Additional funding from the Rita Allen Foundation will allow Democracy Works to move toward financial sustainability through new partnerships with companies and other nonprofits.
The Rita Allen Foundation is also supporting a project that will bring the lessons of Democracy Works’ growth to aspiring social entrepreneurs. Seth Flaxman and Kathryn Peters launched Democracy Works after earning master’s degrees in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Now, the Harvard Kennedy School Case Program has created a case study and companion video on Democracy Works, to be used in teaching public policy students how to analyze a problem, gather resources and take actions to address it.