Independent Political Organizations Landscape Analysis


In 2016, The See Forward Fund commissioned a survey and report that will look deeply into a growing sector of organizations and their contributions to the progressive movement. We surveyed 75 organizations that consider themselves Independent Political Organizations (IPOs) and asked them more than 50 questions examining their theories of change, their strengths and weaknesses, their scope and scale, and their vision for growth.

The survey was conducted immediately after the 2016 general election and captured reflections on the results of the election as well as initial reports on the work conducted in that cycle. In the Report Preview, we share some preliminary findings of our research, selecting key pieces of quantitative and qualitative information, but will be digging deeper into the data as well as conducting interviews to discover further correlations and findings to inform the field.

You can download the Report Preview here.

What is an Independent Political Organization?

An IPO is an organization that builds political power for its base, without relying primarily on the support or leadership of mainstream institutions and political parties. An IPO works to win power in its jurisdiction in any number of ways, including efforts to recruit, endorse, elect, support and hold accountable, candidates for office. For our purposes, IPOs are rooted in a multiracial progressive politics and run campaigns and elected leaders that support these politics. IPOs raise funds from their members and supporters to maintain as independent of a financial base as possible, making it possible to make independent, democratic decisions, about what work to prioritize and how to advance the interests of their constituency.