We can strengthen democracy — together.

This is an urgent moment for the nation and for democracy.

The growing divisiveness in the United States is palpable and alarming, fueled by disinformation and distrust. Americans are drawing battle lines online, at school board meetings in our hometowns, and in the treasured halls of our nation’s Capitol.

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars sees a way forward in today’s young people. As investors in the next generation since 1945, we believe today’s 12- to 24-year-olds are particularly poised to strengthen democracy for the long haul.

To unleash this generation’s civic potential, we must cultivate young people as informed, engaged, and hopeful citizens.

We advocate and invest in people who are advancing diverse perspectives and civic change across the nation. We are an entrepreneurial lab, testing bold new ideas that tackle our civic crisis, then expanding those that work best. And we are a hub of information and a connector bringing together ideologically diverse leaders, across traditional divides, to build a democracy for all.

A first-of-its kind civic measurement landscape review and analysis of existing research.

Read the Report

How We Do It


We invest in the most promising people across the left, right, and center who have the potential to effect transformative civic change.

Become a Fellow


We connect and convene networks of unlikely allies to tackle the most pressing civic education and engagement challenges.

Explore initiatives

Civic Venture Accelerator

We identify and accelerate breakthrough ideas that accelerate youth civic development at scale.

How it Works

Every person has a role to play to strengthen democracy.

Get Involved

Sign up to receive funding opportunities, stories about our work, resources and tools, and ways to get involved.

Support Us

Help us invest in the diverse talent, ideas, and networks that will develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens.

Ways to Support Us
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Civic Learning Resources

Developing youth as effective, lifelong citizens is a journey from adolescence through early adulthood and must reach beyond the walls of a classroom.

Our Civic Learning Resource Hub is a one-stop-shop of the best reports, research, white papers, and other resources to build the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions of young people. Curated from our ideologically-diverse network of practitioners, these resources aim to develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens.

Civic Learning Resources

Civic learning really speaks to the power of blending information and action. Making sure that we are really well-informed and seeking out the knowledge that we need and then also translating that into action.

Sadie Bograd
Sadie Bograd Sadie Bograd, 2020 Civic Spring Fellow

From Civic Education to a Civic Learning Ecosystem

This C&S white paper provides a comprehensive landscape of the civic education space to understand how the work of funders, policymakers, educators, researchers, and nonprofit organizations comes together and interacts to produce our current system of civic education.

Read More

CIRCLE: Growing Voters

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The Co-Creation Generation

This report from Civic Spring Fellows on how to engage young people in the design of civic development programs.

Co-Creation Generation

Diverse Leaders Working Across Divides

Over 75 years, Citizens & Scholars has attained unrivaled expertise, experience, data, and a network of funders and practitioners across the ideological spectrum, including 27,000 world-leading Fellows from a multitude of fields.

Our diverse network unites the boldest innovators across education, business, philanthropy, community institutions, media, and government. Sitting at this essential intersection, Citizens & Scholars attracts the ideas, funding, and talent that will ignite the revitalization of our democracy.

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Meet The Fellows

From high school students to classroom teachers to Nobel Laureates, we invest in visionary people with diverse ideas that will strengthen democracy for the long haul.

Our Fellows

The Fellow Network

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Visionary thinkers of all ages and fields in our Fellow community


Pulitzer Prize recipients


MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients


College and University presidents

Educating for Democracy Since 1945

From our beginnings as the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in 1945, and now as Citizens & Scholars, we have prepared new generations of American citizenry by opening doors to higher education, supporting more than 27,000 visionary thinkers, scholars, and teachers, and creating the thoughtful space for innovation.

Today, we’re on a mission to ensure that a majority of Americans get the foundational experiences needed to become effective citizens.

Our Approach