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Davenport Institute’s 2012 grants for CA public engagement

Here are some details about the 2012 Public Engagement Grant Program run by the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University (formerly Common Sense California). The grant is open to municipalities and civic organizations in California.  This year, the Davenport Institute will be awarding 2-4 grants, with a maximum individual grant amount of $20,000 for a total of around $50,000 in funded consulting services.

Prior to beginning their public engagement campaign, grantees will receive training and consultation from the Davenport Institute to build understanding and support for the civic engagement effort among administrative and elected officials.

The grant will fund a professional consultant(s) to work with grantees on facilitated public forums.  Davenport senior staff and consultants will work with grantees to design the sessions, and will facilitate deliberations among residents, stakeholders and government representatives.

The Davenport Institute supports and promotes public participation as a way of developing more creative and sustainable policy decisions, and more engaged and informed citizens. Through its Citizen Engagement Grants and other programs, the Institute helps California local government make more informed, creative decisions, while they provide their residents with the “space” necessary to practice the difficult job of self-governance. You can connect with NCDD member Pete Peterson (director of the Institute) if you have questions about this opportunity.

Information, Selection Process & Criteria

Who May Apply?

The grant is open to municipalities and civic organizations [in California] interested in involving the public on an issue of significance to their community or district. Past projects have related to budget, land use and public safety, among others.

Eligible Applicants:

  1. Mayors, City Council, City Managers, Assistant City Managers
  2. County Supervisors/Senior Staff
  3. Special/School District Board Members/ Senior Staff
  4. Executive Directors of regional governance associations (COGs)
  5. Executive Directors of non-profit organizations

What Will the Grant Provide?

Prior to beginning their public engagement campaign, grantees will also receive training and consultation from the Davenport Institute to build understanding and support for the civic engagement effort amongst administrative and elected officials.

The Davenport Institute will fund a professional consultant(s) to work with your municipality/organization on facilitated public forums. Davenport senior staff and consultants will work with grantees to design the sessions and will facilitate deliberations amongst residents, stakeholders and government representatives. Consultants will be chosen through collaboration between the grantee and the Davenport Institute.

Selection Process:

Interested organizations must submit an online application. Applicants will be contacted within two weeks of their submission to confirm receipt. All grant applications are due by September 12, 2012, and submissions will be reviewed by members of the Davenport Institute Advisory Council.  Top applicants will participate in an interview (by phone or site visit) and final decisions will be announced on September 28, 2012. After decisions are finalized, the Davenport Institute will schedule a training and consultation with grantees. This will also provide an opportunity for the grantees & Davenport institute to confer in order to identify a consultant to be funded by the grant.

Selection Criteria:

The Davenport Institute understands that governing and civic institutions define “civic engagement” in a myriad of ways – from informing to involving their publics. The following factors will be considered in the awarding of all Citizen Engagement Grants:

Commitment:

  1. While you may be very concerned about the particular issue, can you conduct this process without biasing the outcome?
  2. Along with support and advice from your funded consultant and the Davenport Institute are you also willing to commit staff resources towards the engagement project? How?
  3. While the Davenport Institute is not looking for guarantees that the results of a project will be fully and completely implemented, what is the commitment of key administrators and elected’s to use the work of their citizens in the decision-making process?
  4. The Davenport Institute would expect to receive a brief performance review of the engagement process after its completion summarizing lessons learned and successes.

Readiness (of issue and recipient):

  1. Have you reached a stage in the decision-making process where your organization is ready to begin involving citizens in the next several months?
  2. Briefly describe any civic engagement events (online or in-person) you have previously done.

 

Sandy Heierbacher is the director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). She co-founded NCDD in 2002 with her husband Andy Fluke. Sandy has an M.A. in International Management from SIT Graduate Institute. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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