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. 

Three grant categories are available:

  • Grants for St. Louis Projects:
    • Community Planning Grants (up to $1,000)
      • Letter of Intent Deadlines: November 1, March 6
      • Application deadlines: November 15, March 20
    • Community Partnership Grants (up to $5,000)
      • Letter of Intent deadline: March 6
      • Application deadline: March 20
  • Course Development Grants: (faculty only) to support faculty with Community Engaged Courses (up to $5,000)
    • Application deadlines: October 15, March 15
  • Small Change Grants: for community projects, special events, and educational experiences (up to $500)
    • Letter of Intent Deadlines: November 1, March 6
    • Application deadlines: November 15, March 20

The Civic Engagement Opportunity Fund provides funding for students from under-resourced socio-economic backgrounds who may need financial assistance in order to secure transportation or purchase resources related to community and civic engagement. Please contact the Office for Student Success or see here for more information.

Application Process: 

Submit a Letter of Intent

Submit a Letter of Intent providing a brief description of your project and goals. Letter of Intents are due two weeks before the official application deadline.

Note: Course Development Grant applicants are not required to submit a letter of intent.

Attend a Proposal Review Meeting

A Proposal Review meeting is a meeting between the applicant and grant chair. This meeting allows the applicant to ask any questions they might have, receive feedback on their Letter of Intent, and deepen their understanding of civic engagement. The Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator will reach out to the applicant in order to set up this meeting.

Proposal Review meetings must be completed up to one week before the official application deadline.

Submit a Final Application

Finally, submit an application for your grant of choice. This final application should build off of the Letter of Intent and Proposal Review Meeting, and show a thorough understanding of the project and impact. Applications are due at 5:00 PM on each deadline date; late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Decisions are then announced up to four weeks after this deadline.


Funding Procedures

Funding for Students

  • 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.
  • Receipts must be submitted within 20 business days following project completion, unless written approval of an extension is received from Gephardt Institute staff.
  • Check (or direct deposit) reimbursements will be available 20 business days after submission of acceptable receipts and documentation.

Funding for Faculty and Staff

  • Funding for departments may be provided through Inter-Department transfers in advance of project completion, pending department approval.

Ineligible Requests

The following request categories are ineligible:

  • Internships or practica
  • Retroactive funding
  • Funds and goods intended for philanthropic donation

Expectations of Recipients

  • 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.
  • Completion of summary report form within 30 days of project/course completion, 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 any meetings, trainings, and assessments that may be requested by the Gephardt Institute.

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

Questions? Contact the Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator: