Be the Ones

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Organization Name Be the Ones
Initial Tier Ranking 2
Priority Tier 1
Total Budget Gap $174,000
c3 Voter Registration Gap $174,000
c4 Voter Registration Gap N/A
PAC Voter Registration Gap
Date of Submission 12/20/2023 16:19:43
Program Summary Core program is their Tri-State Voter Registration & Education Program which helps to make sure youth people are registered to vote even if they moved recently
Program States GA, NC, SC
Program States old Georgia, North Carolina (and South Carolina)
Cost per VR card $18.40 / VR Card
Based on assumption of 10,000 VR cards between 3 states divided evenly with total projected budget costs which include prorated staff/team costs, technology & data and misc. overhead/infrastructure costs
Reported Cost per VR Card $18.40
Cost-card believability
CaPA Notes on Reported Cost per Card
Estimated Cost per VR Card $16.56
Adjustment made for cost-card
RYVF Overlay Youth, Rural
RYVF Score 2
Pooled Grant Givers Rural Democracy Initiative, CaPA, The Movement Cooperative
Organization’s Legal Status
2022 or 2023 Expenses
2024 Budgets
Organization Mission Statement Mission: Be The Ones is a nonpartisan grassroots organization building healthier communities, a more equitable democracy, and expanding power by removing barriers to local civic participation across the Southeast.

We co-create opportunities with community partners to increase civic understanding, motivate engagement and create a culture of accessible, connected, sustainable, & joyful participation. We blend community organizing and movement building with technology, storytelling, and culture to do this work year-round.

Organization Leadership Women-led
Lead Contact Name Cate Mayer
Lead Contact Title Founder & Director
Lead Contact Email cate@betheones.org
Lead Contact Phone 301.325.3234
Email Address-other
Lead Contact Pronouns she/her
Core Constituencies engaged in VR program Multi-racial (including white), Youth and Students (aged 15-35)
Issue Focus
Tactics for collecting voter registration cards Since our inception, we’ve worked to identify and solve local civic information and political participation gaps. While our work reaches individuals across the Southeast, our current programs are focused in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Across these 3 states we’ve identified a solvable problem in how we approach voter registration. While we appreciate and applaud the thousands of organizations focused on voter registration within state lines and larger national organizations using technology to register thousands of voters quickly, what’s missing is an organization that approaches voter registration and participation through the lens of the full lifecycle of the voter. Research shows that most people – especially young folks – do not live in one place anymore. People move across state lines for educational opportunities, job prospects, personal relationships, or simply because the systems & structures force them to relocate (e.g. lack of affordable housing, living wage). Traditional voter registration programs tied to a specific location may disenfranchise individuals who move leading to potential underrepresentation. Thinking about registering people – especially young folks – across state lines acknowledges the dynamic nature of “modern life” and seeks to create a voter registration system that is adaptable, inclusive, and reflective of the diverse and mobile population. We believe this approach is essential for maintaining a robust and representative democratic process. A report published in July 2023 listed South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia in the top 10 states where Gen Zers were relocating. These 3 states were also ranked in the top 10 of highest new residents in 2022. The state of South Carolina had the largest percentage increase between mid-2022 to mid-2023 with a 1.7% increase (91,000 new residents). We also know the largest percentage of out of state students in GA, NC, SC are from GA, NC, and SC (moving from SC to go to college in GA, moving from GA to go to grad school in NC). It’s anticipated that the number of students from these 3 states selecting educational locations in these neighboring states will only increase due to recent inter-state tuition opportunities. (SC bill will be voted on in ‘24 would lower tuition costs at certain SC schools for folks coming from NC & GA). While the data speaks for itself, we know voters are being left behind through experiencing first hand these gaps in our own programming and in conversations with our partners across NC, GA, SC. For example, this year, Be The Ones was the only organization that hosted voter registration & GOTV programs at College of Charleston. In addition to registering 128 new SC voters in 6 hours, we were able to register 24 students moving to NC & GA in January 2024 and wanted to update their registrations to reflect their new locations – because our team was trained in voter registration beyond the state of SC. Several of our partners in NC & GA had individuals at their events needing to change their registration to SC and they were not able to help them (and referred them to us) because their registration teams & volunteers were not informed and educated in registering voters beyond their “home” states. A rigid registration program that does not account for mobility may unintentionally contribute to voter suppression making it difficult for individuals to participate in elections after moving to a new state. Adapting voter registration processes to address the dynamic nature of people’s lives coupled with removing registration information barriers (not knowing how, what state requirements are, how to update/change registration) are solvable problems. We aim to close the information and opportunity gap among voters in these three states – especially young voters – ensuring they have a voice in the future of their communities. We’re requesting funding to support our Tri-State Voter Registration & Education Program which is a part of our larger Youth (17-35) Initiative. This grant would allow us to continue to build, experiment and test various tactics leading into November including: Voter Registration Ambassador Recruitment & Training: Further develop our voter registration training program in partnership with our local partners that can be used across 3 states. Recruit, train and support Registration Ambassadors (18-30) across 3 states that can inform & educate voters on state requirements, answer questions on “where should I be registered (…if I am a college student)” and provide them the tools, resources and opportunities to register or update registration. Voter Summer Camp (Training): In coalition with partners in NC, GA & SC we will host a series of “summer camps” focused on training & educating voter registration ambassadors that can activate and mobilize in their local communities August – October. There will be virtual and in-person “camps.” By training & supporting young people we’re helping build leadership, organizing & communication skills and developing leaders; which is a long term investment in the future of communities. We believe by serving as an example of how to become civically engaged, especially at a young age, these leaders will help promote greater civic participation and continue to encourage citizen involvement in their communities – regardless of state they live in – over time. Expand Back to School Voter Registration Campaigns: This year, we piloted partnerships with local organizations across South Carolina that were holding Back to School bashes, community celebrations and school supply drives to incorporate nonpartisan voter registration and education. We recognized that these events could provide a unique venue to access young people, meeting them where they are and socializing the experience (which research shows improves outcomes). These innovative events were incredibly successful and very well received by partners, young folks and members of the community. Voter Registration Drive @ Home Fall Sports Games: This year we piloted voter registration drives at smaller South Carolina schools home football games where they were competing against teams from NC, VA or SC. These pilots were successful in meeting young folks where they were and also reaching potential voters from other neighboring states to ensure they were registered and had the information to vote in November. We will expand this program with these schools that are playing against teams from SC, NC, GA this fall. We will place our Voter Registration Ambassadors to help run these programs – using the experience they gained from our summer training “camps.” While we’re focused on reaching young voters, these venues also give us the chance to reach multigenerational families, community members and “state sports fans” to further our reach and expand the electorate. Creating Tools & Infrastructure to Support Tri-State Partners Register & Educate Voters: create toolkits, FAQs and training materials for our partners across 3 states that allow them to build capacity and work more efficiently and help engage more voters to register. Additional Tabling Opportunities: With a coalition of trained ambassadors skilled in voter registration across state lines and equipped with the information and knowledge to help voters update, change or register for the first time – we can expand our footprint at local community events & with our partners to reach more voters and meet them where they are throughout the year. Our hope is that by facilitating voter registration education and opportunities across state lines will encourage greater civic participation and ensure individuals remain engaged in the democratic process, regardless of their current residence.
Geographic Focus Rural, Suburban / Ex-urban, Small city (<100k), Urban - Large city (>100k)
Jurisdictional Focus
Program Budgets Total NC, GA, SC Statewide c3 entity: $184,000
(tactics: $96,500k training programs, $58,000 events, $29,500 tabling)
Budget gaps Total NC, GA, SC Statewide c3 entity: $174,000
Partnerships We know the messenger is as important as the message which is why our partnership strategy is rooted in collaborating with organizations that are trusted & respected in their communities and have the opportunity to address civic engagement holistically – and not just a few months before an election or every four years. Honoring the role these local community groups, churches, issue and advocacy organizations, youth-run groups and nonprofits play in the life of the community, coupled with our model of collaborative co-creation has allowed us to rethink who, how, and where local civic power can be most effectively unleashed. We’ve established partnerships, artistic collaborations, creative placemaking with 71 multi-issue, multiracial, multicultural local, regional and national partners and coalitions.
Follow up call requested?
Notes
Follow up questions
Question Sent Date
Question Response
Response Date
Org Type 1 2.5
Org Size 1 1.75
Program Impact 1 2
Program Efficiency 1 Unclear
Leadership & engagement 1
Ideological Targeting 1 1
Creative 1 1.75
Impact of previous Voter Registration programs
How many voter registration cards does your organization plan to collect in 2024
RDI c3 Awards
RDI c4 Awards (as of 2/28)
After AQ first2
last 2 confidential