Connector

Jess Riegel

Jess is a former “drop-off voter” on a mission to get Millennials to punch at their weight as 40% of the electorate. She does that as Co-founder and CEO of Motivote, a digital platform that uses behavioral nudges and positive peer pressure to make voting easy, social and rewarding. Before launching Motivote, Jess started her career with Teach for America, leading first-grade classrooms in New Orleans and Newark. As a consultant with Cause Strategy Partners, she advised nonprofits and foundations on board governance. She also led impact evaluation efforts for an ed tech startup, Kinvolved. While earning her MPA in Social Impact, Innovation and Investment from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service, Jess served on the Rockefeller Foundation’s social finance team. Jess holds a B.A. in Urban Studies and Political Economy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Describe the Impact of a Project you’re focused on.

Think about what the country would look like if young people voted at the same rate a their grandparents? If voting in your municipal elections were as habitual as dropping by your Sunday morning yoga class? Motivote increases voter turnout and builds more representative government by getting would-be voters over the "microbarriers" to voting with proven behavioral nudges. The platform gives organizations that care about turnout - from campaigns to advocacy groups to companies - a more cost-effective way to engage their networks and understand the ROI of their civic engagement initiatives.

What results do you hope for when the impact is amplified?

Elected officials more fully represent the spectrum of identities and interests in the U.S., and the beliefs of previously underrepresented populations are amplified. Government is more transparent and accountable because a broader swath of Americans actively participate in elections and civic actions more broadly. Organizations are no longer wasting money on strategies that don't move the needle on turnout and, instead, every touchpoint is actionable with a clear ROI.

What do you have to offer as a connector? What can you give as expertise to others?

I have expertise in everything-related-to-young-voter-turnout as well as U.S. education reform. As a first-time female founder, I haven't cracked any codes but am happy to talk to others about my experiences in fundraising and business development thus far, especially to share the many "what-not-to-do's" that I've accrued so far!
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