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 the democratic process. We serve leaders in the philanthropic community working to further this vision with heightened attention to sociopolitical inequity and the systemic disenfranchisement of underrepresented communities. FCCP values transparency, encourages a diversity of opinion, bases our work on sound research, and encourages experimentation to improve impact.
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. From advancing voter registration efforts in the 1980s, to supporting campaign finance reform in the 1990s, to investing in new voting technologies and election administration reform in the 2000s, FCCP has served as a catalyst for philanthropy’s growing civic engagement community. Today, we work to build an effective network of grantmakers who are passionate about realizing our collective vision of a vibrant and inclusive democracy for all.
Through member-driven and field-informed programming, FCCP provides funders with a community in which to build connections, exchange ideas, showcase innovations, and collaborate to make smart funding decisions. Our members support non-partisan efforts to engage voters, eliminate structural barriers to voting, advance reforms to improve government and electoral systems, and increase public involvement in civic life. Our signature programs for grantmakers include an annual convening, regular virtual discussions, working groups that focus on a range of key issue topics, and member-only meetings.
Theory of Impact
In February 2017, FCCP staff and Advisory Board came together to ask a critical question: how can FCCP be what the field needs at this moment? This prompt, which continued a common thread from previous strategic planning retreats, highlighted the need to both continue to provide high-quality educational content and outreach as well as move towards a more impact-oriented network strategy. After years of working from an implied theory, the organization went through an extensive process with the membership to develop an explicit and transparent theory of impact.
Now, as we develop our programming and structure our membership activity, we are guided by our theory and the vision: FCCP seeks a society where impacted communities have the POWER to make a difference on issues that affect their lives, a CULTURE OF PARTICIPATION that inspires their engagement, and an OPEN + EQUITABLE DEMOCRACY which offers meaningful opportunities to exercise their voice.
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.