To Counter Anti-Democracy Efforts, It’s Time to Invest in Florida Year-Round

Florida is ground zero for what is known among organizers and philanthropists as “boom-and-bust” funding—meaning money flows in during big election cycles and dries up immediately after. Yet electoral and issue-based organizing is a 24/7 operation. In recent years, these efforts have led to restoring voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and legalizing medical marijuana. These massive wins were led by the people of Florida, even as the legislature acted against their will. 

Boom-and-bust patterns are sure to pose a particular challenge in 2024, given the state’s six-week abortion ban officially taking effect is now coupled with a citizen-initiated opportunity for Florida voters to undo the ban this November and enshrine protections for abortion in the state Constitution. 

Rather than funding a single issue or candidate during an election cycle, an integrated voter engagement approach, with year-to-year financial and capacity-building support for gender and reproductive justice groups, is the most essential element of a healthy pro-democracy funding environment.