The Fund for the Public Interest launched a program in September 2018 to back non-profit organizations whose goals we support. This year, the Fund for the Public Interest Foundation program donated $1.5 million in grants to 55 organizations. Read more below.

Investing in change

Winning campaigns to solve America’s problems ultimately depends on our ability to organize people: to bring people together to call for change in one voice. While digital is a powerful tool in the organizing toolbox, an email is no match for a personal phone call from a constituent. Nor does a web signup form deliver the same motivational power as an organizer calling a member or volunteer.

Through our Calling For Action program, we combine the old-fashioned power of the telephone with up-to-date calling technology to reach hundreds of thousands of people each year, building the membership of our organizations and amplifying their voices in the halls of power.

Some of the groups who have received our campaign grants:

Stories from some of our campaign grants

 

Alexandru Nika via Shutterstock

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With Common Cause: Calling on the For the People Act

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With Common Cause: Calling on the For the People Actclose

In January and February 2019, Common Cause members made 3,896 calls to members of Congress in support of the For the People Act, a measure designed to improve voter participation, promote sensible redistricting, and mitigate the impact of Citizens United and other court decisions that have opened the floodgates to big money in politics. In March, the U.S. House passed the bill. Every Democratic senator has co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill.

U.S. EPA

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With Greenpeace: Calling against a dangerous pipeline

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With Greenpeace: Calling against a dangerous pipelineclose

In spring 2019, Greenpeace activated 4,607 Minnesota voters to call on Gov. Tim Walz to stop the expansion of the dangerous Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline. Expanding fossil fuel infrastructure would only accelerate climate change, while the pipeline would also put many of Minnesota’s freshwater lakes, wild rice fields and the Mississippi headwaters at risk of oil spills. Earlier this year, Gov. Walz took a step in the right direction by continuing a lawsuit filed by his predecessor to block permits for the pipeline.

public domain

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With MN350: Calling to block tar sands oil

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With MN350: Calling to block tar sands oilclose

With support from Environment America, in December 2018 MN350 Action enlisted 2,051 Minnesotans to call incoming Gov.-elect Tim Walz, urging him to stop the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands crude oil pipeline. The calls to “Stop Line 3” demonstrated the opposition to building the pipeline, which would carry a dirty, polluting form of oil across the Mississippi headwaters and Minnesota's lake country. In February 2019, MN350 Action and MN350 applauded Gov. Walz’s announcement that he would continue the legal challenge to the pipeline.

Tramper79 via Shutterstock

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With a climate coalition in Washington State: Calling for 100% clean electricity

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With a climate coalition in Washington State: Calling for 100% clean electricityclose

A coalition led by Fuse Washington, Washington Environmental Council, Climate Solutions and Environment Washington mobilized 5,826 of their supporters to back strong action on clean energy and climate change. Thanks in part to their action, Washington passed a set of strong laws, including one that commits the state to 100 percent clean electricity and another that promotes energy-efficient buildings.

branislavpudar via Shutterstock

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With Mighty Earth: Calling to reduce agribusiness pollution

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With Mighty Earth: Calling to reduce agribusiness pollutionclose

The meat industry is the single largest source of water pollution in the U.S. and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Mighty Earth, an organization chaired by former U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, activated 866 people to call Tyson Foods to tell the company to adopt environmentally sustainable practices for sourcing its feed and managing manure. Shortly after we generated the calls, Tyson announced a partnership with EDF to implement their sustainability commitments.

jericho via Wikimedia

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With the FACT Coalition and Citizens for Tax Justice: Calling against offshore tax havens

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With the FACT Coalition and Citizens for Tax Justice: Calling against offshore tax havensclose

Multinational corporations avoid hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes by hiding profits in offshore tax havens, which means fewer resources for health care, infrastructure and other critical needs. In May and June 2019, the FACT Coalition and Citizens for Tax Justice mobilized voters to make 4,945 calls asking members of Congress to co-sponsor the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, a bill that would close offshore tax loopholes. In this period, 11 new Members of Congress signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, which sponsor Rep. Lloyd Doggett's office attributed to the citizen advocacy generated by these calls.

Want to learn more? Let's talk.

Given this early success, we want to extend the Calling for Action program to more groups and more campaigns so, together, we can win more victories for the environment and the public interest. To learn more about the program and how to apply, contact callingforaction@fundstaff.org.

The Fund for the Public Interest Foundation is a program of the Fund for the Public Interest and The Public Interest Network.

 

“This calling program has been instrumental in making a new high-water mark for federal democracy reform . . . Our members were thrilled to be called and get the chance to hear about our work – then take action that made an impact.”

—Karen Hobert Flynn, President, Common Cause

“The thousands of timely calls helped boost sponsorship of the most comprehensive bill to rein in tax haven abuse and make large, multinational corporations pay what they owe. Getting a majority of the Democratic Caucus on board is now within reach.”

—Gary Kalman, Executive Director, FACT Coalition