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From more than 800 Online Funding Inquiries submitted to the Character Through Community Funding Competition (launched in March of 2021), the John Templeton Foundation invited 46 to submit a full proposal. A panel of seven experts and grant officers from our staff reviewed all of the proposals. Given the overwhelming response to the call, our Board of Trustees approved 23 grants, for a total of $20M in awards, which is $5M more than was originally allocated.

Click here for a list of the winners and a summary of the projects.

With the grants, we seek to help strengthen the capacity of organizations to advance both the understanding and practice of character development. Many organizations today confront pressure to scale character interventions, yet these organizations often lack the appropriate resources to do so.

With the Character Through Community funding, our support will help organizations focus on developing the strengths that will ultimately enable them to scale their programs, leading to durable changes in individuals’ character.

The 23 winning projects aspire to advance character development in a variety of contexts including K-12 education, higher education, youth programs, faith-based institutions, and business. Together, these projects seek to build the capacity of 184 organizations (including multiple sites within large organizations) to deliver high-quality, character-focused activities and materials. To aid in this capacity-building, the projects are working to establish 122 communities of practice that will engage approximately 20,000 teachers, youth leaders, parents, and youth directly, with the opportunity to influence over 800,000 individuals in broader networks. While the focus of these projects will be on strengthening organizations, most will also contribute to the broader youth development community through shared knowledge. Expected outputs for this portfolio include over 75 resources such as toolkits, online platforms, implementation guides, and best practices, as well as over 77 articles for both practitioner and academic audiences.

Still Curious?

Learn more about Character Virtue Development at the John Templeton Foundation.