Areas of Focus
Democracy Fund strengthens and defends democracy through three core programs and a number of term-limited special projects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
BlogAs the United States continues to reckon with the crack in its foundation, the legacy of slavery, our institutions are making small steps to finally…
BlogPart of “Stewards of Democracy,” a series on findings from the 2020 Democracy Fund/Reed College Survey of Local Election Officials In the wake of a…
BlogLast year, we published “Dear Funders: What Does it Mean to Care About Equity in Journalism?” where we outlined three priorities for foundations seeking to…
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.
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.