The Democracy Fund focuses on principled leadership and an effective Congress. We believe leaders in Washington can rise above their differences and find common ground to address the greatest challenges facing our country. Stronger working relationships across the aisle can cultivate mutual respect and make productive negotiation possible. Changes to the rules that affect how Congress operates can create new incentives to work together and elected officials can demonstrate that it is possible to govern without abandoning core principles or ignoring substantive disagreements.
Today, American politics is characterized by gridlock that paralyzes our political institutions. This dysfunction contributes to voter disillusionment with the system and divides the public. Although polarization is likely to persist, we must find ways to reduce hyper-partisanship and ensure that our governing institutions perform and address vital problems. The Democracy Fund seeks to foster better, more trusting relationships among political leaders and encourage greater civility to increase their capacity to work together to solve problems.
Grantees include the Aspen Institute’s Congressional Program and Rodel Fellowships, Faith & Politics Institute, Millennial Action Project, and the National Institute for Civil Discourse — organizations that find creative ways to forge bonds between leaders and create space for bipartisan dialogue. Other grantees, such as the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Congressional Management Foundation, and the OpenGov Foundation provide policies and tools to increase the capacity of Congress to govern and engage the public.