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Bay Area Democracy Funders

Founded in 2012, the Bay Area Democracy Funders (BADF) is a network of experts, funders and friends who identify and amplify the most critical challenges to democracy and identify philanthropic opportunities for foundations and individual donors to support a more functional and representative democracy. BADF is comprised of Bay Area funders, senior advisors, trustees and program officers with deep experience funding groups that bolster democratic norms and reforms through individual grantmaking, private and community foundations and donor-advised funds.

In partnership with NCG, BADF engages a broad group of Bay Area funders and advocates to the sector and leverages new resources to the democracy field through regular programs and meetings. 


Upcoming Bay Area Democracy Funders events are coming soon. In the meantime, take a look at BADF past events.


The Echo Chamber is a round up of daily reporting on what's reverberating in the democracy field: money in politics, voting rights, fair courts, polling analysis, media coverage, and more from The Piper Fund's Communications Collaborative Initiative at Rethink Media. View the Echo Chamber > 


Friday, September 11, 2020

At age 19, Davonte Johnson is already a five-year veteran of issue-based organizing in Detroit. From the “Fight for $15” to the fights against police brutality and the school-to-prison pipeline, he’s been on the front lines in activating young Detroiters to work for social justice and vote for their values.

Head shot of the interviewee in thie blog, Kathy Bonnifield
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

States across the country are considering legislation that would diminish the independence of their courts. Recently, Kathy Bonnifield, Program Officer at the Piper Fund, chatted with the Bay Area Democracy Funders Group about some of the threats to our courts and how philanthropy can respond.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Steve Cohen leads the Bay Area Democracy Funders and is an advisor of the Cow Hollow and SLC Giving funds at The San Francisco Foundation. As a part of our Member Spotlight Series, Steve discussed areas...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Leave it to John Oliver to humorously straighten out the twisted world of gerrymandering. “Everyone’s voice should count, Everyone should have an equal chance to make a bad decision that [expletive]s it up for everyone else. Election results should not be the result of these crazy lines; they should be the result of our own crazy decisions.”

Monday, June 20, 2016

Funders have crucial roles to play to support the democratic process by supporting civic efforts to increase voter participation, to stop illegal voter suppression and to promote alternative approaches to financing political campaigns. Learn more.

Read the summary of the Voting in 2020 briefing call. 

On March 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, which is perhaps the most comprehensive political reform proposal in a generation by our elected representatives. The “For the People Act” seeks to restore faith in our republican democracy as a genuinely representative system open to broad participation and protected from corruption and the outsized influence of special interest money. The provisions of the bill would make it easier for people to vote and strengthen campaign finance & ethics laws. 

On May 14, we brought together digital, policy, and philanthropic experts to address threats to a functioning democracy, the concrete ways to protect election integrity in the United States and around the world, and the role of funders. We met at at the Hewlett Foundation, which recently pledged $10 million to study social media and digital disinformation.

Our featured speakers discussed the impetus for the new law, how it might affect underrepresented communities, and how election offices, community organizations, and others are working together to prepare voters for the change. They also discussed the funding landscape and opportunities to start planning for statewide rollout in 2020.

The Census happens just once every 10 years but its outcomes have serious ramifications. In our October 18 program, we heard from an expert panel of speakers who shared insight on all things Census.

With our expert panel, we had an informed, nonpartisan dialogue about the legal, political, practical, and charitable routes toward fairer redistricting. We discussed what solutions could work better, and how funders can support a redistricting process that is independent, transparent and ensures that communities are fully and fairly represented locally, at the state level, and in Congress.