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May 14th, 2020

Expanded Open Call Applications More Than Double to 1125

By Wes Panek

Our Expanded Open Call received a record-smashing 1125 pitches ahead of last week’s soft deadline! We’re glad to see so many entrepreneurs and activists working to move our democracy forward, especially given the innovation required for progressive causes and campaigns to adapt to this pandemic. As Inside Philanthropy recently highlighted, NMV’s role in the movement is to identify the most promising early-stage progressive entrepreneurs, resource them, and validate them to other funders. We’re excited to do just that, and the applications we’ve reviewed so far are incredibly high quality. They’ve included:

  • Movements and tools to organize and empower “essential workers” at companies like Amazon and Uber
  • New content verticals created by and for POC, LGBTQIA people, and/or women covering the pandemic, and what it could mean for the future of criminal justice, gender justice, electoral justice, environmental justice, racial justice, and workers’ rights
  • New advocacy organizations created by medical workers who have been politically galvanized by the pandemic
  • Programs to help nonprofits and progressives adopt digital fundraising and voter outreach tactics

We believe the people most affected by the challenges facing our democracy are best positioned to design and implement solutions. That means we need to fund and support entrepreneurs and activists from communities under-represented in startups, investment, and philanthropy. To help track our progress toward that goal, we gave applicants the option to answer a few demographic questions. Here are the statistics from the founders who filled out that section of the application:

  • 63% of founders are women, 32% are men, and 5% are genderqueer or nonbinary. 15% are LGBTQIA.
  • 46% of applicants are based outside of NY, CA, MA, and D.C.
  • 61% of founders are people of color and 39% are White.
    • Note: to allow applicants’ answers to reflect their full selves, we intentionally made it possible to select multiple identities (e.g. Black and Latinx). We’ve aggregated these numbers here for the sake of simplicity, recognizing there are tradeoffs involved. For example, when I fill out these kinds of forms, I check both White and Pacific Islander, and would therefore be counted as White and as a person of color in this analysis.
  • 67% of applicants’ projects serve under-represented communities.
  • 52% of applicants’ projects are nonprofits and 48% are for-profits.

We’re eager to fund as many high-impact projects as possible. If you applied, thank you. We’ll be back in touch as soon as we can. If you missed the soft deadline but still want to pitch us, you can! Please apply here. We look forward to learning about your work, and appreciate your patience as it may take us some time to respond.