Democracy, Trust, & Community Leadership

Coming together to discuss, debate, and decide everything from funding a new town snowplow, to who we elect to be President of the United States happens within our democratic institutions. In Vermont government and beyond, we rely on strong, community-based leaders. From local school boards to the governor’s office, trust in those institutions and leaders is critical to creating a shared vision and making decisions together about our future. Our grantmaking in this area will seek to:

Engage Vermonters in decision making and democracy

Broad participation in democratic institutions–whether through leadership or bringing a range of viewpoints–ensures that decisions have credibility and equitably serve community needs.

Build trust and social connection

Hyper-local journalism, physical and virtual spaces for people to gather, and improved access to local decision-makers are among the factors that establish trust and connect us as neighbors, even when we come to the table with different perspectives.

Develop strong, skilled, representative community leaders

Through skill building, leadership training, a strong sense of safety and inclusion, and youth engagement, we can move toward leadership that is representative of the communities being served.

Explore innovations in democracy

Today’s challenges require bold leadership, risk-taking, collaboration, and systems that support those efforts. By exploring different approaches to elections, voting, budgeting, and government, we ensure that our institutions evolve and serve us in the 21st century.