Philanthropic community unites to communicate, educate and mobilize to improve voter turnout 

MIAMI- August 6, 2020 – Florida Counts: Vote 2020, a statewide initiative formed by nine philanthropic and nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Florida, announced today its formation and that it will be educating and encouraging communities with low voter-turnout to participate in the 2020 general elections. The non-partisan coalition will serve as a state-wide hub for resources and training for voter engagement outreach efforts, including grants to local organizations. It also will create a model for the alignment of Florida philanthropies and nonprofits to enhance civic engagement in the state beyond 2020.

“Increasing Voter participation in Florida is Vital,” said Sabeen Perwaiz of Florida Nonprofit Alliance, one of the nine nonprofits spearheading this initiative. “Nonprofits are trusted messengers who can engage underserved populations and are proven effective at reaching youth, new citizens and new voters and thereby increasing voting rates across all demographics. This is why Florida Nonprofit Alliance is a proud member of Florida Counts: Vote 2020.” 

Jackie Colon of NALEO Educational Fund added, “In the 2016 presidential election, 59.5% of Florida’s citizen voting age population turned out to vote. However, turnout rates were only 50.5% for African Americans, 54.1% for Latinos, and 40.4% for Asian Americans. Our organization looks to improve these numbers through our dedication to seeing that all eligible voters can participate in our democracy freely and safely.”

“At a time when we’re having courageous conversations about deep-seated inequities and injustice, voting on local, state and federal levels will ensure that the voices of the people are heard” said Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County. “We want to support the efforts of local, trusted community leaders to engage through voter education and mobilization.”

Florida Counts: Vote 2020 will help mobilize philanthropy to create a pooled donor fund to be granted solely to 501(c) 3 community-based organizations in support of voter outreach and education. In addition, the coalition will bring national best practices, digital tools and other resources to its grantees and partners. Florida Counts: Vote 2020 believes that it is essential to Floridians’ quality of life that local philanthropic organizations provide financial capacity for grassroots nonprofit organizations to encourage communities to participate fully in the civic engagement process. Florida Counts: Vote 2020 will collaborate as funders and community partners to leverage non-partisan civic engagement opportunities and increase voter participation in the 2020 election and beyond.

The nine philanthropic and nonprofit organizations spearheading this initiative are:  Florida Philanthropic Network, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Florida Nonprofit Alliance, Florida C3 Civic Engagement Table, Urban League of Broward County , Ventus Charitable Foundation, The Miami Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida and NALEO Educational Fund. Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN) is the fiscal sponsor for this program.  FPN is a charitable organization, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), that will accept donations, collect and distribute funds raised.

For more information on or to contribute to the work of Florida Counts: Vote 2020, please visit