Money in Politics Reform

Money in Politics Reform – Piper Fund - Proteus Fund

Our nation is at peril—its foundations shaken by daily assaults that undermine the fundamental pillars of our democracy. The ever-growing influence of money in politics has enabled corporate and wealthy donors to create systemic barriers to civic engagement that limit the voices of underrepresented communities in our political process. To create a healthy democracy that works for everyone, Piper Fund—an initiative of the Proteus Fund—builds power to offset the influence of moneyed interests by investing in community-based organizations to drive intersectional democracy reforms.

From Seattle to Washington DC, we have learned that local reforms—centered in the needs and priorities of those communities most impacted by money in politics—have the greatest opportunity to build sustained power.

Piper’s grantees have won the most significant public financing, contribution limits, ethics and disclosure victories, including small-donor programs and cutting-edge policy innovations to remove barriers to political participation and expand the electorate. Piper Fund convenes national funders and allies to align their work, learn from each other about innovations in the field, and pools resources to have a greater collective impact. Our maximized investments focus on municipal and state-level reforms and build the capacity and leadership of locally-driven coalitions for broader impact.

Money in Politics: 2020 Highlights

Money in politics advocates across the country entered 2020 with significant momentum for reform. Legislative measures and ballot initiatives in Arizona, Oregon, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Chicago and elsewhere, driven by BIPOC communities, signaled a meaningful shift toward a political future less encumbered by the influence of wealthy interests.

Unfortunately, as with so many issues, the COVID-19 pandemic forced several of these efforts to be temporarily sidelined as local, state and nonprofit leaders turned their focus to grappling with the impact of this public health crisis in their communities. Several legislative efforts were tabled for future deliberation, while signature gathering for ballot initiatives became nearly impossible to facilitate under new social distancing guidelines.

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Melissa Spatz

Melissa Spatz

Director, Piper Fund

For more information on the Money in Politics Reform initiative, please contact: