About Motivote

Let's make a difference on issues that matter

Motivote is on a mission to ensure every person can make their voice heard. We help purpose-driven organizations help their networks take civic action — starting with voting. We do this by building voter-first, common-sense tools that are powered by behavioral science.

Our Story

Motivote co-founders Jess Riegel and Rachel Konowitz met as Master’s of Public Administration students in 2017. We paired up for our year-long capstone project at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service

We wanted to understand why so many people who are impacted by elections don’t consistently vote in them. We had seen this breakdown up close: One of us (Rachel) was an organizer who managed hundreds of canvassers nationwide. The other (Jess) only voted every four years.

Сonversations with hundreds of new and inconsistent voters surfaced the role of “microbarriers.” These are the frictions that cause drop-off from saying you’ll vote to actually doing it. I got busy. I missed the deadline. I didn’t even know there was an election!

We believe that too much of the voting conversation focuses on “just do it” and “it matters” while glossing over the behavioral realities that cause drop-off. Humans are irrational. We don’t always do what we say we’ll do or act on what we think is important.

Behavioral nudges—like plan-making, gamification and social accountability—are proven to help bridge the gap from intention to action.

We built Motivote to support mission-driven organizations—and the communities they reach—with strategies and structures to navigate the civic engagement process. Motivote began pilots in 2018 and launched nationally in 2020.

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