This March, ICONIQ Impact launched the Stronger Democracy Award—a grant competition to help improve political representation and increase participation in the United States’ democratic process.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce an anonymous donor from the ICONIQ Impact community has contributed an additional $10 million, bringing the award’s total to $22 million! Two finalists will receive a $10 million grant, the first from Additional Ventures and the second from the anonymous donor. A third finalist will receive a $2 million grant from philanthropists Cipora and Vlado Herman.
The Stronger Democracy award is coming at a critical moment for our democratic institutions. While we have reason to celebrate the highest voter turnout in US history during the recent presidential elections, the fundamental components of US democracy—free and fair elections, trust in institutions and public servants, and an orderly transition of power—have been eroded by partisan politics. When we look at comparable democracies, the US has one of the lowest rates of civic participation. In fact, nearly forty percent of Americans say they don’t get involved in civic and political activities because they don’t think their actions will make a difference. There is an exigent need to restore confidence in our democracy and reshape our political institutions to be more equitable, accessible, and representative.
To that end, ICONIQ Impact and Lever for Change launched the Stronger Democracy Award, which is seeking bold solutions for advancing structural reforms and addressing systemic barriers in three key areas: voting and elections, policymaking, and civic engagement. The award will select five finalist proposals, each of which will be rigorously evaluated by a panel of subject-matter experts and peer organizations, ensuring the competition is fair, open, and transparent.
If you’re interested in strengthening US democracy, here are some ways you can help: