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)
      • Application deadlines: November 15, March 20
    • Community Partnership Grants (up to $5,000)
      • 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)
    • Application deadlines: November 15, March 20

*The Opportunity Fund provides funding for students from under-resourced socio-economic backgrounds who may need support for transportation, resources, or community engagement. Please contact the Office for Student Success for more information.

Application Process: 

Application Procedures


  1. Complete an online letter of intent form.
  2. Complete a proposal review meeting.
  3. Applications are due at 5:00 pm on each deadline date; late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  4. 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. 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.
  4. Contribution of project photos that may be used in Gephardt Institute print and online materials.
  5. 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: