NASSAU, Bahamas–()–With a $15M USD funding commitment, Templeton World Charity Foundation launched a first-of-its-kind initiative in 2018 to promote character strengths worldwide. The Foundation is excited to announce approval of 14 projects in Round 1 of Global Innovations for Character Development (GICD). These projects will evaluate and promote character strengths: learned and learnable attributes, skills, or habits that enable individuals to lead more prosperous lives. Approved projects include innovations in 16 countries across five continents.

Each project seeks to produce scientifically tested interventions for specific character strengths — empathy, gratitude, forgiveness, hope, trust, and local virtues like the East African concept utu (“shared humanity”). Outputs will include educational programs, films, workshops, academic publications, and new evaluation tools. Over the next five years, the Foundation will continue growing its portfolio of scientific innovations that promote the development and measurement of character strengths in diverse contexts worldwide.

In 2018, Templeton World Charity Foundation received 164 GICD grant applications from 55 countries. Building on this enthusiastic response, the Foundation is issuing a new request for proposals in 2019. This second round will fund up to 12 proof-of-concept awards of up to $234,000 USD to proposals that develop innovative approaches to fostering specific character strengths and tools for measuring them in context. It will also offer an award of up to $1M to scale up a character development innovation. Successful proposals will demonstrate a clear path to generating impact on individuals through changes in the knowledge, awareness, and practice of character strengths. They must include a rigorous evaluation methodology.

The Foundation’s president, Andrew Serazin, says, “GICD is a radical step forward in empowering researchers worldwide to seek funding for their best ideas. A recent report on global philanthropy indicates almost 90% of funds are channeled through an intermediary. We fund researchers in low- and middle-income countries directly, building local capacity and giving control to local researchers in diverse contexts.”


About Templeton World Charity Foundation

Since 1996, Templeton World Charity Foundation has served as a global philanthropic catalyst for discoveries about big questions of the universe in areas at the intersection of science, theology, philosophy, and society. Founded by Sir John Templeton in Nassau (Bahamas), it fosters ambitious thinking and creative communications on diverse topics.


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