2015 Engagement Grant Opportunity

If you have a public engagement project that could use some financial support, now is the time to apply for the eighth annual Davenport Institute Public Engagement Grant Program!  This year we will be awarding up to $50,000 in funded consulting services to California cities, counties, special districts, and civic organizations looking to conduct legitimate public processes on issues ranging from budgets to land use to public safety to water policy.

The Grants are made possible through funding from the James Irvine Foundation’s California Democracy Program. We anticipate awarding 2-4 grants with a minimum individual grant amount of $5,000 and a maximum individual grant amount of $20,000. 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 amongst administrative and elected officials.

The deadline for the  2015 Public Engagement Grant is  Monday, September 14.

Here are some FAQs:

Q1: Does the proposed public process need to occur immediately?

A: No. Most of our granted projects have taken place within one year of the application date.

Q2: Can we recommend a facilitator or web platform to receive support from the Grant Program?

A: Yes. Again, the purpose of our grants is to fund participatory (as opposed to “PR”) projects. Of course, we’d like to interview your recommended facilitator, but we’ve worked with designated consultants before. This actually helps us build our own “rolodex” of consultants!

Q3: Is the Davenport training an added expense?

A: No. Training for the grant recipient is now an integral part of the Grant Program, and is offered as part of the grant. All expenses – including travel – are assumed by Davenport.

Q4: How many grantees do you anticipate this year?

A: We tend to support between 2-4  grantees each year with the Grant Program.

Q5: Do you support “capacity building” efforts like “block captain”, “neighborhood watch”, “citizen academy”?

A: No. As a practice, the grants are intended to support actual public projects around “live” issues – from budgets to land use. We find with the training added, these grants build “civic capacity” through actual engagement. 

The criteria are straightforward and the online application form is easy.

After reviewed by members of our Advisory Council, our 2015 grantees will be announced by early October.

Please feel free to contact Ashley Trim 310-506-6878 with any questions.

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