What We Do
Democracy Fund champions the leaders and organizations who defend democracy and challenge our political system to be more open and just. We play many roles in service of the field of democracy reform, but first and foremost we are a funder, a philanthropic advisor, and an advocate.
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.
Are you a Democracy Fund grantee? Log in to our Portal for valuable tools and information or find instructions for creating an account.
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
Democracy Fund Statement on the Passing of Common Cause President Karen Hobert FlynnDemocracy Fund mourns the loss of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. Her role as a staunch democracy defender over the past four decades and…
Democracy Fund’s New Digital Democracy StrategyWe wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us. - Freedom’s Journal, 1827 In April 2022, Democracy Fund announced our…
Learning From Five Years of Public Square Program WorkTo inform Democracy Fund’s Public Square team strategy planning in 2022, we commissioned an evaluation of our program from 2016-2021. Our evaluation and learning partner,…
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.
Examining and delivering insights on the evolving views of American voters.Voter Study Group
Creating new kinds of collaboration between journalists, newsrooms, and communities.Local News Lab
America’s only source for politics-free news about our nation’s elections.electionline
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.