Our Work

Fixing our democracy is a big task. But we have the power to make it happen.


Advisory Board Members

A bipartisan group comprised of nationally recognized CEOs, academics, authors and thought leaders.


ReFormers Caucus Members

A bipartisan group of former governors, senators and representatives who speak out in favor of reform.

The moment we’ve been waiting for is now

To pass game-changing legislation, Issue One is:

Building a winning coalition.

We’re reaching out to both sides of the aisle to create the coalition we need to win game-changing legislation. Our ReFormers Caucus and Advisory Board are leveraging their reputations and networks to bring new allies into the fold, creating new urgency to address the crisis and building consensus around solutions. We’re bringing everyone to the table because we need everyone to win this fight.

Promoting proven policy solutions.

Solutions to our governing crisis exist and are already working in cities and states across the country. At the federal level, we have a proven legislative strategy for advancing change, and we’re working with current and former members of Congress to educate lawmakers about solutions and disrupt Washington’s do-nothing status quo. We’re also investing in the most promising state and local efforts to fix money in politics, and advancing pro-democracy jurisprudence reform.

Our Projects

Proactive Jurisprudence

June 8, 2015

Protecting existing campaign finance law from attacks and recognizing opportunities to play offense in the legal system is a critical component of our strategic vision. Issue One has supported the Campaign Legal Center with ongoing funding to defend existing laws while working with other groups to develop a plan to reverse damaging judicial trends that threaten the fabric of our democracy.

Messaging Toolkits

June 8, 2015

As part of Issue One’s commitment to provide resources for the entire reform sector, we will release messaging toolkits based on “Price We All Pay” research. These toolkits will ensure the movement is united around an effective narrative, and help amplify our message and goals.

Bipartisan Recruitment

June 8, 2015

Successful reform efforts will require support from across the political spectrum, so Issue One has made it a priority to bring broaden our coalition beyond traditional good government groups. Through collaborative efforts on both sides of the aisle, the faces pushing for new solutions are dramatically more diverse and representative of Americans of both parties.

Victory 2021

June 8, 2015

Issue One helped lead investment in and development of the first-ever multi-year battle plan that maps out precisely where (and how) we can prevail in the coming years. The “Victory 2021” plan provides focus for a diverse coalition and gives marching orders to those working toward reform. Additionally, the plan provides an opportunity for donors to gain access to information about the good work being done within the money-in-politics reform community, where organizations and leaders are collaborating and aligning their activities, and where investments are needed, all directed towards efforts that will build momentum toward ultimate success.

Landscape Scan

June 8, 2015

Soon after its founding, Issue One produced a Landscape Scan, which provided profiles of reform organizations, an overview of strategies currently being pursued across the sector and a snapshot of the current funding terrain. The Scan is an important resource for philanthropists, activists and others new to the cause.

Strategic Overview

June 8, 2015

After a highly collaborative research process, Issue One produced its Strategic Overview, an overarching document intended to help donors who are new to the cause of money in politics make sense of the reform sector. The report defines six core categories of work crucial to reform success, along with a summary of strategies that are currently being pursued or can be launched. Issue One will release an updated Overview in the coming months to reflect important progress toward substantive reform.

Unity Statement of Principles

June 8, 2015

Based off Issue One’s “Price We All Pay” messaging research, the Unity Statement is a collaboration among over 140 organizations across the spectrum of political, advocacy, and interest groups. The statement reflects policies already working in many parts of the country to ensure a democracy where everyone participates and everyone’s voice is heard; where everyone knows who is buying influence in our elections and government; and where politicians play by common sense rules and are held accountable with enforceable penalties to deter bad behavior.

“Price We All Pay” Messaging Research

June 8, 2015

In order to make clear the connection between money in politics and Americans’ lives, Issue One commissioned in-depth research on how to tie this issue to everyday concerns. The resulting “Price We All Pay” messaging frame makes the issue personally relevant to people from all walks of life, connecting the dots between unfettered money in politics and a broken system that stalls progress on the issues they care about most. Already this groundbreaking work has changed the way the entire reform sector talks about the problem and solutions, and has been adopted at every level of debate, from state-level fights to national figures and organizations.

California Messaging Pilot Program

June 8, 2015

To demonstrate the effectiveness of our “Price We All Pay” message frame, in 2014 Issue One directed significant funding toward an innovative pilot program in California. The California League of Conservation Voters ran a statewide accountability, grassroots outreach and media program, testing a variety of messages in coordination with the Analyst Institute. The results of this work have been a valuable resource for the movement and Issue One continues to work with LCV and others to roll out more programs throughout the country.

New Hampshire Rebellion

June 8, 2015

The New Hampshire Rebellion is an innovative and energetic grassroots campaign to make money-in-politics reform a major issue in the 2016 presidential primaries. Headed by Lawrence Lessig, the Rebellion works to ensure every national politician must answer one question: “What specific reforms will you advance to end the corrupting influence of money in politics?” Issue One helped fund the group’s initial 12-day, 185-mile walk in January 2014. We will continue to support upcoming marches as part of our strategy to ensure reform is a priority in the 2016 cycle, and to fuel state-level work that builds momentum for this cause.

New Mexico Lobbying Disclosure

June 9, 2015

In 2014 Issue One provided funding to Common Cause New Mexico, which used the “Price We All Pay” message frame to drive support for specific solutions. Through paid and earned media campaigns, business coalition building and community organizing, the New Mexico legislature passed important new lobbying reforms.

New York Fair Elections

June 9, 2015

In the spring of 2013, Issue One aggressively supported the fight for fair elections in New York state. Our funds helped build and mobilize public support, campaign coordination, communications, advocacy strategy and public education for an effort that came within one state Senate vote of becoming law. Though this fight is not yet won, Issue One’s investments helped build important infrastructure in the state and set the stage for victory in the future.

Right on the Money

July 15, 2016

Right on the Money curates the best statements, polling and research from Republicans and conservatives concerned about the role of money in politics. The site is constantly being updated with the newest quotes, polling information and research. Learn more at rightonthemoney.io.

Blueprints for Democracy

July 15, 2016

Blueprints for Democracy is designed to meet the challenge of money-in-politics reform with concrete proof – proof that Americans in cities and states all over the country can make their elections more open, their campaigns more transparent and their lawmakers more accountable.

Blueprints provides an overview of how reforms have been implemented across the country, and best practices for legislators and advocates enacting change in their local communities.

Learn more at blueprintsfordemocracy.org