Naseem Makiya '99 makes grassroots-style campaigning more personal with the launch of an app

Naseem Makiya '99 is the founder of Outvote, an app that makes campaigning and organizing more personal by enabling people to message friends and family with reminders to register, vote, sign a petition, donate to a campaign, etc. Outvote’s aim is to promote voter participation within progressive campaigns, and its larger mission is to build a community of organizers that remain active even between election cycles. Since its launch in 2017, Outvote has partnered with nonprofits like Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace, Community Change Action, and the ACLU, as well as with specific progressive candidates’ campaigns. 
Our work is based on the premise that contacting your own personal network of friends and family -- what’s known as ‘relational organizing’ -- is far more effective than cold-calling strangers. What we did was build the digital tools to make it easy for busy people to do a lot more relational organizing, a lot more quickly.” Naseem and his start-up team attracted the backing of the prestigious venture capital firm Y Combinator in 2017, and have garnered lots of press, from NPR to Forbes to the Washington Post and beyond.

Naseem is proud of the impact the company has had so far, creating measurable before-and-after results, particularly with younger people and those in minority communities. “It’s about leveraging relationships and trust to get more of the American public actively engaged in democracy.” #changemaker
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