Areas of Focus
Democracy Fund strengthens and defends democracy through three core programs and a number of term-limited special projects.
Free and Fair Elections
Voting is the single most significant way Americans exercise our political power. Every eligible citizen should have an equal opportunity to participate in elections that are free and fair, as well as efficient and secure. Implementing accessible and trustworthy elections is an immense undertaking, but the American election system is also challenged by persistent barriers to voting for historically excluded communities and beset by unprecedented new threats. Our Elections program works toward a strong and modern voting system that increases voter confidence and engagement.
Effective, Representative, and Accountable Governance
American democracy depends on a government that represents the interests of the people in all of our diversity — one that is prepared to act on our behalf and that is held accountable when it does not. However, extreme polarization limits our ability to achieve shared priorities. Partisan politics and significant institutional decline have led to government dysfunction and gridlock. Our Governance program promotes the principled leadership and strong institutions our governing system needs to act in the interests of the American people.
A Vibrant and Diverse Public Square
No matter where they live or who they are, Americans should be able to get the news and information they need to engage in civic life and to use their voices without fear of being harassed or silenced. The rapidly evolving media landscape presents new challenges and opportunities for our communities. Our Public Square program responds by supporting trustworthy local news and investigative reporting, more equitable newsrooms, press freedom, community engagement, and digital spaces that advance democracy, not hate.
A Just and Inclusive Society
Just and Inclusive Society is a special project that brings diverse organizations and groups together to work for a common good, create safe and secure communities, decrease polarization, develop a sense of shared identity, and defend Constitutional norms under attack.
Democracy Fund supports a wide array of inspiring grantees. We identify grantees through ongoing research and network building, and regularly re-evaluate our grantmaking strategy based on what we learn from these partners. We do not accept unsolicited proposals.
Resources for Funders
We can’t do this work alone. Democracy Fund is committed to partnering with a broad group of peer funders to develop strategy, create alignment, and dedicate pooled resources to support the field. We make our team of experts available to assist other foundations and philanthropists in learning about the issues facing democracy and in developing their funding strategies.Find out how to take action
Along with some of the nation’s largest grantmakers and philanthropists, Democracy Fund participates in a series of joint funds that leverage additional financial support, reduce the burden on grantees, and move resources to the field quickly and efficiently. When there’s a gap in the field, we partner with others to launch new funds.Support our joint funds
Our Latest Ideas See all Ideas
Legal Clinic Fund Expands Support for Local Newsrooms with Five New Grants to First Amendment ClinicsAs law students across the country return to the classroom, many are also putting their education to work through legal clinics where they can help…
BlogDemocracy Fund seeks to develop leaders among Capitol Hill staff so that policymaking and Congress reflect the diversity of our country. For me, this is…
BlogThis November, the United States will hold an election amidst a pandemic that has claimed over 180,000 American lives. Religious leaders can play a crucial…
Take a Deeper Dive
Local News Lab, electionline, and Voter Study Group are Democracy Fund initiatives that provide original, curated information on sustainable local journalism, election administration, and the changing views of the American electorate.
Who We Are
Democracy Fund is an independent and nonpartisan, private foundation that confronts deep-rooted challenges in American democracy while defending against new threats. Since 2014, we have made grants of more than $150 million in support of those working to strengthen our democracy through the pursuit of a vibrant and diverse public square, free and fair elections, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society.