Rock the Vote

Building the Political Power of Young People

Washington, DC, DC   |  www.rockthevote.org

Mission

Rock the Vote engages young people in our democracy and builds their political power by registering, educating and turning them out to vote, by forcing the candidates to campaign to them, and by making politicians pay attention to youth and the issues they care about once in office. We use music, popular culture, new technologies and old fashioned grassroots organizing to engage and mobilize young people to participate in every election, and provide the information and tools they need to do so.  And we amplify the actions of those young people who step up to claim their voice in the process in order to create political and social change.

Ruling year info

2006

President and Executive Director

Carolyn DeWitt

Main address

655 15th Street Suite 800

Washington, DC, DC 20005 USA

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EIN

02-0767157

NTEE code info

Voter Education/Registration (R40)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Where we work

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Founded in 1990, Rock the Vote is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that revolutionized the use of culture, entertainment, technology, and politics to fulfill its mission of building the long-term civic power of young people. We focus on empowering young women; BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and low-income youth; and youth with disabilities and protecting their right to vote.

Increase Young People’s Access to Civic Technology as a Strategy for Increasing Youth Civic Participation: Millennials and Generation Z are digital natives making civic technology a necessary medium to engage and scale their participation in the civic process.

Empower Young Voters with Vetted, Straightforward Information About How to Participate: Research demonstrates that the number one reason young people do not vote at the same rates as older voters is that they are new voters. As a result, they are unfamiliar with the process that is largely archaic compared to their modern lives and is often designed to discourage their participation

Creating a Culture of Civic Engagement Through Diverse Partnerships: Expanding Rock the Vote’s reach through partnerships is critical as research has shown that voting is habit forming. By leveraging culture, we are meeting young people where they are through trusted messengers and bringing them into the civic sphere.

Protecting and Advancing the Right to Vote and Access to Democracy: Promoting pro-voter policies and fighting against voter suppression policies that target young voters.

Rock the Vote has:

Added more than 14 million new voters to the rolls with our partners since our founding.

Provided accurate information about voting in each election cycle through our Election Center, serving nearly 13 million in 2020.

Turned out registrants to vote at 30 to 40 percentage points higher than the general youth population: 81% in 2016 and 73% in 2018 as verified by Catalist. (Rock the Vote is still waiting for Catalist’s 2020 analysis.)

Created four new civic technology tools: (1) a Vote-at-Home Ballot Request platform; (2) a peer-to-peer texting platform to scale one-on-one conversations; (3) an endorsement tool to help voters identify candidates and issues that match their values; and (4) a ballot tracking and curing tool.

Expanded our reach through diverse partnerships with dozens of nonprofit organizations; athletes and professional sports organizations; celebrities; and youth-branded, entertainment, and technology companies.

Used social media, direct contact, and peer-to-peer outreach to educate, persuade, recruit, and mobilize young people to participate in elections.

In the past 30 years, Rock the Vote has been one of the leading organizations engaging and mobilizing young people. In that time, we have helped more than 14 million people to register to vote while simultaneously pushing for voting reforms, such as online and same-day voter registration. As a result of these efforts, youth engagement in the political process has increased steadily over times. Over the long term, though, Rock the Vote is committed to making voting easier and more accessible for all young people, closing the engagement gap as compared to other age cohorts, and changing the narrative around youth engagement.

Financials

Rock the Vote
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Rock the Vote

Board of directors
as of 10/05/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Frank Smith

Retired


Board co-chair

Ms. Amanda Brown Lierman

Supermajority

Jeff Ayeroff

Shangrila Music

Frank Smith

No Affiliation

Jesse Moore

Common Thread Strategies

Lara Bergthold

Rally

Michael Skolnik

We are Soze

Amanda Brown Lierman

Russell Glass

DeRay McKesson

StayWoke and Campaign Zero

Wayne Jordan

Jessica Reeves

Small Business Administration

Muthoni Wambu Kraal

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/5/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data