Grants Supporting Public Engagement
Annual Public Engagement Grant Program
Made possible through funding from the James Irvine Foundation's California Democracy Fund, the Davenport Institute Public Engagement Grants seek to support communities by offering funded-service grants to offset the cost of consultants and outside facilitators in designing and implementing a vibrant civic engagement process.
From difficult budget decisions to tough land use problems, municipal and civic institutions are recognizing that legitimately engaging their citizens - from discovering their informed opinions to inviting their participation in actual solutions - should be a pragmatic priority. Still, the tight budgets that most require these public discussions can also preclude them when municipalities decide that engaging residents is just "too expensive."
Starting in 2008 (then conducted through Common Sense California), our grants have been used to support communities from Humboldt County to San Diego and from San Francisco to Riverside. After a brief hiatus in 2016, we are back for our 9th year of grantmaking.
This year we will be prioritizing diverse and low-income communities, and focusing on providing additional support throughout the process. For that reason, we will offer fewer grants this year, but with a higher possible award-per grant. We anticipate awarding 1-3 grants with a minimum grant amount of $10,000 and a maximum grant of $50,000. Prior to beginning their public engagement campaign, grantees will receive training and consultation from the Davenport Institute to build understanding and support for the civic engagement effort among both administrative staff and elected officials.