Faith In/And Democracy: A Funding and Learning Initiative – United States

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Deadline: 1 July 2019

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.

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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?

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.

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 learning to funders, nonprofits, and our fields more broadly.

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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.”

Funding Information

The size of the pool is $300,000, and Pace anticipates 5-7 awards. The size of each grant will be variable with an anticipated range of $20,000 – $50,000.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • Qualified applicants must be (or be fiscally sponsored by) 501(c)(3) public charities that do not participate in partisan political campaigns and do not conduct substantial lobbying activities.
  • Grantees will be asked to designate a project lead to participate in the project’s Learning Community, comprised of other grantee representatives and PACE partners and advisors.
  • The objectives of the Learning Community include creating an environment of mutuality where all participants are teachers and learners, probing central questions in this initiative, building relationships and mapping connections within this emerging field, and supporting thoughtful evaluation of the pilot’s value and success.
  • This will require 2-3 days (including travel) away from grantee’s own community twice during the grant year—on November 5-6, 2019 and in September or October 2020. A stipend to cover both time and travel expenses will be included in the award.

PACE will prioritize: 

  • organizations that demonstrate a history of collaboration and partnership,
  • programming co-designed with and demonstrating leadership from the communities served and engaged,
  • programming that helps us answer our framing questions,
  • programming that addresses issues of marginalization and inequity, and
  • organizations that demonstrate a track record of fiscal responsibility.

How to Apply

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Applicants can apply via given website.

For more information, please visit http://www.pacefunders.org/faith-in-and-democracy/

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