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The Civic Engagement Primer

Publication date: 
Friday, May 5, 2017

A new conversation about civic engagement is emerging. At PACE–a network of funders and foundations committed to civic engagement and democracy–we’ve seen the swell in interest and urgency around this work firsthand.  Philanthropies are continuing to understand the civic engagement field and the role they can play in its future.  We’re getting a lot of questions–things like:

  • What is civic engagement? How is it defined and what does it look?

  • How might civic engagement relate to my work?

  • How do I get started? Who might I learn from about how to do this work?

This Civic Engagement Primer–also known as the #PACEprimer–is a resource designed to explore these questions and help philanthropies assess their interest and understanding in civic engagement, and ultimately help them along their journey toward integrating it into their work.  This tool is intended for:

  • Philanthropies thinking about civic engagement for the first time
  • Philanthropies that are not new to civic engagement, but have yet to invest in it
  • Philanthropies that are already investing in civic engagement, but seek common language and shared tools

It should take users 20-30 minutes to work through the Civic Engagement Primer. At the end, we hope philanthropies will:

  • Have a foundational understanding of civic engagement philanthropy
  • Know if pursuing civic engagement philanthropy might be right for them
  • Have resources at their fingertips to share with colleagues and explore further

To supplement this tool, we’ve developed three additional resources, illustrating key civic engagement concepts to further your conversation:

What is Civic Engagement? (pdf)

Approaches to Civic Engagement (pdf)

The Civic Engagement Spectrum (pdf)

We encourage you to use and share PACE’s Civic Engagement Primer, and join the conversation on Twitter at #PACEprimer.

PACE thanks our field colleagues, Amy Baker McIsaac and Cameron Blossom, for their support in creating this resource, as well as the many colleagues who helped inspire the idea and provided feedback during its development.

Questions? Feedback? Suggestions on how we can improve this resource? Please email us at [email protected].


Published By: Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement 

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