Organization Mission: What problem is your organization committed to solving? In particular, describe what is innovative about your approach.
Current solutions do not prioritize the leader-constituent relationship nor do they work to systemically strengthen democracy in and beyond government. Too many focus on elections or on select pain points while siloed tools raise barriers to and between civic engagement, community, democracy, and leadership. Engaging communities and being engaged needs to be simpler. Purposeful, enabling technology must be accessible to more changemakers. Powerline streamlines civic engagement and democracy processes into a simple, beautiful, open platform with broad applications for a stronger civil society.
Impact: What has been the impact of your solution to date?
We have raised $19,000 in online donations from over 200 donors, secured a dozen early pilot partners, and secured initial impact angel backing. We are currently in alpha testing and 100% of our pilot users now know who their elected leaders are. Over 90% agree that our app makes understanding/contacting leaders easy and painless. While it has only been deployed in small pilots and tests, the expectation is that leaders and members will report stronger democracy and engagement. As an open platform, Powerline will also enable millions of groups to internally or politically organize their members easily for simple civic engagement and participation. Importantly, it provides access to enabling technology to changemakers to grow their impact.
Impact: What is your projected impact after receiving consulting support from American Express?
The challenge of establishing brand clarity for a systemic solution like Powerline is developing complementary messaging for citizens, elected leaders, the media, and other organizations in the ecosystem. Powerline is in critical need of this messaging and brand clarity so that it can communicate its value proposition to the market and the public more effectively. In short, American Express' support would directly impact Powerline's ability to grow. Powerline's growth inherently strengthens civil society by engaging more citizens in their governments, in their civil society organizations, and in civil society at-large. Helping these changemakers in their work could literally change the world through the numerous organizations that have already signed up for our beta, let alone the broader potential market that American Express' support would help us access more effectively.
Sustainability: Do you currently have the financial and human resources to implement new strategies or recommendations offered through this partnership, or would implementation be dependent on receiving additional funding? Please describe.
Although resources are limited, financial and human resources will be available to implement new strategies and recommendations. Of course, it's possible that some of the recommendations may require additional budget in which case we will have to re-prioritize our budget appropriately or make fundraising decisions in order to fully implement them. With that said, the team is currently pursuing a capital campaign that makes the availability of additional resources highly probable. Strategic messaging and brand clarity are core priorities for 2014 and necessary for our public launch deployment strategy. Once the Powerline Beta program is complete, the ideal plan is to have these key messages clearly defined and ready for market consumption.