On May 11, 2023, 180 Degrees Consulting @ Tufts University presented the findings of their year-long landscape analysis for United for a Fair Economy’s Responsible Wealth project.
180 Degrees Consulting is the world's largest student volunteer consultancy. The Tufts site – one of 80 across 33 countries – pairs a group students with a nonprofit (or a socially conscious enterprise) to tackle a problem over the course of an academic year. The problem UFE asked our 180 Degrees team to investigate was, “How can we be more impactful and more strategic as we engage wealthy supporters of a fairer economy in advocacy for progressive tax reforms at the state level?”
The 180 Degrees team’s “SWOT analysis” looked at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats pertinent to RW’s work. Based on the SWOT analysis, the team produced a summary of short-term and long-term initiatives Responsible Wealth can undertake in order to increase their impact.
The team created a 60+ page document of findings that they summarized in a webinar for UFE and RW supporters. The team produced a brief one page summary of progressive taxation in nearly all 50 states which included a summary of: existing legislation and legislative efforts; existing state-level caucusing; budget deficit data; existing state tax policies and inequality metrics; and organizations working towards progressive taxation in that state.
The final report:
- Examined RW’s work to date.
- Assessed the state-level context for progressive tax policy change in all 50 states, choosing 5 states where they saw potential opportunities: Connecticut, Maine, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington.
- Identified opportunities for RW to attract new members and increase members’ involvement in impactful advocacy for fair taxation.
In her introduction to the webinar, UFE’s Executive Director Jeannette Huezo said, “I'm excited and grateful to have this opportunity to work with these students. They have been amazing.”
The recommendations from the 180 Degrees team stressed the importance of increasing RW’s visibility through social media, traditional media, through faith-based and community-based groups, and through direct outreach from RW members to other millionaires in their states.
In a Q and A with attendees, the student consultants discussed opportunities to support measures similar to the Fair Share Amendment in Massachusetts, that would use new taxes on wealth and very high incomes to generate revenue for essential public services.
Thank you, 180 Degrees @ Tufts! We appreciate your work, your insights, and your collaboration in the work to build a fairer economy.