US program

Civic participation

We support strategic litigation and legal advocacy to eliminate voter suppression and safeguard the right to vote. We also support efforts to make sure the 2020 census is fair and accurate. We support groups and networks as they build grassroots constituencies and develop strategies to make government more responsive, enable people to determine public agendas and priorities, and reclaim and rebuild trust in government. This includes building strategic leadership and coalitions at the state and national levels that can help people—particularly those who historically have not had a seat at the table—engage with and influence government in order to make it more accountable.


Anticipated Outcomes

Protect voting rights

The right to vote is protected at the federal and state level.

Strengthen the census

There is progress toward a fairer, more accurate census—one that is adequately funded and guided by sound policies, especially as it moves online.

Organizational capacity and effectiveness

Organizations at the state and national level develop their ability to analyze, think and work together strategically; influence and set agendas collectively; and make sure that all people—especially those who have historically been excluded—have a role in decision making.

Research and narrative

A body of empirical research on voter motivation and civic engagement (including primaries) informs philanthropic practice and the field of civic engagement—and begins to create a strong narrative about people’s ability to influence government and set agendas.

Next-generation leadership

We focus on helping young people and emerging leaders have influence on pressing issues of injustice and inequality in their own communities—and do so in ways that build their skills and capacity for a lifetime of leadership. We support strong, social justice organizations and intergenerational movements, with an emphasis on developing leadership among those who have been disadvantaged or excluded. Ultimately, we aim to foster civic engagement that translates into political influence and shapes social justice agendas—and contributes to a more equitable, representative, and just society.

Anticipated Outcomes

Resources and tools

Young people have the tools, resources, and networks they need to advocate for reforms that improve the lives of all young people—especially youth of color, immigrant youth, young women and girls, disabled youth, and LGBT youth.

Transformative solutions

By centering their work on the experiences of young leaders who are most impacted by inequality, social justice organizations and networks are able to advance and reflect more responsive, transformative solutions for all youth.

Leadership development

More young people have opportunities to develop their leadership, and to see that their experiences and participation have value—producing a new generation of young leaders committed to advancing justice.

What we don’t fund

We know nonprofit staff’s time is valuable, so we discourage using it to submit proposals that don’t fall within funding guidelines. In this spirit, we aim to be transparent about what our grant making does not support.

Because our goal is systemic change in the rules and structures of democratic participation, we do not fund voter registration or get-out-the-vote efforts. We do not fund projects to improve government transparency for its own sake. And because our goal is to support strong and sustainable civic infrastructure, we do not fund individual issue-based policy campaigns. We also do not fund direct services, fellowships, or pilot programs disconnected from our core strategic focus. We do not fund general youth leadership development that is disconnected from issues of civic engagement and democracy.