There are plenty of voices — and data — that amplify a trend of declining confidence in democracy among Americans today. At PACE, we are encouraged by the efforts we see making proactive steps to reverse those sentiments.

One such effort was launched by University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP). Earlier this fall, they released We the People: A Philanthropic Guide to Strengthening Democracy, which creates a framework for anyone looking to strengthen the democratic system. It outlines the five elements of a healthy democracy (empowered citizens, fair processes, responsive policy, information & communication, and social cohesion) and offers a framework to guide philanthropic action.

When CHIP’s guides became public earlier this fall, I jumped at the chance to sit down and dig deeper with one of the primary architects behind it, Conor Carroll.

Kristen Cambell: Can you start by telling a little about the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) and what inspired you to want to focus on democracy?

Conor Carroll: CHIP is a research center based at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to producing knowledge and education to help donors achieve greater social impact with their philanthropy. We cover many cause areas, and we recently worked on issues such as global health, early childhood education, and disaster relief. Democracy and a well-functioning government are central to all of these issues.

Democracy Fund approached us in 2017 because they were hearing from so many donors who were concerned about the state of our democracy but didn’t know how to help. CHIP’s focus on providing evidence-based and actionable guidance for philanthropy made us an ideal partner for orienting new donors to the field and equipping them be impactful with their giving. That’s what this project is about.

Read the full article about framework for a healthy democracy by Kristen Cambell at Medium.