Institutional Accountability and Individual Liberty

The Institutional Accountability and Individual Liberty program encourages the active participation of citizens in government, seeks to make government and private institutions more accountable and responsive, and supports efforts to ensure that individuals’ rights and liberties under the Constitution are protected. Past grants have included support for work to overcome roadblocks to registration and voting; efforts to expand access to government information; advocacy to promote electronic disclosure of campaign contributions; and a broad range of program initiatives aimed at holding government agencies and public officials accountable for their actions.


Democracy Project
Our democracy is in crisis. While voter participation rates vary across elections and demographics, some trends are clear: the electorate is older, Whiter, and more affluent than the country as a whole, resulting in a substantive disconnect between the population and our elected officials, at every level of government. There is also a growing mistrust in communities across the country in government’s willingness or ability to address critical issues related to inequality and justice. The Democracy Project works to counter these trends through support for organizations working to connect people of color, young people, and low-income people to their political power in ways that result in durable agency and voice in our democracy. The project is focusing its resources to incubate, scale, and sustain innovative and effective best practices that prioritize effective people-first community organizing and the development and deployment of authentic, values-based messages and narratives linked to civic engagement.

Representative Grants


Alliance for Justice
For its Justice Program.

Alliance for Youth Organizing
To organize and activate young voters by working with MOVE Texas, Leaders Igniting Transformation, and Chicago Votes.

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation
For research on messaging and voter engagement.

Campaign Legal Center
For emergency litigation against administrative actions that disenfranchise eligible voters prior to Election Day 2018.

Faith in Action
For research on the effectiveness of relational organizing to increase voter participation.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
For voter protection programs



RFF grantee BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing for Communities) was featured in a piece in the New Yorker about the history and importance of Black Milwaukee voters in the upcoming election. BLOC’s staff and volunteers are people from the city’s urban core (known as “civic ambassadors”) who go door to door to engage people in conversation three to four hours a day, five days a week, year-round. BLOC’s canvass aims to connect Black people in Milwaukee to voting and civic engagement as a strategy to solve community problems.