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Deadline: July 1, 2019

PACE: Faith And Democracy Grant

PACE (Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement)  is a community of funders that invests in the sustaining elements of democracy and civic life in the United States. PACE’s mission is to deepen and enrich philanthropy’s practice and support of democracy and to amplify the importance of philanthropic investment in civic engagement. PACE is launching the Faith And Democracy Grant as a pilot initiative to invest in and promote engagement at the intersection of faith and democracy. PACE recognizes faith as a practice of religion or spirituality, whether organized through a formal congregation or not. Democracy is recognized as encompassing the breadth of civic life, including individuals’ participation in both the process of ensuring representative government and the practice of self-governance. The initiative is about exploring how engagement in civic life can contribute to people’s faith in democracy as a system, as well as the ways faith influences how people contribute to civil society.

PACE will provide catalytic support to advance initiatives that elevate how faith can support democracy and civic life. The pilot is intended to inspire engagement by people and communities of faith in supporting the well-being of democracy, and to consider the ways in which faith can serve to ease divisions that plague our political, civic, and social processes.

PACE embraces the experimental nature of the pilot as an opportunity for innovation in funding and in learning. To maximize that potential, in addition to funding projects from across the country, PACE will organize and support a learning community for the pilot’s grantees, funders, and advisors. The Learning Community will be a laboratory to test framing questions (below) and a vehicle to enhance participants’ knowledge, skills, relationships, and networks. It will also support thoughtful evaluation of the pilot’s value and success.

Given the interest in learning from projects in addition to funding them, PACE is articulating some framing questions. The central question is: How can faith be a means to bridge divides and foster respect and cooperation in democracy? Additionally, PACE seeks applications that will help examine the following interrelated questions:

  • How do communities of faith, religion, and/or spirituality prepare and train leaders to support democratic values and civic institutions?
  • What would it look like to have an effective multi-ethnic, religiously pluralistic democracy?
  • How can intra- and interfaith dialogue lead to actions that enhance civic life?
  • How do leaders reach “beyond the choir” to include participants who are not comfortable with or amenable to talking across difference?
  • How does faith intersect with other identifiers such as race, class, and gender, and how do those identities taken collectively influence participation in civic life?
  • What means, methods, and tools have faith, religious, or spiritual communities used successfully to bridge difference and foster cooperation and civic engagement?

Amount: A total of $300,000 is available to make 5-7 awards ranging from $20,000-$50,000.

Eligibility: 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 both teachers and learners, building relationships and mapping connections within this emerging field, and supporting evaluation of the pilot’s value and success. This will require 2-3 days (including travel) away from grantee’s 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.

Link: https://pace.submittable.com/submit/140681/faith-in-and-democracy-grant-application

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