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.

Mission

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.

Values

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. 

Member Organizations

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.

 

Summer Fund II
Thornburg Foundation

 

History

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.

Staff

Eric Marshall

Executive Director
emarshall@funderscommittee.orgEric is responsible for ensuring that FCCP is innovative, efficient and effective at achieving its goals of supporting a smarter, more connected and expanded field of nonpartisan civic engagement grantmakers. His work superpower is his ability to bring together diverse leaders in coalition to achieve mutual goals. Read More…

Alexis Anderson-Reed

Deputy Director
aandersonreed@funderscommittee.orgAlexis leads FCCP’s efforts to deliver top-notch programming to help our members be more effective with their grantmaking. Her work superpower is “Empathy and Connection” – she wants to understand our members’ thoughts and feelings and create spaces to build a stronger community for our members. Read More…

Keely Monroe

Democracy Program Manager
kmonroe@funderscommittee.orgKeely is responsible for the strategic implementation and management of FCCP’s Funders Census Initiative and Money in Politics working groups. Her work super power is as a “connector” - connecting people, connecting ideas, and building relationships to create change. Read More…

Ashish Sinha

Program Manager
asinha@funderscommittee.orgAshish is responsible for the development and implementation of programming to help support the network’s continued work in civic engagement. Ashish’s superpower is "Tech Wizardry." If he could spend all day talking to you about nonprofit technology, he would, but we’ve managed to remind him he has other work to do. Read More…

Eduardo Zerbe

Communications + Program Coordinator
ezerbe@funderscommittee.orgEduardo is responsible for using our communications platforms and monthly webinars to best support the work of our members. His work super power is his ability to consider multiple perspectives on an issue, understanding all sides while trying to move forward productively. Read More…

Alex Perez-Puelles

Operations Coordinator
aperezpuelles@funderscommittee.orgAlex provides support to the whole FCCP team to ensure the efficiency of internal processes. She is a rapid learner who will not quit until she fully masters the task at hand. Her superpower is ‘Adaptability’ which helps keep ever-changing deadlines from phasing her and allows Alex to switch from budgets to event planning in a moment’s notice. Read More…

Advisory Board

Steven Cole-Schwartz, Co-chair

The Partnership Funds
The Partnership Funds are a funding collaborative that works with grantmakers and state leaders to build independent political power in order to win change in the lives of individuals, families and communities. Read More…

Carmen Lopez-Wilson

Thornburg Foundation
Carmen Lopez-Wilson is the Good Government Reforms Policy Officer at the Thornburg Foundation, which seeks to reduce the influence of money in politics. Read More…

Jesse Beason

Northwest Health Foundation
Jesse Beason leads the Northwest Health Foundation’s work in communications, public policy, government relations and partnership development. Read More…

Denise Cardinal

WIN Minnesota
Denise Cardinal is Executive Director of WIN Minnesota and held several positions with progressive candidates, causes and campaigns including Senator Al Franken (D-MN) in his 2014 re-election and the successful 2010 IE effort credited with DFL Governor Mark Dayton’s victory. Read More…

Scott Nielsen

Arabella Advisors
Scott Nielsen joined Arabella Advisors in 2015 as the firm’s first managing director of advocacy, bringing decades of experience designing, executing, and evaluating strategies for achieving policy reform and social change. Read More…

Christine Reeves-Strigaro

The Sapelo Foundation
Christine Reeves Strigaro is the Executive Director of The Sapelo Foundation, a private family foundation in Savannah, GA with a mission to: “promote progressive social change affecting vulnerable populations, rural communities, and the natural environment in the state of Georgia.” By aligning all philanthropic assets, tools, partnerships, and creativity, The Sapelo Foundation catalyzes solutions for systemic problems and lifts up Georgia as a destination for leadership, collaboration, ideas, and solutions. Read More…

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