The Allene R. Chiesman Fund for Civic Education was established for the purpose of promoting civic education with special attention to creating a greater awareness of the meaning of democracy and democratic ideals, to the role of law and the nature of citizenship in a democratic society and to the relationship of economics and democracy.

Allene R. Chiesman, a South Dakota native, was a philanthropist who supported the American and democratic way of life. Her beliefs were rooted in the fundamentals of hard work and giving back to society a fair share of what one gains through living in a democratic society.

Besides founding the Chiesman Foundation For Democracy and establishing an endowment to meet its mission and goals, she established scholarships and endowments at USD. The scholarships have helped many students meet their educational goals and the endowments fulfill the goals of preparing individuals to become active citizens and leaders within South Dakota.

Grant Proposals Sought

The Allene R. Chiesman Fund for Civic Education invites grant proposals from full-time USD faculty for projects starting on or after the fall semester of 2017. The deadline for submission of these proposals is Sept. 15, and applies to projects that will be completed within the next 12 months. The Chiesman Fund Advisory Committee will announce its decisions on the proposals on or before Oct. 1.

The Chiesman Fund is authorized to:

  1. Support research addressing the issues of citizenship and civic education.
  2. Fund research and studies on the on-going problems of American democracy including but not limited to economic and social problems.
  3. Fund studies of issues concerning the Constitution of the United States in particular and the legal systems in the United States in general.
  4. Sponsor studies of public policies with particular focus on policies relating to the role of citizens in our political system and consumers in our economic system.
  5. Support the publication of material produced through the aid of the fund.
  6. Provide awards for contests promoting civic education.
  7. Make grants to organizations promoting civic education (for example, Boys and Girls State).
  8. Support conferences, meetings and forums designed to educate people about civic education matters.
  9. Work with educational institutions to develop civic education materials and programs for students at all levels.
  10. Coordinate activities of the Fund with other organizations and institutions for the purpose of maximizing efforts to promote Fund goals.

Proposals for grants should clearly and specifically address one or more of these purposes. Proposals of three to six pages specifying the research question, method of inquiry, significance of the project, timeline for completion, a very detailed budget (which will explicitly define how any funding will be used) and the intended means by which the results will be disseminated.

Submit To

Chiesman Fund Advisory Committee
Farber Center for Civic Leadership
116 Dakota Hall

Electronic submissions are preferred and should be emailed to