Democracy Funding in Wyoming

Democracy Funding in Wyoming

As a part of our Democracy Lens tools, for each state in our region, we report a data snapshot about democratic activities (ranging from funding, voter participation and candidate demographics) and case studies (called Bright Spots). The Bright Spots illustrate the scope and story of philanthropic support for civic engagement. You can access these data and Bright Spot stories for the other Northwest states on the Democracy Lens webpage

 

The funding data below highlight totals in Wyoming from grants of at least $5,000 for democratic activities. This funding summary compares data from three-year periods at two different time points: 2012-2014 and 2015-2017. The data include funding coming from outside of and within the state. Additional data and charts on voter participation and candidate demographics range from 2012 to 2019.

Read how Wyoming’s grantmakers have been involved in creating a stronger civic infrastructure in these Bright Spot articles.  

Wyoming Bright Spot: Merit Selection for Judges Wyoming Bright Spot: Budget Advocacy for COVID-19 Funding

If you are a funder interested in highlighting your democracy work, please email our policy team to share your story.

Democracy Funding to Grantees in Wyoming

Key points from the data include:

  • Democracy funding in Wyoming increased from 2012-2014 to 2015-2017, though it remained a very small portion of philanthropy compared to other parts of the Northwest.
  • Most funding came from out-of-state in 2012-2014, but in 2015-2017 over half came from Wyoming funders.

 

  2012-2014 2015-2017
Grants 16 17
Funders 13 13
Funding $0.4 million $0.7 million
Median Grant Amount $17,500 $10,000
Portion of Funding in Wyoming* 0.3% 0.2%
Portion of Total Funders 2.1% 1.4%
Portion of Funding from In-State Funders 2% 53%
Funding per Resident $0.71 $1.24

*Excludes federal grants and relies on two datasets (Foundation Maps and Democracy Maps) updated at different frequencies.
Sources: Democracy Maps by CandidFoundation Maps by Candid (for Percent of Total Grantmaking to State), American Community Survey (for Funding per Resident). Foundation data is less complete after 2017.

Wyoming Democracy Funding by Category
Grants can be listed under more than one area. For category definitions, ​​​​visit Democracy Maps
by Candid
.

 

Recent Examples

  • Civic Participation: The Wyoming Community Foundation provided $10,000 in general operating support for Citizens for a Civic Auditorium in 2018.
  • Government: The First Interstate BancSystem Foundation, Inc. in Billings, Montana, gave $5,000 in 2019 to the Campbell County Economic Development Corporation (DBA Energy Capital Economic Development) in Gillette, Wyoming. This was for an economic development project.

 

 

Public Participation in Democracy

Democracy grants provide members of the public with services to increase their abilities to participate in civic life, including elections and public service. Voting provides one snapshot of the public’s involvement in civil society.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Elections Performance Index ranked Wyoming’s election performance 30th out of the 50 states plus Washington, D.C. in 2016. This score, lower than its 2014 rank, is based on 17 election performance metrics, showing average rates in Wyoming on election participation and accessibility. Turnout is even with the national average, but registration has not increased by much. Turnout in Wyoming can be higher than the number of people registered due to same-day registration.

 

Wyoming Voter Participation
Sources: United States Election Project (voter eligible population and turnout), Wyoming Election
Division
 (registration) and Statista (national voter registration).

Demographics of Candidates

Political candidacy is also a way to ensure that democracy is reflective of the public good, but not all demographic groups are equally likely to run for office in Wyoming. People of color were 16% of the population but 3% of total county, state and federal representatives in 2019, slightly higher than four years ago. White males the most elected demographic group in Wyoming, with two of three federal officials being white males and one being a white female in 2019. Candidate demographics in the 2014 and 2018 elections are like those of officeholders in 2015 and 2019, which means that people of color are not often running for office in Wyoming but are similarly likely to win as others.

Wyoming Officeholder Demographics
*Population demographics are approximate and shifted slightly from 2015 to 2019. POC means people of color.
Source: Reflective Democracy Campaign (2014-15 and 2018-19 Demographics of Power datasets – excluding city officials).

 

Interested in learning more about democracy funding?

Take a look at our Democracy Lens webpage for more information.