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Piper Fund

The vision of Piper Fund is a healthy democracy that works for everyone.

The Piper Fund is a donor collaborative working to protect and strengthen U.S. democracy. Piper is a national leader in addressing the influence of special interests on democracy, defending and promoting judicial independence, and protecting the right to protest.

As a pooled grantmaking fund, the Piper Fund (a project of the Proteus Fund) works to identify trends, build infrastructure to fill gaps, and mobilize foundations and individual donors to resource grassroots groups fighting to protect democracy. Beyond grantmaking, Piper’s team also plays a key field-building role, identifying opportunities to achieve reform and convening allies to share knowledge and set strategy. 

The Piper Fund is one of our longest continuous grantee relationships, going back nearly two decades. Threats to U.S. democracy have grown and transformed significantly during that time, and this partnership has been crucial in the Foundation’s evolving understanding of and commitment to democracy. As Piper’s own focus grew from investing in proactive public campaign financing to fighting back the broader attacks on the integrity of our democracy, so did the Foundation’s, expanding to invest in civic engagement. Piper’s ability to adapt its strategy and apply lessons learned has been crucial in advancing the democracy field.

For example, as anti-protest bills began to crop up in state legislatures in 2017, Piper began to move rapid response money to partner organizations on the ground in those states—in many cases, slowing or stopping the bills. Many of these pieces of legislation are intended to criminalize protest tactics often used by Black Lives Matter and climate activists. As the bills became more prevalent, this work expanded into a new program area for Piper, and its team built close relationships with advocates in other movements to ensure that efforts to combat these threats to free speech were met with a coordinated and powerful response.

Recent grant history

YearProjectGrant Award
2021General Support$250,000
2020General Support$500,000 over 5 years
2017General Support$300,000 over 3 years
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