California Donor Table, a network of donors committed to building power in California’s communities of color and making lasting progressive political change, raised and distributed nearly $5.7 million to expand California’s electorate and help progressive candidates across the state win key races.
“There are a lot of candidates, political, and issue-based organizations vying for progressive donors’ attention and money, but scattered funding does not add up to big wins,” said Ludovic Blain, executive director of the California Donor Table. “Through the California Donor Table, progressive donors make informed, strategic funding decisions so that California legislators reflect and represent their constituents, and California can live up to its potential as a progressive beacon for other states and the federal government.”
In addition to direct fundraising for candidates, California Donor Table directed millions more through its support of seven local civic engagement collaboratives in San Francisco, Contra Costa County, the Central Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego.
“California Donor Table is a great co-conspirator around building both the big picture strategy and a funding network we need to build power beyond any single election cycle or issue campaign,” said Jonathan Paik, Director of Orange County Civic Engagement Table and Orange County Civic Engagement Table Action. “The Donor Table helps us tap into funding from all over the state, which is critical for us to build a grassroots movement that can take on corporate interests that do not have our communities’ health and wellbeing at heart.”
“This year we won a vast majority of races we were involved in, from local to state level races, because we invested from the ground up,” California Donor Table Senior Political Strategist Tim Molina. “By supporting diverse coalitions of candidates, voters, and organizations, we built powerful formations able to win.”
California Donor Table was also instrumental in funding first time programs for the Working Families Party in California, which was which supported local organizational with field, fundraising, and communications strategy in 28 elections during the 2020 cycle. “California Donor Table was integral in bringing interested and energized donors into the conversation to build a political home that is responsive to local leadership and priorities,” said Mehran Khodabandeh, Senior Political Strategist at Working Families Party. “One that will build a unified strategy built by our partners to enact policy and elect officials that represent the many, not the few.”
California Donor Table, originally called the Progressive Era Project, began in 2005 with five donors from three families. Combining political strategy with community organizing and training, the project aimed to develop and support Black, Latinx, and Asian Pacific Islander progressive leaders, organizations and candidates. To date, the table has invested and aligned approximately $35.7 million over 15 years. It has financially supported 58 candidates (75 percent people of color, 51 percent women, 42 percent women of color, 23 percent Latina women, 14 percent Black women).