Network Building

Equal Voice Networks

Since its inception, Marguerite Casey Foundation has believed that strategic networking is a critical component of movement building. We support organizations that build networks and alliances to share knowledge and best practices, develop leadership, and organize constituencies of low-income families to pursue policy advocacy campaigns for change.

Connecting Regions

In 2005, the Foundation selected two subregions – the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas and the Mississippi Delta region in Mississippi – in which to promote cross-racial networks and identify shared challenges and common concerns. In 2006, we hosted a convening in McAllen, Texas to nurture trust and collaboration within the emerging cross-regional network. The Foundation also hired its first two Network Weavers to act as connectors between the regions and build the capacity of the network. Today, the network weavers are hired and managed by the networks themselves.

Marguerite Casey Foundation believes that lasting change requires sustained collaboration among philanthropic organizations, communities, and families fighting for policy reform.Network-building is at the root of our grantmaking strategy. To connect our grantees across issues and across the communities they serve we’ve established Equal Voice Networks. These strategic multi-issue alliances empower grassroots nonprofit and community leaders to set their own local priorities, develop best practices, and share resources for improving the lives of low-income families.

West Networks

The Foundation’s support of grantee networks in California has allowed the organic development of new movement building strategies across demographic categories and across regional differences and issues. The passage of Proposition 30 in 2012 and Proposition 47 in 2014 are examples of the scale of movement building activities across the state and its distinct regions by Bay Area Equal Voice Coalition (BAEVC) and Equal Voice for Southern California Families Alliance (EVSCFA).

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Southwest Networks

Across all three states in the Southwest region, grantees are leading networks that focus collective advocacy on the multiple issues of importance to low-income families, from increasing Latino voter registration and civic engagement, to advocating for investment in early childhood education, and helping improve the water quality for residents in colonias.

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Midwest Networks

Grantees participate in numerous networks to advance progressive policy in Chicago and in the rest of the state. The Chicago Equal Voice Network (CEVN) has served as a space for Chicago-based grantees to build collective power across issues in a coordinated, strategic manner. Recent efforts include a collective civic engagement effort Every Vote Counts, to transform the one-time act of registering to vote into involvement in a long-term family-led movement for change. As a result, more than 100,000 new voters were registered.

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South Networks

Southern grantees and their partners are sharing the best models for building power and organizing infrastructure at the state level. Networks are targeting the regressive state tax systems, working to modernize state unemployment systems, support equal access to higher education, empower low-wage workers who have been victims of wage theft or other unfair labor practices, and fight against the senseless killing of young black and brown children.

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National Networks

The Native Voice Network is a collaborative network of Native American families and organizations that mobilize through indigenous cultural values to inspire positive change in our communities. Native Voice Network organized a national call-in to pressure FedEx over its association with the NFL’s franchise in Washington, D.C., mobilizing both grantees and non-grantees.

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