Tools for Understanding Foundations, Funding, and the Democratic Process

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A new platform developed by the Foundation Center aims to show how foundations in the United States are supporting efforts to engage the public in the democratic process. The nonpartisan resource, “Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy,” provides data about foundations and their democracy-related grant work. The interactive platform shows where funders are providing support across several key areas in the democratic process: campaign and election processes; governing institutions and processes; information and media; and public engagement and voting.

The tool offers mapping, charting, and filtering features to help users gain a deeper understanding of the democracy funding landscape by putting information about funders and funding flows at their fingertips. Users can explore funding for a diverse set of initiatives that range from improving the election process, to encouraging deeper understanding of government spending, to providing the public with access to media, and fostering civic engagement, among other activities.

Using the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set for 2011 (which captures over half of U.S. foundation giving that year), along with partial but growing sets of data for 2012 and 2013, this free resource provides information for the field in an interactive, customizable application at