Community Voices for Health Offers $660K Grant Opportunity

In case you haven’t heard, the Community Voices for Health initiative is offering a large grant opportunity to strengthen engagement infrastructure. The initiative is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), with technical assistance from NCDD member organization Public Agenda and Altarum. From the Community Voices for Health site…

“The goal of Community Voices for Health is to build stronger engagement infrastructure that involves a broader range of people, especially marginalized and underserved communities – so their voices are heard in healthcare policymaking decisions, their efforts to solved problems are supported, and their community networks are strengthened. Community-based organizations or networks are invited to apply for up to $660,000 to support projects spanning 30 months. A total of six grants will be awarded. ”

The application deadline is Monday, October 7th. You can learn more about the grant opportunity below and on the RWJF site here, and we encourage you to check out the Community Voices for Health site here.

Community Voices for Health 2019 Call for Proposals


The overarching goal of this new initiative, Community Voices for Health, is to support ongoing ways for people to engage—to help their voices be a part of decisions around health care, social service, and public health systems; to support their efforts to solve problems; and to strengthen their community networks. We will award up to six grants, one per state, to lead organizations in 20 eligible states (see “Eligibility Criteria” below). Lead organizations should be public charities that are nonprofit community-based organizations or statewide networks of community-based organizations. Although the grant is awarded to one lead organization, each grantee will be expected to work with a range of partners and other stakeholders—such as public agencies; health care systems; public health departments and leaders; researchers; university-based centers; membership associations; and social service providers.

The initiative seeks to learn from a range of approaches developed by community partners, and acknowledges there are many approaches to meeting the goal. This call for proposals therefore allows for some flexibility in key areas, such as the geographic or issue focus. Specifically, while the project might start by focusing on a single issue such as housing or mental health, it should be designed to produce an infrastructure that can take on other issues affecting people’s health. Proposals can be statewide in scope or focus on a community or metro region, as long as they connect residents with state-level decisions and/or establish infrastructure that could be adopted in many other locations across a state.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

All states face challenges with respect to increasing and sustaining engagement, but the nature of those challenges varies from state to state. To maximize learnings from this project, we took into consideration a number of factors designed to capture this diversity including, but not limited to, geography, demographics, and policy climate. Community Voices for Health grants are open to organizations based in and working in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.While each collaborating organization should be described in detail in the proposal, only one organization may represent the collaboration and be the lead contact in the application process. The applicant/lead organization must be recognized as a public charity under Sections 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

In addition, the applicant/lead organization should have a demonstrated history of managing funds to support non-lobbying advocacy efforts or, a mix of lobbying and nonlobbying efforts. Applicants should also indicate whether they have an existing relationship with legal counsel with expertise in the lobbying and political activity restrictions that apply to public charities and private foundations.  A small portion of grant funds may be used to retain legal counsel with relevant expertise, if an applicant does not yet have counsel in place.

You can read this on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at

We encourage you to check out the Community Voices for Health site at

Apply by Oct. 9th to Host A Nevins Fellow *for Free*!

NCDD Member Organization the McCourtney Institute for Democracy is again offering the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. The 2019-20 application is open now through Wednesday, October 9th, for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student at no-cost!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program was founded in 2014 after a gift from David Nevins, President and Co-Director of the Bridge Alliance, an NCDD Member Org. The program provides Penn State students with education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing them to a variety of viewpoints and philosophies, as well as teaching critical thinking along with the tools of dialogue and deliberation.

But the flagship work of fostering the next generation of democracy leaders centers on the yearly initiative to place Nevins Program students in unique fellowship position with organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal – that means organizations like yours! Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program so that organizations can bring these bright, motivated students into their work for a summer at no cost. The McCourtney Institute provides $5,000 toward the cost of hosting a Nevins Fellow for a summer internship. Students come to their internship sites well prepared and ready to get to work.

Fellows have interned at the following organizations, just to name a few:

  • Everyday Democracy
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • National Institute for Civil Discourse

Much like students apply for the fellowship, organizations apply to host a fellow. Nonprofits, government organizations, or other groups committed to building and sustaining democracy that would like to host a fellow can apply here!

NCDD hosted a Confab Call last September with Chris Beem from the McCourtney Institute, who covered lots of the important details about the program. You can listen to the recording of that call by clicking here. You can also check out this blog post from a 2017 Nevins Fellow about their summer fellowship with the Jefferson Center, to get a better sense of the student’s experience. We also encourage you to watch this video from 2019 Nevins Fellow John Villella, who did constituent engagement work for the Baltimore City Council.

It’s an amazing opportunity for everyone involved!

We can’t speak highly enough about the Nevins program’s students or about the value of this program’s contributions to the D&D field. We know that these young people will be great additions to organizations in our field.  We encourage you to apply today!

Submit Application for NCL’s 2020 All-American City Awards

In case you missed it, applications are now being accepted for the 2020 All-American City Awards! Hosted by the National Civic League, an NCDD partner, this year’s award theme is focused on “Enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement”. We encourage you to watch the video from the 2018 awardees with tips on how to apply and how the award has benefited their communities. We also recorded our co-hosted NCDD-NCL Confab call earlier this spring which can provide some great context and background information on the award – watch it here (please note the award theme this year is slightly different, though still in the same vein of health equity in communities). The deadline is Wednesday, February 19, 2020. You can read the announcement below and find the original version on NCL’s site here.

National Civic League’s 2020 All-America City Awards: Enhancing Health and Well-Being Through Civic Engagement

The National Civic League is now accepting applications for the 2020 All-America City Award, focused on enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement. With the National Civic League’s Co-Title Sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and Well Being Trust, the 2020 Awards reflect the concept that good health for the entire community requires a focus on mental, physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being.

We are looking for applicants with community-driven projects that reflect the concept that good health for the entire community requires a focus on mental, physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being.

Projects focusing on this theme might include:

  • healthy & safe environments
  • opportunities for lifelong learning
  • meaningful and well-paying jobs
  • affordable and humane housing
  • reliable transportation and accessibility
  • environmental health and safety
  • a sense of belonging and inclusion
  • access to mental health care
  • substance-abuse recovery and prevention
  • healthy eating and exercising
  • affordable, accessible health care

Begin your community’s application today to become a 2020 All-America City!

Important Dates

  • July 2019 – May 2020
    All-America City Promising Practices Webinar Series
  • November 1, 2019
    Submit Letter of Intent to Apply (not required to apply)
  • February 19, 2020
    Applications Due
  • March 2020
    Finalists Announced
  • March-June 2020
    Competition Preparation
  • June 5-7, 2020
    All-America City Awards Competition and Event in Denver, CO

You can find the original version of this announcement on the National Civic League’s site at

Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellowship Announced

Last week we shared this great paid fellowship opportunity on our Making-A-Living listserv and we wanted to also lift it up here to tap the larger civic engagement network! The 12-month fellowship will seek to “catalyze widespread engagement with science and its societal implication” and “lead the development of a shared vision and strategy for future collaborative work among funders in the civic science space”. Location of the fellowship has the potential to be flexible and applications are due Thursday, August 15th. Learn more in the post below and find the original on the Rita Allen Foundation site here.

Position Announcement: Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow

To catalyze widespread engagement with science and its societal implications, funders invite applicants for a Civic Science Fellowship.


A collaboration of funders with a shared interest in the relationship between science and society invite applicants for a Funder Collaborative Civic Science Fellow. The Fellow will work for 12 months to advance emerging collaborative work among relevant programs at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation. The Fellow will be part of the inaugural class of Civic Science Fellows, which aims to build the capacity of emerging leaders, networks, and institutions working to meaningfully connect science and society in a time of rapid change.

Vision, Opportunity, and Background

The need for a more robust, mutual, and equitable relationship between science and society has never been more urgent. Individuals, communities, and our global population face accelerating and increasingly complicated challenges. Rapidly evolving, highly complex science contributes to these challenges and holds the promise of shaping solutions—gene editing, artificial intelligence, and ocean conservation are just a few examples of acutely relevant, socially charged, and potentially transformative areas of research. The research community must understand and respond to the societal context in which it exists if it is to remain a relevant and robust element of society. Charting the course for this science in democratic societies requires not only technical scientific answers, but also deep engagement with issues including ethics, community values and needs, economics, and public health.

The funders in the collaborative are brought together by a shared vision, one that we bring in our efforts to serve science communication, public engagement, science, and the public broadly. We believe science is one of our most important tools for developing knowledge about ourselves and understanding the world around us; however, it has become increasingly viewed as separate from society. Many science engagement efforts seek to focus on specific effects of this disconnect (e.g., threats to federal funding for basic science). We, with our partners in the field, have begun to explore what might be the primary causes of the problem, and the opportunities they present: to form new connections and collaborations that can fuel more meaningful, inclusive integration of science in society.

This shared understanding of the opportunity space has served as a catalyst for an emerging funder collaborative. We are in the position to build bridges and leverage different expertise and resources across sectors, from our organizations and others, in order to more effectively serve the scientific ecosystem as well as diverse communities affected by scientific discovery and application. A process of shared learning and exploration can accelerate our common understanding of approaches and techniques to effectively address the roots of the disconnect between science and society, as well as help us identify areas of shared collaboration or coordination for greater impact in supporting those leading, innovating, and working at this interface.

The initial cohort of Science in Society Collaborative members are philanthropies, each with individual missions and focus, but with substantial overlap in how we approach science engagement. We all support efforts that promote science as a way of knowing. We all believe that a lack of adequate knowledge about science within communities is not sufficient to explain the growing communication gap between scientists and society. We all recognize the need to diversify who is engaged in the scientific conversation. We all recognize that the field would benefit from evidence-based approaches and methodically developed best practices. And critically, we all agree that effective work in this field requires listening to and understanding specific communities and audiences in order to effectively engage with them.

The Position

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation seek a Civic Science fellow who, through a 12-month fellowship, will help explore a common vision and identify paths forward for collaborative action and impact. We see an opportunity to coordinate our efforts; learn from each other; learn from grantees, partners, and diverse communities; and break down silos or jargon that may separate us. The Fellow will join a group who shares a commitment to increasing diversity in our own work and field, integrating justice and equity into the work we do, and ensuring an inclusive culture.

The Civic Science Fellow will initially work with the six foundations listed above to advance a shared vision, help each foundation learn about our peers’ specific goals and objectives related to this shared vision, and develop a strategy for moving forward on collaborations to reach our shared goals, serve diverse audiences, and catalyze more effective engagement with science. The Fellow will:

  • Lead the development of a shared vision and strategy for future collaborative work among funders in the civic science space. This may take the shape, for example, of a shared blueprint—a strategic document outlining shared objectives and goals, a common theory of change, and an articulation of what success will look like, across multiple communities and objectives.
    • Embed, or meaningfully connect with, each partner foundation to develop a more nuanced understanding of goals, trends, and theories of change.
    • Connect with the field, communities of public engagement research and practice, and communities underserved by existing science communication efforts to allow their goals, objectives, and efforts to inform the blueprint.
    • Facilitate and incorporate ongoing feedback from foundation partners. Share progress and insights on the blueprint development.
    • Apply learnings from embedded experience and other resources to inform potential collective structures and approaches that foundation partners could use to advance field.
    • Develop and present a set of recommendations (including, but not limited to, scope, sequencing, resourcing, and risks) detailing how the collaborative can work together to develop joint programming, co-invest, and share learnings, drawing on a growing body of related social scientific research, crossing disciplinary boundaries when helpful, and maintaining focus on benefiting and including diverse communities.
    • Identify areas of prospective collaboration with other foundations active in work related to civic science, or interested in contributing to and applying best practices.
  • Incorporate an approach for assessing the feasibility of ways forward described in the blueprint, as well as methods for ensuring ongoing shared learning from our collective efforts.
  • Recommend necessary inputs and key milestones/timing to meet blueprint goals.

We believe the opportunity to experience each Foundation’s culture and processes will be an asset in the Fellow’s success to coordinate and support the collaborative. The Kavli Foundation, based in Los Angeles, CA, and/or the Rita Allen Foundation in Princeton, NJ, will provide the primary post for the Fellow. We expect the Fellow will spend meaningful time embedded with each foundation partner. We are willing to discuss potential variations of this location and approach with the Fellow, as long as it prioritizes meaningful time with each foundation.

The Civic Science Fellow will be part of the inaugural class of Civic Science Fellows—individuals housed at various institutions to advance a myriad of ways people and science connect. These fellows will attend one annual convening and participate in regular monthly meetings to share learnings from their different embedded perspectives.

The Fellow will report to, and be guided by, an advisory group composed of representatives from foundation partners.

Skills and Attributes

  • 5+ years experience in science communication, public engagement with science, informal science education, learning, collective action, or related fields.
  • Experience in crafting strategic, forward-looking plans and reports.
  • Experience in program or project management.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Shares our commitment to increasing racial diversity in the science communication landscape, integrating justice and equity into the work we do, and ensuring an inclusive organizational culture.
  • Familiarity with philanthropy.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel, primarily in the United States.
  • Have initiative, be entrepreneurial, and think strategically and long-term.

To Apply

Send a cover letter describing your interest in this position, a resume or CV, and a work or writing sample reflecting analysis of themes and opportunities, to Applications received by August 15, 2019, will be given priority.

The salary for this full-time, 12-month position is $80K plus benefits.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds. The Rita Allen Foundation is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation or expression, gender, marital status, age, physical or mental disability, military status, genetic information or any other protected characteristic as established under law. All individuals are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Rita Allen Foundation site at

Essential Partners Awarded Grant for Community-Police Dialogue Series

We are pleased to share that NCDD sponsor org Essential Partners has recently been awarded a $25,000 grant to support community-police dialogues in the Raleigh-Durham area. The award supports a two-year long dialogue series between communities of color and law enforcement, stemming from an earlier dialogue series pilot. You can read the press release below and find the original version on the EP site here.

PRESS RELEASE: Essential Partners Receives $25,000 Grant for Police / Community Dialogues in Raleigh-Durham

Raleigh, NC – Essential Partners (EP) has been awarded a two-year, $25,000 grant from the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation (AAA-ICDR Foundation) to support dialogues between law enforcement and communities of color in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Essential Partners will train twenty dialogue facilitators based in the local community and equip them with guides to support resident engagement and crisis response. EP will also provide coaching and consultation to support new police-community dialogues in the Raleigh-Durham area, with the goal of involving as many as 500 residents and officers.

Kate Deiter-Maradei, a mediator based in Raleigh, has led this project working with a coalition of area residents and law enforcement officers in collaboration with Essential Partners since 2016, when she first reached out to EP for support.

Essential Partners has since trained 22 local facilitators who engaged residents and officers through a pilot dialogue series.

One participant in that pilot dialogue series said: “As a black mother, I participated because I want to save my son from harm, and I feared for our safety. I no longer have that fear—just a belief that my community is stronger and there are honest police officers who care about me and my son.”

The police officers involved in the pilot dialogues spoke of forging new connections with citizens. They said these EP-designed public dialogues supported stronger community relationships in a new way.

“Kate and her amazing crew of volunteer facilitators are some of the most dedicated and courageous folks I have ever had the honor of working with,” said John Sarrouf, Essential Partners co-Executive Director.

For thirty years, Essential Partners has helped communities address polarized conflicts driven by differences in values, views, and identities. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, the nonprofit organization works around the globe on issues such as the Syrian refugee crisis, violent extremism, campus free speech, and abortion.

Established in 2015, The American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation funds domestic and international projects. Its goal is to expand the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), improving the process, increasing access to ADR for those who cannot afford it, and sharing knowledge across different cultures.

Press Contact
Daniel Evans Pritchard
Essential Partners
617-923-1216, x 24

You can find the original version of this press release on the Essential Partners’ blog at

Mellon Foundation Grants $800k for PLACE Collaboratory

We’re always excited to hear of new efforts being developed to promote stronger civic engagement practices between our communities and higher education institutions. We wanted to share a new project launched yesterday, so folks in participating regions can tap in, as well as, to serve as an inspiration that civic engagement work is being well funded. The Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators (PLACE) Collaboratory is a new initiative that seeks to create better cross-sector collaboration between communities and higher education institutions in order to develop action plans grounded in community voice. PLACE is organized by the Bringing Theory to Practice project in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and has received an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the two-year effort. You can read about the project below and find the original article on the BTtoP site here.

Bringing Theory to Practice Launches Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators (PLACE) Collaboratory

Washington, DC—June 19, 2019—The Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) project is pleased to announce the launch of a multi-campus collaborative initiative (a “collaboratory”) titled Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators (PLACE). The project is supported by a two-year, $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), which serves as the host and partner to BTtoP.

The PLACE Collaboratory brings together a network of academic-community partnerships, involving eleven colleges and universities from diverse sectors and regions, to do civic-engagement and public-humanities work. Using cultural practices like oral history or photo-voice, as well as the civic pedagogies of the humanities, these partnerships will develop shared public agendas that ground the setting and solving of community issues in community voice. They may involve such significant themes as community development, wealth disparities, and environmental justice, but the agendas and action plans will be set through listening and dialogue. Some partnerships will be anchored by a single university; in others, multiple institutions may join together in regional collaboration. All the partnerships will include undergraduate students as key participants, culture-makers, and often cultural brokers.

The collaboratory will also work as a committee of the whole, communicating and convening regularly to set shared goals and values, confront common challenges, and learn together. The goal of each local project will be to develop action plans grounded in community voice and enabled by academic-community partnership. The goal of the larger collaboratory will be to distill best practices for such partnerships, to model the role of the humanities in sustaining them, and to use networked collaboration to disseminate them across higher education.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to pursue the PLACE initiative,” said David Scobey, the Director of BTtoP and Principal Investigator for The Mellon Foundation’s grant. “Its focus on the value of community engagement to higher education, and the potential contribution of higher education to community betterment, is at the heart of our mission. So is the innovative focus on the humanities as a way of fostering authentic engagement and democratic agenda-setting. And we believe strongly in the power of networked collaboration to make change in higher education. We are grateful to The Mellon Foundation and our colleagues at AAC&U for supporting this proposal, and to our partnering institutions for joining us.”

“The PLACE collaboratory serves as a model for the ways in which colleges and universities should be engaging, as anchor institutions, with the communities in which they are located. Humanities practice, at the core of this project, is more critical than ever, as we seek to bridges differences in support of the common good,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.

The participating institutions in the PLACE Collaboratory will be Rutgers University-Newark; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; five institutions in the Greensboro, North Carolina region (Elon University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro); and four institutions in the Los Angeles region (College of the Canyons, Pitzer College, the University of LaVerne, and the University of Southern California).

The PLACE Collaboratory initiative is made possible through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and in alignment with their mission to “strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.”

You can find the original version of this announcement on The Bringing Theory to Practice site at

RFP Open Until 7/25 for Participatory Grantmaking Research

We just heard about a new RFP announcement from the Ford Foundation to explore participatory grantmaking research that we want to encourage folks in our network to apply for! The Ford Foundation is looking to award individuals and organizations that are generating evidence on the benefits and challenges of participatory grantmaking, with the goal to increase these participatory practices, specifically with large legacy foundations and high-net-worth donors. They will award $300K between 5-15 grantees who show the value of participatory grantmaking and offer evidence to back it up. Deadline to have proposals in is Thursday, July 25th, and the final decision will be announced in October. Learn more about the RFP below and find the original on the Philanthropy News Digest site here.

Ford Foundation Issues RFP for Participatory Grantmaking Research

The Ford Foundation has issued a Request for Proposals from individuals and organizations that are generating evidence on the benefits and challenges of participatory grantmaking. The foundation’s goal is to increase overall willingness to test and implement participatory approaches across philanthropy, but especially in areas with lower rates of adoption such as legacy foundations and high-net-worth donors.

As documented in a recent monograph, Participatory Grantmaking: Has Its Time Come?, and GrantCraft guide, Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking, a growing number of grantmakers and donors are using participatory approaches. These include involving non-grantmakers/donors in designating funding priorities and strategies, reviewing and assessing proposals, establishing decision-making criteria, making funding decisions, and conducting evaluations. While more grantmakers and donors are embracing participatory approaches, two constituencies have been relatively slow to do so — large legacy foundations (private foundations set up to conduct grantmaking) and high-net-worth-donors (generally defined as those with more than $50 million in bankable assets).

Encouraging wider consideration of the merits of participatory approaches among these audiences will require more information that “makes the case” for participatory grantmaking, including compelling arguments about and empirical evidence of its value, benefits, outcomes, and impacts.

As part of its philanthropy portfolio, the foundation has allocated $300,000 to support research that can help make the case and build a body of evidence for participatory approaches.

Participatory grantmaking is defined as the involvement of non-grantmakers/donors in developing funding strategies; designating funding priorities; reviewing and assessing proposals; establishing decision-making criteria; making funding decisions; and conducting evaluation.

Some examples of key questions and potential areas for more exploration include but are not limited to: What value does participation add to philanthropy? How should value be measured? What are the benefits and challenges of participatory grantmaking? What are the long-term benefit and costs of doing/not doing participatory philanthropy/grantmaking? Is foundation transparency, accountability, and feedback the same as participation? What is the role of donors/experts in participatory grantmaking and what value does it have? What would a cultural ethos of participation in foundations look like?

The foundation expects to award approximately five to fifteen grants in support of proposals that provide clear and persuasive arguments and/or empirical evidence that demonstrates the value and impact of participatory grantmaking. Our overarching and driving questions are: Does participatory grantmaking lead to better/stronger philanthropic outcomes/impacts? Why, and how do we know?

What would it take? How do we know if participatory grantmaking has been successful? How do we measure success in terms of process and results on the ground? What are the effects of participatory grantmaking on the people who are participating? Does this approach strengthen the efforts of larger movements? If so, how? If not, what needs to be leveraged to make such contributions? Does participatory grantmaking promote/advance diversity, equity, and inclusion? If so, how and how do we know? If not, why? What are the practical considerations funders need to consider when implementing participatory grantmaking? Where and how does participatory grantmaking “fit” with other kinds of participatory approaches/fields? What are the similarities and differences? Are there ways in which these approaches enhance each other and, if so, how? Where does participation fit into decisions about allocating non-grant resources?

Proposals will be evaluated by the steering committee based on criteria that includes: a strong alignment between the project and the goal of the initiative; the project’s potential for advancing participatory grantmaking across philanthropy, especially among legacy foundations and high-net-worth donors. (Will it “move the needle?”); demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion; potential for or involvement of new voices; capacity to carry out the project; a plan and capacity for disseminating findings; and adequacy of the budget and timeline for the project.

Projects should be completed by April 1, 2021.

To be eligible, applicants must be an individual or organization based in the United States and focus primarily on work taking place in the United States.

The deadline for proposals is July 25, 2019, with final grant decisions to be announced in October.

For more information, a copy of the full RFP, or to submit a proposal, email In the email, please include “Participatory Grantmaking RFP” in the subject line. If submitting a proposal, be sure to include in the body of the email the project name, a one- or two-sentence description of the project, and the name, organization, address, phone number, and email address for the primary contact.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for 2019 Civvys!

Today opens the nomination period for the 2019 Civvys, a.k.a. the American Civic Collaboration Awards! This annual award is presented by NCDD member org The Bridge Alliance, and Big Tent Nation, to celebrate those individuals and organizations doing civic collaboration work that rises above political ideology. Submit your nominations by Friday, July 12th and the winner will be announced at the National Conference on Citizenship this October. You can read the details on The Civvys below and read the original version here.

The 2019 Civvys are Here – Nominate Today!

Celebrating Partnerships that Strengthen America

In its third year, the American Civic Collaboration Awards will continue to highlight outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in local, national and youth communities.

Nominations will be open from June 17 – July 12, 2019. You can nominate people, organizations or projects here.

We seek to represent the full diversity of the United States among our nominees. This includes political diversity, religious diversity, and also underrepresented groups.

We will celebrate all winners and finalists in an awards ceremony at the National Conference on Citizenship in October.

Sign up for our email list so you don’t miss any updates! Read on for more about our criteria and review committee.

Award Categories and Criteria

The Civvys celebrate best practices in civic collaboration that put community and nation before party, ideology and narrow interests. In its inaugural year, the Civvys highlighted outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in National, Local and Youth communities.

Award Categories
National: These projects are nationwide in scope and audience.
Local: These projects are designed to serve a local, state or regional community.
Youth: These projects have a focus on children, teenagers or young adults.
Political: These are campaigns, cases of collaborative leadership or election races.

We are looking for a range of projects, programs and people that use civic collaboration best practices to achieve real results in facilitating dialogue, enabling cross-partisan action, or putting civility and community above ideology. Here are some of the criteria the awards committee will consider:

Collaborative practices. To what extent does this work use civic collaboration best practices to achieve results?

Impact. Who has this work had an impact on, and in what ways?

Scalability. Is this work something that can easily be expanded to have a greater impact? Is it something that can appeal across geographic regions, or be used to effect change in other civics topics or challenges?

In addition, the Civvys celebrates programs and people that:

  • Engages a representative and diverse set of stakeholders
  • Cultivates civility and mutual respect
  • Creates meaningful shared goals for those involved, using the process of co-creation
  • Provides effective facilitation and support throughout the process
  • Develops or utilizes metrics to measure outcomes

You can find the original version this announcement on the Bridge Alliance site at

Youth Collaboratory Accepting Applications Until July 1st

For younger folks excited to build their civic power, Citizen University is accepting applications for their 2020 Youth Collaboratory cohort! The Youth Collaboratory is an exciting opportunity for 24 high school sophomores and juniors, who are passionate about civic engagement, to join this year-long program to strengthen civic literacy and network with civic leaders. Applications are due Monday, July 1st – so make sure to share with your networks and submit applications ASAP. You can read more about the Youth Collaboratory and how to apply in the post below, and find the original version of this information on Citizen University’s site here.

Empowering the Rising Generation: Youth Collaboratory

The Youth Collaboratory is a year-long program to empower and connect a rising generation of civic leaders and doers.

24 highly-motivated students from around the country will join Citizen University and travel to cities around the nation, meeting leading civic innovators, sharpening their literacy in citizen power and producing their own independent projects in their communities.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to be connected to a network of incredible change-makers and gain skills and connections for a lifetime of civic power.

In this era of economic and political inequality, the work of power literacy is especially urgent, nowhere more so than in the rising generation of young people who will be facing the consequences of today’s polarization and inequality for years to come.

Members of the Youth Collaboratory participate in interactive workshops led by Eric Liu and Citizen University educators, collaborate with Citizen U staff to develop programs to engage youth nation-wide, and individually complete projects in their communities. Each cohort meets three times, in three different locations.

Armed with the knowledge, skills, connections, and experience of the Youth Collaboratory, our diverse cohort of passionate young people will be prepared to be true leaders of civic change in America for the next generation.

The 2020 Youth Collaboratory Cohort will begin in October 2019.

Sign up on our interest form to receive information about Citizen University’s youth programs.

You can find the original version of this information on the Citizen University site at

PACE Announces Funding for Faith & Democracy Initiative

ICYMI – There is a great funding opportunity that was just announced yesterday by the Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) to fund an initiative exploring the intersection of faith and democracy. PACE is offering $300k to support 5-7 projects that investigate the question, How can faith be a means to bridge divides and foster respect and cooperation in our democracy? Those accepted will join a year-long peer Learning Community to serve as a testing lab on key questions and share learnings. RFPs are now open and applications are being accepted until July 1st. We encourage you to share this with your networks! You can read the announcement below and find the original version on the PACE site here.

Faith In/And Democracy: A Funding and Learning Initiative from PACE

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) has launched a pilot funding and learning initiative to invest in and promote engagement at the intersection of faith and democracy. The Faith In/And Democracy initiative will provide about $300,000 in grant support to 5-7 projects that explore this driving question: How can faith be a means to bridge divides and foster respect and cooperation in our democracy?  The Request for Proposals opens today; applications are open until July 1, 2019.

PACE is a community of funders that invest in the sustaining elements of democracy and civic life in the U.S.  “This exploration is a natural extension of PACE’s mission to deepen and enrich philanthropy’s support of democracy and civic life in the U.S.” said Kristen Cambell, Executive Director of PACE. “Faith communities have been a vibrant part of our civic fabric throughout the history of our nation.  With this project, we hope to uncover ways in which faith can serve to ease the divisions that plague our political, civic, and social processes.”

At this important moment in our democracy, many civic engagement funders and practitioners have redoubled efforts to bridge social and political divides.  This new initiative focuses on a largely unexplored connection point for bridge building: the power and potential of faith as a catalyst. In order to thrive, our democracy requires understanding, tolerance, and empathy across difference; this initiative seeks to uplift efforts to shift divisive perceptions of faith communities and build narratives about the power and potential of faith to bolster engagement in democracy and civic life.

While many institutions seek to engage people of faith in bridge-building and pluralism efforts, few organizations are funding specific interventions to engage people of faith in using their faith to support the well-being of democracy. Fewer still are considering the ways in which faith can serve to ease divisions that plague our political processes.  This pilot initiative led by PACE represents a meaningful step toward filling this gap. “We see this as a new mechanism of support to our members, as well as a vehicle for PACE to contribute learning and leadership to our field,” added Cambell. The initiative is inspired by PACE members and catalyzed in partnership with the Fetzer Institute and the Democracy Fund, as well as additional members of an Advisory Committee.

Embracing the exploratory nature of the initiative, a central aim of the effort is learning: in addition to funding 5-7 projects, PACE will launch a cohort-based, year-long peer Learning Community for those engaged with the initiative. This community will serve as a “laboratory” to test key questions about learning and impact, and enable us to reflect those learnings to funders, nonprofits, and our fields more broadly.

To learn more about the initiative, please visit  To access the full RFP and to apply, click here.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the PACE site at