October 17, 2022

This Black-Owned App Wants To Make Political Donations More Transparent

EvenScore, co-founded by Johnnie Turnage and Averett Barksdale, is on a mission to revolutionize voters’ experience by making a system that creates an “even score” when it comes to fundraising for political or non-profit candidates. 

What is EvenScore?

EvenScore’s app aims to “bring more transparency to donations.” Voters can rank campaigns and keep across the different movements they have contributed to. EvenScore also makes it easier for political candidates to share their campaigns online.

Voters on the app will also be able to see donor profiles, a photo of the candidate, and more information about different campaigns. Although the platform presents a range of other topics to users, from gun safety to education, upon selection, participants can see a list of the candidates and campaigns that best align with their interests.

“We’re trying to provide donors an ability to easily support their causes, based on the things they’re interested in,” said Johnnie Turnage, co-founder of EvenScore. “We give donors a little bit of a menu option for what they can donate to.”

Social media limitations on political advertising 

Turnage and Barksdale developed EvenScore’s app in response to social media platforms’ limitations on political advertisements. In 2019, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, decided to ban all political advertising after announcing that the reach of political campaigns “should be earned, not bought.” 

In 2020, Facebook followed behind and announced new plans to stop political ads. However, a year later, the platform decided to U-turn on this decision and introduced strict identity checks for political candidates who wished to share their campaigns online.

Turnage felt that these restrictions disproportionately impacted small or local candidates who can’t afford to pay enormous advertising fees. As a result, EvenScore’s advertising process prioritizes ‘the most engaging content first.’ 

EvenScore’s App Launch 

The fundraising platform announced the launch of its new app at Michigan’s Tech Week, a two-day event that took place last week.

According to BridgeDetroit, the app will be available for download in the coming weeks. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.