Civic Engagement Fund

The Gephardt Institute’s Civic Engagement Fund cultivates community engagement initiatives that strengthen communities. Through St. Louis Projects Grants, Community-Engaged Teaching Grants, Common Ground Grants, Small Change Grants, and Need-Based Grants, all members of the WashU community may request funding and support for their proposed initiatives.

5 Grant Categories are Available:

  • St. Louis Projects Grants for substantial initiatives in the St. Louis region with clearly defined community partnerships (Up to $5,000)
  • Community-Engaged Teaching Grants (faculty only) support faculty with community-engaged courses and initiatives (Up to $5,000)
  • Common Ground Grants for developing strategies to repair, address, and prevent polarization at Washington University and in the St. Louis community (Up to $1,000)
  • Small Change Grants for community projects, special events, and educational experiences (Up to $500)
  • Need-Based Grants (students only) for students with high financial need (Up to $250)

All funding proposals should align with Gephardt Institute goals:

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

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

Application Procedures

  1. All applications are expected to align with the mission, vision, and goals of the Gephardt Institute.
  2. Complete a proposal review meeting if the grant application is for a Common Ground, Small Change or St. Louis Project Grant.
  3. Applications are due at 5:00pm on each deadline date; late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  4. Decisions will be announced within 4 weeks after the deadline.

Ineligible Requests

The following request categories are ineligible, unless the applicant is eligible for Need-Based Grants.

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

  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.

  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.


Deadlines for 2017-2018 Academic Year:

November 15, 2017 February 15, 2018 April 15, 2018
St. Louis Projects X X
Community-Engaged Teaching X X
Common Ground Rolling Basis Rolling Basis Rolling Basis
Small Change X X X
Need-Based Rolling Basis Rolling Basis Rolling Basis

If you have any questions, please contact the Civic Engagement Fund Coordinator, at