Creating and Cultivating First Steps
2023 Impact Report from She Should Run
2023 was a big year for She Should Run as we developed new resources to meet women in the communities where they are already leading. With the 2024 elections quickly approaching, our work to inspire women from all walks of life to consider elected office has never been more important. Even the December 2023 report Rethinking Women’s Political Power from the Center for American Women and Politics underscores what we have been saying for years: women are not a monolith. If we are going to increase women’s political power, we need to understand and respond to the unique barriers—and motivators—they face.
This year, we seized every opportunity to learn from our research and the women we serve about how we can better deliver on our mission. We hosted webinars on issues from gun violence to reproductive health, leaning on the voices and expertise of women already advocating on these very issues to help inspire more women to become civically engaged. Most importantly, we sought out opportunities to reach and inspire women who aren’t looking for us to consider their potential in elected office.
Our work is a long game, and it requires a consistent cadence of approachable, engaging, simple resources and content for women to explore their potential in public leadership. Here’s a look back at what we learned and accomplished this year in our effort to get more women to consider elected office.
We reached women who weren’t looking for us.
We delivered our message to women with vast leadership potential who are otherwise overlooked in traditional political recruitment, reaching millions of women as tracked by press hits, partnership referrals, and social media reach.
There are 24 million American women primed for elected leadership.
Created massive reach to put women’s political leadership on the map for all genders.
“By reaching and motivating this untapped talent, the goal of reaching equal representation in government can be accomplished.”
She Should Run Founder and CEO Erin Loos Cutraro in MSNBC
We maintained Brand partnerships that multiplied our efforts to support women:
We dismantled perceptions and supported women’s first steps.
We helped demystify what it takes to become an elected official by offering honest resources and simple steps that allow a woman to dip her toe in the water of elected leadership. In 2023, 70,567 women took a simple, low-commitment first step to explore their curiosity around a run for office with She Should Run.
Women are motivated by the issues that disproportionately affect them.
Created webinars connecting the dots between the most talked about issues in the U.S. with ways women can be part of the solution in their own communities.
5 webinars reaching more than 750 women on the issues that matter to them.
2023 webinar partners included:
What our webinar attendees say:
I feel more confident discussing my perspective after hearing the speakers emphasize that all voices matter, not just those of experts.
I came for education (which I got!) but didn’t expect all the emotion! I am feeling very inspired by this conversation.
6,172 women took the time to further develop their leadership potential and political participation with She Should Run.
We provided a wide range of resources that adapted to the interests and needs of women, focusing on their leadership development rather than candidate training.
The majority of the field is focusing on candidate training, but only 2% of women grew up knowing that they wanted to run for office.
Offer resources that support leadership development to help women build their fundamental leadership skills before jumping into campaign training.
We responded to the ways women are learning and working, meeting the moment by creating:
The Power in Purpose Audio Course
This course guides women through the process of clarifying what causes might drive them to action.
4 Steps to Building a Better Community
This four-week email course guides participants through finding their passion, honing their skills, and making a plan to get more involved in their community.
As a graduate student studying Public Administration, Samantha is becoming a leader dedicated to constructing a diverse society committed to global social justice. In the past, she has worked in higher education and public service as well as with nonprofits to give back to her local community and inspire young girls around the world to take up leadership roles. During the pandemic, Samantha took a dive into She Should Run’s resources. Inspired by the call, she hopes to one day run for office.
We brought others along.
We mobilized passionate leaders to multiply the number of women considering elected office through honest, open connections.
We delivered workshops tailored to employee resource groups and presented in non-traditional places and spaces where women are leading:
In June, we presented our research findings in a special session hosted by Citizen Travelers at the Travelers Institute, encouraging participants to pursue public leadership roles and help others along the same path. Travelers employees pledged their support to become multipliers of our work and we’ve since kicked off a six-figure multi-year partnership in which the company has pledged to do the same.
Women’s Philanthropy Institute
In March, we traveled to Chicago for the The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI)’s All In, All Rise conference, where we offered a workshop for women leaders to connect the dots between their philanthropy and the power and influence they hold to encourage the women around them to identify and explore their potential for political leadership.
We created easy, fun ways for all genders to engage in the act of encouraging women with our Which Fictional Woman Should Run for Office Quiz.
We developed our first-ever Community Council, a group of 10 volunteer leaders with an array of personal and professional perspectives who assist She Should Run in meeting our organizational goals and amplifying our ability to develop programming that serves and reaches the underrepresented women we aim to support.
Women are more likely to run if they receive support and encouragement from trusted sources in their lives, whether that be family members, friends, members of their community, former teachers, colleagues, faith leaders, elected officials, and in-person or online.
We created low-barrier opportunities to tell a woman she has what it takes to lead in elected office.
In March of 2023, Heidi ran for a Board of Selectman position against a male six-year incumbent. Before running, Heidi searched for organizations and resources to help her with her campaign. When she stumbled across She Should Run’s community, she found the idea of a woman asking a woman to run affirmed her decision to run for office, as it was a woman she respected who asked her to run. Having run herself, she knows how daunting the task of running for office can be. Heidi believes that there is power in a personal invitation to run, and hopes that She Should Run can reach more women and change the landscape of politics for the better.
We are who we serve.
As a women-led nonprofit, we pay special attention to the care and support of our team as we try to embody the values we hold dear. Collectively, our lived experiences represent the women we’re trying to serve, and we need to work together to get them in office.
She Should Run is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit working to drastically increase the number of women from all walks of life considering elected office. As the only lead-finders for the field of women’s representation, we have a bold goal to inspire 250,000 women to take their first steps toward public leadership by 2030. Our programs mobilize women from all walks of life to awaken to the power of their leadership potential. Learn more at sheshouldrun.org.
Donate today to support our 2024 impact.