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, in 2016 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 in February each year, with funding decisions announced in the spring.

For the 2016-17 academic year, the new PPF fund raised $25,550, including a challenge grant of over $12,000, and funded six applications, supporting innovative philosophy programs around the country. For the academic year 2017-18, a $25,000 challenge grant has been secured from the Squire Family Foundation. 
Become a PPF Member

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 in 2016-17 — 46 institutions joined as PPF Founding Members with membership contributions of $250 or more.

Won’t you join us by becoming a member today?


Thank You, PFF Founding Members: