Dedicated to Strengthening

   America's Future Through Education

Religious Literacy and Interfaith Leadership
Image Courtesy of Interfaith Youth Core

* Note: Please see "Update from the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the President" for important program changes.

Through 2015 and into 2016, proposals may be submitted by invitation only. If invited into competition, please familiarize yourself with the program area and guidelines below. Being invited to submit a proposal does not guarantee funding.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations seeks innovative projects that respond to current religious and demographic trends. Our philanthropy aspires to address the ever-broadening need for knowledge about religion and religious perspectives.  A major area of concern is how our multi-religious society impacts the large social need for respect, civil discourse and tolerance.  By focusing on religious literacy and interfaith leadership, the Foundations’ intent is to deepen appreciation for the richness of our country’s pluralistic population.

Religious Literacy:   The Foundations’ interest in religious literacy focuses on programs that enhance public understanding of the religious beliefs and practices that shape America, both historically and in the present.  Although we live in a country where many self-identify as having religious beliefs, studies show that a majority of the population lacks basic knowledge and understanding of major faith traditions.

Because the level of one’s education is a leading predictor of religious knowledge, grants are encouraged that contribute to a religiously well-informed public.  Grant proposals may address academic curricula, co-curricular activities, and pedagogies that increase knowledge about religion and its role in sustaining a cohesive society.    

Interfaith Leadership:   As we become an increasingly diverse nation, it is essential that leaders are prepared to model meaningful understanding of different faith traditions.  This may include those who serve in clerical roles as well as leaders in civic, academic, business and non-profit sectors.  We are interested in programs that prepare leaders with the knowledge to foster mutual respect for religious beliefs and traditions. 

Potential grant recipients may include those within or related to higher education, theological education, other programs that prepare religious leaders, and organizations with an established record in interfaith leadership.

Grant Amount 
Religious Literacy and Interfaith Leadership institutions may request planning grant proposals that range from $25,000 up to $100,000, or comprehensive grants for $250,000.

When & How to Apply
Once an invitation has been extended, proposals may be submitted using the process below.

STEP I – If you receive an invitation to apply from a program officer, please submit:

  1. AVDF application form 
  2. two-page letter of inquiry signed by the chief executive officer that includes a brief description of the project, intended goals and outcomes, targeted audience and amount requested.

STEP II – If you are invited to submit a full proposal, please submit:

  1. four to five page narrative that includes the following:
  • an abstract of the project
  • purpose
  • audience
  • goals
  • methodology
  • project leadership
  • anticipated outcomes and
  • measures of success
  1. A detailed budget with the total project costs, requested funds from the Foundation and other sources of support. (The Foundations do not cover indirect costs);
  2. A timeline for proposed activities;

Invited letters of inquiry, completed full proposals and all questions regarding the religion program may be directed to Ms. Cheryl Tupper, Vice President for Programs - Religion and Healthcare
     Email Address: 
     Telephone:  904-834-1033

Mailing Address: 
     The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations 
     225 Water Street, Suite 1510 
     Jacksonville, FL 32202 

Proposal Evaluation and Notification 
All letters of inquiry will be responded to within 30 days.

Every effort is made to respond to all submitted proposals in a timely manner.  The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations strive to render decisions on grant awards within 6-8 months of proposal submission. Upon receipt of grant proposal, all materials will be evaluated according to the guidelines and criteria provided for each program area. If a proposal is not competitive within the current grant cycle, notification will be sent as soon as possible.

Recent Grants 
For recent grants in Religion, please click here.

To answer general questions that may result from these programmatic changes, please view our Frequently Asked Questions