The Gephardt Institute’s Civic Engagement Fund cultivates community engagement initiatives that strengthen communities. Through Capacity Building Grants, Small Change Grants, and Need-Based Grants, all members of the WashU community may request funding and support for their proposed initiatives.
Three Grant Categories are Available:
- Capacity-Building Grants for St. Louis projects and Community-Engaged Teaching courses ($500-$5000)
- Small Change Grants for community projects, special events, and educational experiences (Up to $500)
- Need-Based Grants for individuals with high financial need (Up to $250)
All funding proposals should align with Gephardt Institute Goals:
- Catalyze civic engagement among students, staff, faculty, and alumni
- Foster student learning, engagement, and leadership in civic life
- Support faculty excellence and impact through community-engaged teaching and engaged scholarship
- Serve as a university convener for campus and community groups in St. Louis, facilitating partnerships, dialogue, and volunteer assistance
Successful proposals should uphold Gephardt Institute and Washington University values for community engagement:
- Develop community partnerships that are mutually beneficial and reciprocal
- Promote civic agency
- Engage in data-driven decision making
- Cultivate a sense of community belonging
- All applications are expected to align with the mission, vision, and goals of the Gephardt Institute.
- Complete a proposal review meeting if the grant application is for a Service Trip, Small Change, or St. Louis Project.
- Applications are due at 5:00pm on each deadline date; late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Decisions will be announced within 4 weeks after the deadline.
The following request categories are ineligible, unless the applicant is eligible for Need-Based Grants.
- Internships or practica
- Retroactive funding
- Funds and goods intended for philanthropic donation
- 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.
- Funding for departments and registered student groups may be provided through Inter-Department transfers in advance of project completion, pending department approval.
- Check (or direct deposit) reimbursements will be available 20 business days after submission of acceptable receipts and documentation.
- Receipts must be submitted within 20 business days following project completion, unless written approval of an extension is received from Gephardt Institute staff.
- Late receipts will not be approved for payment, and total grant amounts will be reduced accordingly.
- 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.
- Written indication of grant support from the Gephardt Institute in project and publicity materials.
- Written report within 30 days of project/course completion (maximum 1500 words), reflecting on project outcomes, learning experiences, and how grant recipient(s) will apply the experience to future endeavors.
- Contribution of project photos that may be used in Gephardt Institute print and online materials.
- Participation in meetings, trainings, and assessments requested by the Gephardt Institute.
- For group-based or department-based initiatives, participation in Community Counts Inventory will be required.
If you have any questions, please contact Jocelyn Meraz, the Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator, at CivicEngagementFund@wustl.edu