At the Piper Fund, we work to identify and analyze key opportunity moments and work collaboratively—with funders, thought leaders, as well as advocates—to advance concrete local and national reforms. Throughout 2015, we engaged in a process with our partners to take stock of the money in politics and fair courts field, and of our roles as funders, to determine how we might best help build efforts to win reform. Piper believes that winning reform will require, among other things, building a much broader and more powerful movement—one that empowers the New American Majority—by addressing the systemic concerns of those constituencies, and by building a diversity of leadership as spokespeople and strategists.
The reality of the money in politics and fair courts field is that it has historically fallen short of adequately and meaningfully engaging the very communities most impacted by the issues we address: most notably, communities of color, women, and young people. We believe that if we grow the makeup of the field and its leadership, we have incredible potential to build a strong national movement, poised to demand real change.
Based on candid interviews with funding partners and thought leaders, Piper’s report “A New Way Forward: Bringing an Equity Lens to the Work of Reducing the Influence of Money in Our Democracy” touches upon key issues to help us analyze our grantmaking strategies. How does our definition of “winning” fit in a broader democracy reform agenda? How do we authentically connect with communities of color to develop a new framework of equity, diversity, and inclusion? How do we build effective collaborative relationships towards victory, without losing sight of long-term capacity and infrastructure needs?
The report also includes resources and links to readings to help funders think further on these issues.
We want to thank all of those who shared their time and insights with us to publish this report, and very much view this as a collaborative process and hope you will continue to lend your voice and diverse perspectives.