Mission and Origin

The Civic Participation Action Fund is a non-partisan 501(c)4 grantmaking organization created by a grant from the Atlantic Advocacy Fund, an arm of the Atlantic Philanthropies. We fund projects and organizations that promote racial equality, expand civic engagement and increase economic opportunity for low income communities and communities of color throughout the United States.

We work largely with communities that have been left out of the political process to help them gain a stronger, more influential voice in elections and in the legislative process. We believe that engaging low income people and people of color in voting and grassroots advocacy will contribute to policy change that is more responsive to their needs and interests and to a better functioning democracy.

We look for funding opportunities that drive policy wins. CPAF funds issue campaigns and grassroots lobbying, including communications support for policy advocacy. We also fund base building activities that increase the civic engagement of low income and communities of color.

While we recognize the importance of building strong advocacy organizations, we do not fund capacity building efforts. We operate at the national, state and local level; wherever there are opportunities to win and to advance our policy and civic participation goals.

We are especially interested in partnering with other funders to expand the pool of (c)4 resources and to improve the efficient use of all available resources dedicated to policy advocacy. Projects for which we can find matching (c)4 funds from either national or local funders are given priority.

We believe advocacy is urgent. We need funders to step up and eliminate lobbying restrictions on their grantees if we want to make real change on the issues we care about.

Our grantmaking is by invitation only. Because we operate with a very small staff, we do not have the resources to respond to unsolicited proposals.