Character Virtue Development

Character Virtue Development

TWCF is passionate about the formation, cultivation, and promotion of positive character traits that can transform individuals, sustain human progress, and alleviate social problems. We are committed to funding proposals that focus on one or more of the following 19 character virtues that are crucial to purposeful living:

ethics, love, honesty, generosity, thanksgiving, forgiving, reliability, entrepreneurship, diligence, thrift, joy, future-mindedness, beneficial purpose, accelerating creativity, communication, constructive thinking, curiosity, humility, awe

Character-related grants can address questions about religion, spirituality, and faith, but they do not necessarily have to spring from religious presumptions. In addition, TWCF holds that the development of character virtues is essential to maintaining a vibrant free market system. The solution to poverty is teaching responsibility, hard work, energy, enthusiasm, and perseverance. Thus, we may consider proposals that seek to foster character virtues and education for the alleviation of poverty, the promotion of economic well-being, or the adoption of free market principles.

The list of character traits above is not exhaustive. TWCF may, on occasion, fund proposals that focus on other closely related character traits such as altruism, benevolence, compassion, empathy, loyalty, hopefulness, intuition, inventiveness, optimism, conscientiousness, courage, enthusiasm, resilience, citizenship, honor, logic, prudence, reason, and responsibility. The Foundation will not fund proposals on the absence of positive character traits or the presence of negative behaviors, unless the proposal includes a broader purpose of promoting specific positive character traits and virtues.

Predicated on the belief that every individual has the ability and responsibility to cultivate character through personal choice, continuous practice, and hard work, proposals can be designated as application-focused or research-focused:

  • Application-focused proposals should be practical in nature, emphasizing systematic teaching, cultivation, articulation, and advancement of a particular virtue or interrelated virtues. Such proposals should aim to educate, promote, train, or model the virtue(s) constructively in order to transform moral values and cultural attitudes in ways that benefit a community or society.
  • Research-focused proposals should focus on the assessment of the success of a character virtue education/formation program, or specific strategies for disseminating information about these programs. They may also focus on the descriptive sociological realities of character virtues (or lack thereof) in a given social context—for example, research projects that aim to determine the climate of current moral belief and practices among specific audiences; the environmental and/or social factors that influence critical character virtues and the efficacy of character education and dissemination programs; or the impact programs have on individuals voluntarily participating in them.

These categories are not mutually exclusive, but they reflect the focus of a proposal. Application-focused proposals should not neglect the importance of assessing the efficacy of the character virtues program and its activities. Likewise, research-focused proposals should ensure that strategies used to educate, cultivate, and promote character virtue(s) are delivered in a thoughtful and systematic manner.