Way to Win is a coalition of funders and organizations including Solidaire Action Fund, Women Donors Network Action, Democracy in Color, Propel Capital, Movement Voter Project, The Solutions Project, and Groundswell Action Fund. We seek to embody a shared ethos of political funding that brings together near term strategic wins and long-term power-building.
Way to Win Co-Founder
Founding Executive Director, Texas Future Project
Under Tory’s leadership, the Texas donor table transformed from an idea to a powerhouse institution; established the Texas Future Project Research Center, a collection of qualitative and quantitative data on the Texas electorate on a fee-generating online platform; led a team of Texas’ best analysts and strategists to develop a strategic plan to make Texas competitive statewide by 2022; financed winning races—including in 2015, electing a progressive Mayor in Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, and in 2016, sweeping Harris County, Texas’ biggest county with a population size that matches that of Oregon. Tory has a JD from Saint Mary’s University School of Law, was an advocate for immigrants in the workplace for a decade, and grounds her work in movement-building. Tory’s career is inspired by her grandmother and namesake, who immigrated to Texas from Mexico in the 1940s.
Way to Win Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
Co-Founder and Former Executive Director, Solidaire Network
Leah co-founded Solidaire, a network of philanthropists who are committed to funding social movements with a focus on racial and economic justice. For the first five years, she served as Founding Executive Director and grew the membership from a small handful of progressives to a vibrant community of over 160 members. Leah has a PhD from Princeton University, where she studied religious philosophy and political theory and wrote her dissertation on the history of the concept of solidarity. She has served on numerous boards, and acts as an advisor to her family foundation, the Sister Fund. Her writings have been featured in The Nation, Huffington Post and Politico, and she has been profiled by Salon, Avenue Magazine, and San Francisco Magazine. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in Egypt, Syria and the West Bank, and now resides in San Francisco.
Jenifer Fernandez Ancona
Way to Win Co-Founder and Chair of the Board
Vice President of Strategy & Member Engagement, Women Donors Network
Jenifer helps to run WDN, a national community of 220 progressive women donors who leverage their wealth, power, and community for a more fair, just, and sustainable world. Jenifer also directs WDN Action, a 501(c)(4) organization advancing justice through advocacy, funding, and civic engagement of underrepresented communities. She has a wide range of experience in communications, donor organizing, strategy development, grassroots organizing, and multi-racial coalition building. Jenifer has worked as Director of Strategic Communications at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, as a consultant to the Democracy Alliance, as a top legislative aide in the California State Assembly, and as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Jenifer holds a BS degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Dan Ancona, and their 7-year-old son.
Director of Programs and Operations
Tori joined Way to Win at its founding in 2017 and currently serves as Program Manager. Miyagi marshals internal resources and organises programming and services for Way’s power network of donors and organisers. Tori was previously Program Manager and principal deputy of a philanthropic fund at the Democracy Alliance where he managed the investment process for a portfolio of high-performing community organisations on behalf of individual and institutional donors. Within progressive philanthropy, Tori constantly advocates for under-resourced communities and their most authentic leaders. Tori was born and raised in a union family on O‘ahu island in Hawaiʻi. He remains Okinawan-American.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Originally from the Texas Hill Country, Taylor has spent nearly a decade working at the nexus of resource acquisition, programmatic strategy development, and communications to catalyze progressive change. Her work has run the gamut—she’s driven communications for major organizations, including three statewide progressive advocacy and communications organizations in a battleground state and a major political party in Texas, while managing organizational growth through the recruitment of new major funders and partners. She’s designed eye-catching, envelope-pushing campaigns for multi-year and multimillion-dollar projects around destigmatizing abortion and expanding voting rights, and she’s advised winning campaigns for local and federal races alike in both Texas and Colorado. Taylor’s a Swiss Army practitioner, and she’s particularly passionate about ending violence against women, expanding voting rights, and resourcing brilliant organizers who are reflective of their communities and hold the vision, plans, and deep community relationships that are changing the face of power around the country.
Director of Political Strategy
Franco is Way to Win’s Director of Political Strategy. Franco got an early start in politics by volunteering during John Kerry’s Presidential campaign and working on his first congressional campaign at the age of 16. In 2010 he graduated cum laude from Florida International University with a degree in Political Science and where he served as President of the College Democrats. Franco joins Way to Win from the Center for Community Change where he was an Electoral Organizer since 2016. Franco previously worked at Leadership for Educational Equity, Democracy for America, SEIU and began his career as a World and US history teacher through Teach for America in Denver, Colorado. Franco lives in Miami, Florida where he was born and raised.
Director of Design
Elise is a modern day nomad, who has spent the past 25 years traversing the globe. After settling in NYC, she joined The Public Society, a design-thinking firm focused on creative disruption. Elise became deeply involved in environmental and social justice work there, partnering with clients including Greenpeace, Carbon XPRIZE, The Rockefeller Foundation, Avaaz, Beautiful Solutions (with Naomi Klein), The Urban Future Lab, The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, and Mosaic. She currently works with Solidaire and Solidaire Action Fund, where she helped launch the Emergent Fund and JustFund portal. Elise believes that design and innovation are powerful tools for transformation: they help us see a more just and beautiful world is possible, and invite us to join in its creation.