Proteus Fund

Proteus Fund ~ Johnson Foundation
Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

announce a Democracy Agenda Project Funder Strategy Session on


September 10-11, 2007 ~ Wingspread Conference Center ~ Racine, Wisconsin

In collaboration with PACE, FCCP and other civic participation funders, Proteus Fund has conducted a research project exploring whether an integrated, comprehensive approach to democracy issues could be more effective than single-issue or sectoral approaches. The Democracy Agenda Project has examined linkages and gaps among areas in the field, including structural reform to elections, lowering barriers to participation, deliberative and shared governance approaches to democracy and campaign finance reform.

The two-day Wingspread conference provides an unparalleled opportunity for a small group of funders to thoughtfully consider the results of this research in dialogue with practitioners and colleagues who are pioneering more holistic grantmaking approaches and to discuss emerging funding strategies for systems change. Our goal is to collectively identify the most effective current approaches and funding strategies and the most promising experiments in the field that are working to better integrate a more holistic democracy agenda. The conference culminates an eight-month research process that has included:

  • Review of literature in the field
  • Extensive interviews with advocates, analysts, journalists, academics, independent scholars, elected officials, legal advocates, pollsters, deliberative democracy and social capital practitioners, individual donors and foundation funders
  • Two-day convening hosted by the Joyce Foundation, of practitioners, scholars and advocates to envision a systems approach to changing our democracy system
  • Case studies of integrated democracy work in Minnesota, North Carolina and California
  • A report summarizing the research and detailing emerging approaches in the field and possible funding strategies, which will be disseminated before the conference