The Civic Engagement Fund provides funding and support for initiatives that cultivate community engagement. Opportunities have ranged from the implementation of a health and wellness program to the creation of an interactive art wall to encourage public dialogue.

All members of the WashU community are encouraged to apply. 

Four grant categories are available:

  • Grants for St. Louis Projects:
    • Community Planning Grants (up to $1,000)
      • Application deadline: March 8
    • Community Partnership Grants (up to $5,000)
      • Application deadline: March 8
  • Course Development Grants: (faculty only) to support faculty with Community-Engaged Courses (up to $5,000)
    • Application deadline: March 8
  • Small Change Grants: for community projects, special events, and educational experiences (up to $500)
    • Application deadline: March 8
  • Community Engagement Opportunity Fund(students only) for students with high financial need to support St. Louis projects (amounts vary) 
    • Submissions reviewed on a rolling basis

Application Process: 

Application Procedures


  1. All applications are expected to align with the mission and goals of the Gephardt Institute.
  2. Complete and online letter of intent form
  3. Complete a proposal review meeting.
  4. Applications are due at 5:00 pm on each deadline date; late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  5. Decisions will be announced within 4 weeks after each deadline.

Ineligible Requests

The following request categories are ineligible, unless the applicant is eligible for Community Engagement Opportunity Fund grants:

  1. Internships or practica
  2. Retroactive funding
  3. Funds and goods intended for philanthropic donation

Funding Procedures

  1. Funding is provided to individuals in the form of reimbursement upon submission of itemized receipts and successful progress and/or completion of the proposed initiative.
  2. Funding for departments and registered student groups may be provided through Inter-Department transfers in advance of project completion, pending department approval.
  3. Check (or direct deposit) reimbursements will be available 20 business days after submission of acceptable receipts and documentation.
  4. Receipts must be submitted within 20 business days following project completion, unless written approval of an extension is received from Gephardt Institute staff.
  5. Late receipts will not be approved for payment, and total grant amounts will be reduced accordingly.

Expectations of Recipients

  1. Responsible representation of Washington University and adherence to university judicial code, local and national laws, and high ethical standards for the full duration of project planning and implementation.
  2. Written indication of grant support from the Gephardt Institute in project and publicity materials.
  3. Written report within 30 days of project/course completion (maximum 1,500 words), reflecting on project outcomes, learning experiences, and how grant recipient(s) will apply the experience to future endeavors.
  4. Contribution of project photos that may be used in Gephardt Institute print and online materials.
  5. Participation in meetings, trainings, and assessments requested by the Gephardt Institute.
  6. For group-based or department-based initiatives, participation in Community Counts Inventory will be required.

All funding proposals should align with Gephardt Institute goals and the university's values for community engagement:

Institute Goals

  • Educate students for lifelong engaged citizenship
  • Catalyze partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities
  • Infuse civic engagement throughout the WashU experience

Gephardt Institute staff will host a series of optional sessions for those seeking to learn more and to discuss project ideas:

  • Civic Engagement Fund open hours: 3-5pm on February 27 in DUC 150
  • Civic Engagement Fund proposal workshops: 1-3pm on January 25 in DUC 150

If you have any questions, please contact our Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator: