Future of Freedom Initiative

Overview

We are investing in the Future of Freedom Initiative to fund projects that will refresh, rebuild, and revitalize the conservative movement in America.

Key Dates & Application Link

Application window: February 14, 2022 – March 16, 2022

Organizations will receive notification about their applications by early June 2022.

Eligibility

The FFI grant program is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits working in the public policy and think tank space. Applicants are limited to one proposal that expands current work or a new endeavor. We will not consider requests for general operating support.

Each proposal should include the creation of at least one Future of Freedom Fellow. This Fellow can be a new full-time hire for the organization or a current full-time staff member whose duties would primarily consist of FFI grant-funded activities. This Fellow does not have to be identified before applying, however a job description or candidate description is required. We will consider a wide range of projects, including but not limited to:

  • Content – Books, research papers, articles, audio, video, websites, polling, or other products
  • Channels – Podcasts, journals, events, or nonprofits aimed at new audiences or issues 
  • Collaboration – Working groups, joint projects, conferences, other cooperative networks
  • Cultivation – Recruitment, training, awards, other incentives for emerging talent

Funding Range & Reporting

Proposals should request $100,000 – $250,000, and all funds should be used within one year. In the first year, we anticipate funding four to eight projects. If your project takes more than one year to complete, you will be able to submit renewal proposals requesting up to $250,000 for up to three additional years. However, please submit only your fist year’s proposal at this time. 

Organizations will be required to submit two brief narrative reports per year.

Guidelines

We are prioritizing projects that incorporate the following principles:

Inclusion – Engage with ideas, individuals, and institutions representing a variety of perspectives and priorities within the Center-Right.

Integrity – Constructive engagement with other individuals and institutions across the Center-Right to understand, persuade or find common ground.

Innovation – Reach new audiences, build new coalitions, master new technologies, or increase the productivity of our movement’s public-policy investments.

Influence – Inspire other donors, intellectuals, and activists — be they traditionalists, libertarians, classical liberals, or republican constitutionalists — to cooperate in defense of America’s imperiled freedoms, traditions, and institutions.

 

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted through our online portal. The online application will request the following information:

  • Basic Contact Information 
  • Executive Summary 
  • Long Proposal, Board Members, and Project Budget (one document only) 
  • Financial Statements (one document only)
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Please review our RFP for more details about the application components. We may request additional information during the evaluation period. After submission, you will receive an email notifying you that we have received your application. If you do not receive an email, please contact us at info@jwpf.org

Background

Modern American conservatism has never been a tidy place. Since its post-World War II origins as a coalition of traditionalists, libertarians, and anti-communists, modern American conservatism has contained a wide variety of writers, organizers, and activists with a common set of adversaries: progressivism at home and totalitarianism abroad. 

But was that all they had in common? Some leading voices said yes. But others — William F. Buckley, M. Stanton Evans, Frank Meyer, and Friedrich Hayek — said no. While recognizing that the Center-Right often disagreed about policy specifics, issue priorities, and basic philosophical questions, these leaders saw their movement as more than just a short-term tactical alliance. They saw it as a distinctly American blend of the politics of freedom with the politics of order — as an “equilibrium of liberty,” in the evocative description of Hillsdale College professor Nathan Schlueter.

Asked to choose between liberty, virtue, or prudence as the guiding principle for American conservatives, these leaders insisted that the only practical answer was all of the above. “The traditionalist and libertarian strands in conservative thought are congruent instead of contradictory,” wrote Evans. To be a traditionalist in America meant conserving the tradition of classical liberalism embedded in our governing institutions, among other things. And in Hayek’s words, to be a libertarian in America meant a “respect for a tradition of rules which we only imperfectly understand,” including those that govern the indispensable social institutions of family, faith, and community.

JWPF recognizes that American conservatism was never truly a fusion. A better metaphor from chemistry would be covalent bonding — sharing enough in common to form a potent but flexible political compound without entirely erasing the distinctions among its adherents. JWPF also recognizes that today’s conditions and challenges differ from those faced by Evans, Hayek, and their contemporaries. Nevertheless, we believe a healthy Center-Right movement — a movement broad enough to constitute a governing majority and strong enough to achieve and sustain policy victories — requires participation, dialogue, and cooperation from diverse groups, including traditionalists and libertarians. 

In our view, freedom allows us to pursue virtue. In turn, virtuous behavior helps sustain our freedom, and it is a reciprocal relationship. Maintaining that relationship is no easy task. “Our freedoms didn’t simply happen,” Evans argued. “They were the result of deliberate precautions and provisos, acts of statecraft which it behooves us to study and remember.”

Questions?

Please read our FAQ section for additional information. If you have further questions, please call us at (919) 871-3329 or email us at info@jwpf.org.