The PLATO Philosophy Fund Initiative

Philosophy Fund Info


funding-scarcityNationwide, scant funding exists that is geared specifically for philosophy programs, and, in particular, for programs that bring philosophy outside of colleges and universities to non-traditional settings, including schools, senior centers, libraries, museums, prisons, refugee centers, and public lecture halls.


Yet everyone can benefit from doing philosophy. Philosophical inquiry improves analytical reasoning and logical argumentation abilities, cultivates the skills necessary for thinking independently, and pushes us to pose clear questions and challenge our own and others’ assumptions. Philosophy enhances the ability to think deeply about our lives and values and to understand why we hold the beliefs we do.


A New Source of Funding
Recognizing the importance of greater access to philosophy for all adults, youth, and children, as well as the scarcity of funds available for philosophy programs, PLATO created the PLATO Philosophy Fund (PPF), which will provide funding for a wide range of innovative philosophy programs with the aim of broadening philosophy’s reach. The expectation is that many of these programs will take place in public and other non-traditional settings. Applications will be due February 1, 2017, with funding decisions announced next spring.


PFF Challenge Grant
To launch the fund, a $50,000 challenge grant has been secured from the Squire Family Foundation and an anonymous donor. With over 1,100 degree-granting philosophy departments around the country, as well as Ethics and Humanities Centers, Colleges of Education, and other academic departments, PPF has the potential to become a robust funding source for philosophy programs.


We are gratified by the success of our initial PPF membership drive this spring. With our challenge grant, PPF has already raised over $20,000 to fund new philosophy projects – 45 institutions have become 2016 Founding Members, with membership contributions of $250 or more! Won’t you join us?


Thank You, PFF Founding Members:

Challenge Grant-o-Meter: