Who We Are

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation is the nation’s premier organization dedicated to educating the public on the ballot measure process and issue-based campaigns across the United States.

Through our work in research, training and fostering collaboration among individuals, organizations, and coalitions, we help to create greater knowledge and deeper understanding of the role of direct democracy in civic engagement and voter education.

Our Mission

The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, strengthens democracy by understanding the role ballot measures play in civic engagement and building state-based power. We recognize that initiatives and referenda are permanent parts of the democratic process and work to help social change advocates build capacity for their civic engagement plans.

We act as a clearinghouse for information to better understand public attitudes toward critical issues and the role ballot measures play in our democracy.

The BISC Foundation serves as a trusted source of ballot measure information, strategic advice, and expertise. The Foundation also forges critical links to and among the many groups and issues arenas directly affected by ballot measures.

Our Vision

We believe direct democracy can be a tool for liberation. We believe that ballot measures and issue-based campaigns can be used across the United States as part of a larger movement to strengthen democracy, center people of color, queer, low-income, immigrant, Indigenous and other marginalized communities to move towards racial equity and transform power.

We lead by supporting the understanding of how ballot measures can be a tool for transformational impact. We envision a future in which advocates increase civic engagement, advance social justice through public education, build capacity through issue organizing efforts, and support strong state issue-focused infrastructure. And in so doing, move closer to liberation, equity, and justice for all people.

Our Racial Equity Stance

At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation, we work to transform our country into one that is equitable and just. In our work, we strive to challenge structural racism, and center the people most impacted.

BISCF works with a commitment to racial equity and inclusion inside our organization in our hiring and internal processes, and externally through our research, training, and civic engagement work with partners and funders.


We support and train current and future leaders

Since 2013, BISC Foundation has trained over 1,000 people from at least 30 states. With a focus on new and emerging leaders, BISC’s training program has prepared strategists and advocates to lead successful organizations campaigns.

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We lead innovative research

The BISC Foundation is asking the questions no one else is asking. Since 1999, the BISC Foundation has been a leader in innovative ballot measure and issue-focused research.

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We convene and collaborate

We play a critical role in fostering inclusive coalitions that center the voices of impacted communities. We convene and connect social justice partners at every level to maximize resources and impact.

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We tell the story about the power of ballot measures

Our weekly wrap-up email, BISCquick, gives people up-to-date information on issue-based campaigns across the country and a 30,000 fot view of the ballot measure landscape.

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We center racial equity in all programming

To aid this work, we created an equity library for advocates which brings together over 20 years of best practices and knowledge around equity actions, processes and procedures.

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The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation Staff brings diverse backgrounds, points of view and experience to the work of researching the ballot measure landscape and educating activists around the process.

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The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation’s board brings together some of the brightest minds in research, education and advocacy toward to goals of providing strategic direction and advice around Foundation projects.

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The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation is always looking for passionate activists and dedicated researchers interested in career opportunities in the ballot measure world.