Throughout history, people of all cultures have strived to find ways to empower themselves and their societies to create lives of purpose and meaning. The ancient wisdom traditions around the world offer valuable insights into how people can develop the virtues of character needed to achieve that aim, but we still have much to learn about the process and practice of character development.
To that end, the Character Virtue Development area funds research and catalyzes conversations that seek to advance the science and practice of character, with a focus on moral, performance, civic, and intellectual virtues such as humility, gratitude, curiosity, diligence, and honesty. We believe these virtues enhance human flourishing by helping all of us to create lives of purpose.
Research we fund promises greater insight into the developmental science of virtues and character, including the identification of relevant precursors, correlates, developmental trajectories, and the assessment of potential inter-individual differences. We also provide support to organizations such as schools, religious institutions, and community organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate applied and translational research on character and virtue.
From 2019 to 2023, as part of the Foundation’s commitment to fund 12 Strategic Priorities, the Character Virtue Development department will be seeking proposals related to Intellectual Humility and the Science of Virtues.
At the same time, we will continue to allocate significant funds to innovative proposals that align with our ongoing research and programming areas, even though they may not fit into one of these priorities.
Our funding priorities for program activities are described in our department’s strategic plan through 2024. We encourage interested groups and organizations to carefully review this document when crafting a proposal.
2022 Update on Character Through Community RFP: We would like to gratefully acknowledge the 800+ applicants who submitted ideas to our Character Through Community RFP. A number of applicants were invited in July 2021 to develop full proposals, which will be reviewed in the coming year.