Openness in Government: Looking for the Sunshine

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					                       2012 First-time Voter Registration Project

                                    Request for Proposal
The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) is pleased to announce a 2012 First-
time Voter Registration project. As part of this project, LWVEF will award pass-through grants
of up to $1,000 to state and local Leagues to undertake a minimum of five voter registration
events in community colleges and alternative/vocational schools in underrepresented
communities and/or at naturalization ceremonies for new citizens. This document serves to
provide additional information about the project and also formally request details regarding your
League’s planned activities. Grant amounts will be determined based on each League’s needs
and the expected scope of each program. Please see the application guidelines at the end of
this document (page 5).

I. BACKGROUND

The League of Women Voters has long been concerned about the rate at which young people and
new citizens participate in voting and more broadly in our democracy. Overall, Americans under
the age of 30, as well as racial and ethnic minorities and low income Americans, remain severely
underrepresented in the electorate.

Voter registration is the key to ensuring electoral participation by Americans of all backgrounds,
and independent organizations like the League have traditionally carried the heaviest load when
it comes to registering voters in the underrepresented communities listed above. That’s why
LWVEF is excited for this opportunity to support Leagues’ efforts to reach America’s future
voters while they are in school or as they complete the process of becoming a naturalized citizen.

II. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Through the 2012 First-time Voter Registration Project, the League will work to ensure that state
and local Leagues have resources they need to execute a minimum of five effective voter
registration activities targeting communities of underrepresented youth or new citizens.
Furthermore, through this program the LWVEF will provide resources to help Leagues
streamline and conduct critical evaluation of their registration programs.

League Roles

Pass-through funding will be provided to Leagues on a discretionary basis, to support their
grassroots activities, including: (1) planning and execution of targeted youth or new citizen voter
registration work (2) collecting data about their work and (3) providing feedback to LWVEF
regarding their programs as well as suggestions for how LWVEF can improve future programs.

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Pass-through funding will help support such things as League staffing/intern programs and
volunteer recruitment, travel, expenses associated with holding and attending registration events,
any required state or local voter registration training, and the development and distribution of
educational materials.

LWVEF’s Role

As the primary recipient of the grant that is making this project possible, the LWVEF has a
fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the terms of the grant are carried out in accordance with
the funder’s expectations. This responsibility will be shared, in turn, with each League that
receives pass-through funding in connection with this project.

In addition, the funder has made this grant to LWVEF in recognition of the unique value that the
League provides through coordinated activities at the local, state and national levels. Therefore,
the LWVEF will play an active role in the project activities, working closely with each League
that is selected to receive funding.

A program manager based in the League’s national office will (1) work with Leagues to
implement voter registration activities (2) provide support and guidance to Leagues; and (3)
facilitate information sharing among participating Leagues. In addition, members of the
LWVEF/US staff will be available to travel, as appropriate, to participating states during the
course of the project to support Leagues’ activities.

Project Timeline: July 2012-November 2012

      June 21, 2012 – Requests for proposals electronically sent to Leagues.

      July 15, 2012 – Completed proposals must be received by Maggie Duncan, LWVEF
       (mduncan@lwv.org).

      August 3, 2012 - Leagues receive award notifications and contracts.

      August 2012-October 2012

           o Leagues sign contracts and receive first installment of grant funds
           o Leagues prepare for activities, reach out to potential registration venues, build
             volunteer teams and receive additional training from LWVEF
           o Leagues complete voter registration activities and collect required information
             from new registrants, as allowed by state law.
           o *If possible, Leagues conduct at least one voter registration event as part of
             National Voter Registration Day, September 25* (more information to be shared
             shortly)

      October-November 2012 – Participating Leagues follow up with new registrants to
       remind them to vote. Leagues submit final report and evaluation to LWVEF and receive
       final grant installment.


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III. GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPATION

Who Can Participate

This grant opportunity is open to all state and local Leagues interested in conducting community
college/alternative/vocational school voter registration in underrepresented communities and/or
registration at naturalization ceremonies. Only Leagues up-to-date with their PMP are eligible to
receive grants.

Criteria to be used to Select Award Amounts (up to $1,000):

(a) The potential impact the voter registration program is likely to have, including the number of
    students/schools targeted for participation. LWVEF will only consider applications targeting
    at least five (5) schools and/or naturalization ceremonies.

(b) The applying League’s capacity to manage the project in a timely and thorough way.

(c) The quality of the League’s proposed plan and proposed budget outlining how funds will be
    spent, as well as the degree of financial need laid out in the League’s proposal.

Benefits to Leagues:

(a) Pass-through grants will be provided to each selected League and will underwrite costs such
    as: staffing/intern programs related to the project; travel; development and distribution of
    educational materials; and other project expenses.

(b) Enhanced League impact on core League issues.

(c) Continuing technical and policy guidance and support from LWVEF/US.

(d) Mechanisms provided by LWVEF to facilitate information sharing between and among
    participating Leagues.

(e) As appropriate, in-person support by LWVEF/US staff.


Guidelines for Participation:

Leagues receiving grant funds assume the following responsibilities:

(a) All Leagues that receive pass-through funds must comply with the timeline above and
    maintain close communication with the LWVEF.

(b) Leagues must map out a strategy for carrying out effective voter registration activities.
    This strategy should include (1) outreach to schools, educators, naturalization ceremony
    administrators and other concerned community groups; (2) a plan for engaging volunteers
    and conducting needed outreach to registration venues; (3) a plan for how voter registration
    events will be held to maximize student/new citizen participation; (4) details regarding how
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   events will target underrepresented communities; (5) details regarding how Leagues will
   keep records of their efforts and evaluate their programs; (6) plans for how the League will
   collect registrants’ contact information (pursuant to state law and/or guidelines governing
   naturalization ceremonies), possibly share that data with LWVEF for research and evaluation
   purposes, and follow up to remind new registrants about upcoming election dates, and (7)
   plans to increase League visibility opportunities in the community as a result of this program.

(c) Grantee Leagues must credit receipt of this grant as appropriate on project materials and
    publications (including film and electronic publications) resulting from this grant, as follows:
    “Supported [in part] by a grant from the League of Women Voters Education Fund”
    and provide LWVEF with two copies of all publications.

(d) Grantee Leagues must agree:
       o To implement its voter registration activities in a nonpartisan fashion.
       o Not to use any funds disbursed by LWVEF to participate in or intervene in any
           political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
       o Not to use any funds disbursed by LWVEF to provide a selective benefit to any
           political party or candidate.
       o Not to use any funds disbursed by LWVEF to lobby for or against any legislation
           either through direct lobbying or grassroots lobbying activities.

(e) Leagues will be provided with a final reporting survey requiring the following: (1) a
    narrative report (including pictures and other corresponding educational materials)
    documenting the League’s voter registration activities and (2) a financial report that breaks
    out how the money was spent. The final report should also describe any continuation of the
    project that is planned beyond the life of this grant. Funders appreciate knowing that their
    grant helped spark an ongoing process.

(f) Reports should be submitted to: Maggie Duncan, Elections Program Manager, LWVEF,
    1730 M Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington DC 20036, 202-263-1313, mduncan@lwv.org.

(g) Participating Leagues must assign a Primary Coordinator to assume overall
    responsibility for the project, although your League's board will have oversight and be
    accountable for your grant. The Primary Coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing
    implementation of the project and reporting to LWVEF regarding the project’s progress at an
    interim phase and at the conclusion of the project and the handling and recording of finances
    (via the final report and other communications with LWVEF).




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PROPOSAL REQUEST – 2012 FIRST-TIME VOTER REGISTRATION PROJECT
To ensure the timely receipt of grant funds, please complete this form and respond to the questions listed
below. Submissions must be signed by the League president or co-presidents and must be received by
LWVEF by July 15, 2012.
League Name: ______________________________________________________________
Primary Coordinator (only one)
Name: ____________________________________________________________________
Phone: ____________________________________________________________________
Email: ____________________________________________________________________
Address: ___________________________________________________________________
City, State Zip: _____________________________________________________________
Has your League received an LWVEF pass-through grant(s) since 2003? YES                             NO
If yes, with what project(s) was it associated? _____________________________________
President’s authorization: _____________________________________________________
                               Signature                                                           Date

In no more than two pages, please provide the following information:


1.    A detailed description of proposed first-time voter registration activities your League will undertake,
      including how many schools/naturalization ceremonies you will target (LWVEF will only consider
      applications targeting at least five (5) venues). This plan should include (1) your League’s strategies
      for reaching out to venues; (2) a plan for engaging volunteers; (3) a plan for how voter registration
      events will be held to maximize student and/or new citizen participation; (4) details regarding how
      events will target underrepresented communities; (5) details regarding how you will keep records of
      your efforts, collect contact information from registrants (including photocopying completed voter
      registration forms, as allowed by state law) and evaluate your programs, (6) plans for how the League
      will follow up to remind new registrants about upcoming election dates, and (7) plans to increase
      League visibility opportunities in the community as a result of this program.
2.    A budget for the use of the grant funds requested.
3.    Relevant experience of the project’s Primary Coordinator/local League volunteers.
4.    The experience your League has in undertaking voter registration programs, including a list of
      relevant schools/officials/community groups with which the League has relationships

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Maggie Duncan, Elections Program Manager,
LWVEF. Please direct completed project descriptions to Maggie Duncan at mduncan@lwv.org. All
submissions must be received by July 15, 2012. Contract agreements will remain incomplete until a signed
copy is received by LWVEF.
     Please note that only Leagues that are up- to-date with their PMP obligations are eligible to receive pass-through funds.



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