Civic participation – the active engagement of people in the decision-making processes that shape their communities and their lives – is critical to a healthy society. In fact, we only realize the full promise of democracy when people participate; when all segments of a community have fair and equal access to institutions of government and meaningful opportunities to voice their opinions about important issues driving the public policy agenda.
The Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) is an innovative and thought-provoking network that shares an underlying conviction that all people deserve a voice in our democratic process. We serve leaders in the philanthropic community working to further this vision with heightened attention to issues of equity and historically disenfranchised and underrepresented communities. Our members support non-partisan efforts to engage voters, eliminate structural barriers to voting, advance reforms to improve government and electoral systems, and inspire public involvement in civic life.
FCCP provides funders with a community in which to build connections, a stage for showcasing innovations, a forum for strategic dialogue and collaboration, and a resource for civic participation research and tools. We work to build a more effective network of grantmakers who are passionate about realizing our collective vision of a vibrant and inclusive democracy for all.
FCCP has a particular focus on ensuring that traditionally marginalized communities have equal access to participation and decision-making in the democratic process. We value fairness and equal opportunity. We are inclusive and respect every member’s voice. FCCP models transparency and encourages a diversity of opinions. We base our work on sound research and encourage experimentation to prove impact.
Theory of Impact
In February 2017, FCCP staff and Advisory Board came together to dig into a critical question, how can FCCP be what the field needs in this moment? This prompt, which continued a common thread through previous strategic planning retreats, centers on how it can continue to provide high-quality educational content and outreach, but move to a more impact- oriented network. Throughout 2017, the organization took multiple steps to become a more modern, professional, and high impact affinity group which will better enable it to achieve its long-term goals in subsequent years.
FCCP has worked from an implied theory for many years, but in 2017, the organization made it explicit and transparent. Throughout the first half of 2017, FCCP drew on the experience and collective wisdom of its membership to bolster and evolve the framework. This theory is the second iteration and incorporates extensive feedback provided at our 2017 convening via focus groups and one-on-one conversations with members. Learn more about our Theory of Impact here.
FCCP is a Council on Foundations-recognized philanthropic affinity group with nearly 90 institutional members and dozens of additional philanthropic colleagues that regularly participate in its programming. We welcome all grantmaking institutions that are interested in democratic change issues or civic engagement strategies and who have demonstrated through their grantmaking that their values align with our mission.
Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Aspen Institute
Brett Family Foundation
California Endowment California Donor Table
California Wellness Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Dancing Heart Consulting
Doris and Victor Day Foundation
East Bay Community Foundation
Educational Foundation of America
Gaia Fund General Service Foundation
The Grove Foundation
Hull Family Foundation
Imagine North Carolina First
Irving Harris Foundation
James Irvine Foundation
Kansas Health Foundation
Kresge Foundation Leland Fikes Foundation
Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund
Marguerite Casey Foundation
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
National Education Association
New Media Ventures
Northwest Health Foundation
Open Society Foundations
The Partnership Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rockefeller Family Fund
San Francisco Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation Solidago Foundation Stoneman Family Foundations
FCCP sprung from the visionary efforts of a small group of grantmakers that began gathering in the early 80s to discuss how to boost voting among America’s most disenfranchised communities. What began as the “Ad Hoc Funders’ Committee for Voter Registration and Education” soon crystallized into the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation when the organization was officially founded in 1983.
Since those early days, FCCP has served as a critical catalyst for philanthropy’s growing civic engagement community. Our network advanced effective voter registration efforts in the ‘80s; supported campaign finance reform in the ‘90s; and invested in new voting technologies and election-administration reforms in the 2000s, a time when it also popularized year-round “integrated voter engagement” as a winning strategy for building power and achieving policy impact. In the ‘10s FCCP mobilized funders around the census, redistricting and building state-based civic engagement infrastructure. Today, we serve a mature and diverse community of grantmakers committed to working more strategically together to address the systemic inequities that keep marginalized communities from having a lasting voice in our democracy.
Through our member-driven and field-informed programming, FCCP keeps its network of grantmakers educated, connected and equipped to make smart funding decisions. Always nonpartisan, our signature programs for grantmakers include an annual convening, monthly “First Monday” and other virtual discussions; working groups that focus on range of key issue topics; and member-only meetings. FCCP adapts its programming year-to-year to respond to the needs of its evolving network and the field, election cycles and trends in civic engagement.