Participatory grantmaking encompasses a range of models, methods, challenges, and insights. At its core, this approach to funding cedes decision-making power about grants to the very communities impacted by funding decisions. This special collection gathers the experience and insights of funders who have shifted power and builds on the wisdom explored in the GrantCraft guide "Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources through Participatory Grantmaking".

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Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking

October 2, 2018

Funders are increasingly looking to engage the communities they serve in the grantmaking process, but there are few resources about how to do so. In this guide, we explore how funders can engage in participatory grantmaking and cede decision-making power about funding decisions to the very communities they aim to serve. Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking illustrates why and how funders around the world are engaging in this practice that is shifting traditional power dynamics in philanthropy. Created with input from a number of participatory grantmakers, the guide shares challenges, lessons learned, and best practices for engaging in inclusive grantmaking. 

INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S FLOW FUND: 2020 - 2021 Storytelling

May 1, 2021

The Indigenous Women's Flow Fund (IWFF) is an Indigenous-led grantmaking program that nourishes community-sourced initiatives and offers solutions and alternatives to systems in crisis. Grounded in trust-based philanthropic approaches, IWFF brings together five Indigenous women from across the United States, for a three-year period, to be decision-makers over grantmaking dollars and shape the program according to their vision.

YOUTH PARTICIPATORY GRANT-MAKING IN SIERRA LEONE: LESSONS FROM THE TAR KURA INITIATIVE

March 22, 2021

For nearly twenty years, the Fund for Global Human Rights has been a vocal champion of participatory philanthropy. We provide flexible general support that allows local groups to define and lead their own agendas. Fund grantees identify their priorities and approach and collaborate with program staff on defining measures of progress toward their intended outcomes.To us, participatory grant-making—which empowers affected communities to decide what and who to fund—is a further step in shifting power to grantees and movements.In 2019, the Fund partnered with Purposeful, a feminist movement-building hub for adolescent girls, to pilot a participatory grant-making initiative in Sierra Leone aimed at promoting youth leadership and amplifying the voices of young people.As our first foray into realizing the potential of participatory grant-making, this experience taught us many valuable lessons about how to foster genuine participation of children and young people.A targeted and intentional approach to reach a diverse group of children and youth is essential. This helps prevent a participatory process that only benefits young people in urban areas and those from higher socio-economic backgrounds.We also learned that true participation requires letting go of power while ensuring that young people have what they need to make meaningful and informed decisions. Support to child and youth-led groups should go beyond grant money to include a comprehensive package of grantee-led learning and accompaniment.The biggest lesson is about the need to be open and flexible throughout the process. Being willing to adapt as we went along allowed us to respond and make changes (almost) in real time. It also allowed us to learn from the young people about what it means to use your voice and make yourself heard in ways far beyond what we could have anticipated.

Decidiendo Juntos: Transferencia De Poder Y Recursos Mediante El Proceso Participativo De Otorgamiento De Donativos

December 4, 2019

En este documento titulado "Decidiendo juntos: Transferencia de poder y recursos mediante el proceso participativo de otorgamiento de donativos", examinamos por qué y cómo implementan los donantes la asignación participativa de donativos y transfieren el poder a las comunidades que reciben el impacto de sus decisiones de financiamiento. Con ejemplos y reflexiones de un grupo diverso de donantes, exploramos los beneficios, los desafíos y los modelos del enfoque participativo de financiamiento.

Social Justice Funders SPOTLIGHT: The Hyams Foundation

October 1, 2019

Social Justice Funders Spotlights present stories of innovative, effective social justice philanthropy in action. Each spotlight focuses upon a grantmaker and a grantee.Hyams FoundationThis spotlight is part of Sillerman's Participatory Grantmaking project.

Social Justice Funders SPOTLIGHT: The Headwaters Foundation

October 1, 2019

Social Justice Funders Spotlights present stories of innovative, effective social justice philanthropy in action. Each spotlight focuses upon a grantmaker and a grantee.Headwaters FoundationThis spotlight is part of Sillerman's Participatory Grantmaking project.

Social Justice Funders SPOTLIGHT: Disability Rights Fund

October 1, 2019

Social Justice Funders Spotlights present stories of innovative, effective social justice philanthropy in action. Each spotlight focuses upon a grantmaker and a grantee.Disability Rights FundThis spotlight is part of Sillerman's Participatory Grantmaking project.

Shifting Power And Resources To Grassroots Movements: Findings from consultations with activists and funders, July 2019

July 1, 2019

The question of how grassroots groups and activists based in the global south can mobilise adequate support to overcome the growing ecological, social, political and economic challenges they face and achieve positive change is a serious one that requires our attention. These groups face significant challenges in accessing key resources (financial and otherwise) to sustain their work.CIVICUS embarked on a consultation process to identify, in a participatory way, possible mechanisms that would increase the scale and quality of resources, both international and domestic, for groups and movements. Over the course of five months, we have had the privilege to learn from activists, organisers, young leaders and progressive funders from around the world about resourcing challenges, and to sense-check solutions and co-create scenarios based on lived experiences, bold ideas and deep understanding of social problems.This consultation is an attempt to move conversations forward at a practical level, exploring options that, pulled together, could help start a radical transformation in the range and quality of resources accessible to grassroots groups. As well as sense-checking the relevance, appeal and feasibility of emerging concepts, the process itself has been significant. These early explorations have directly engaged the groups that we seek to better resource, including a cross-section of grassroots activists, the financial arms of social movements and other strategic partners.

Smarter Grantmaking for Grantee Organizations: Conversations to Have with Funders

June 1, 2019

Funder grantmaking and learning practices are best when informed by grantee organization needs and experience. Yet, there are many factors that limit or even block this feedback loop.As funders, Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) members recognize our responsibility to listen and respond to grantee questions and concerns, even when we are unable to provide the desired responses.We invite grantseekers to draw inspiration from this guide to seek clarity and advocate for potential needs with current and prospective funders.We hope the conversations highlighted in the guide will help you and your program officers continue to strengthen grantmaking and learning practices with your partners.

Girls, The Agents of Change

April 2, 2019

Funding for adolescent girls has been gaining traction in recent years. While feminist funders have traditionally focused on women and young people, there has been a drive to put more flexible funding in the hands of girl-led and girl-centered organisations. This evaluation reviews and assesses the With and For Girls Collective, the With and For Girls Award and the awards journey with a view to drawing out lessons from the Collective's experience to help encourage funders to increase flexible funding and other resources to girl-led and girl-centered organisations globally.

Money & Movements

October 29, 2018

Money & Movements brought together 100+ activists & funders to strategise about the future of resourcing feminist movements and social change globally. We came from around the world and across movements – women's rights, sex workers' rights, LBQTI rights, youth, indigenous rights, environmental and economic justice, disability rights, health, and more.Together, we asked:* What is the change we want to see... bold and fully-resourced?* What do our movements need to be resilient?* What would a transformative funding ecosystem look like?* What is the future of funding?Each of these graphics illustrates a key takeaway from Money & Movements. They are meant to inspire funders and movements seeking to build a more just world. Learn more and find versions of this tool in Spanish and French at: https://www.mamacash.org/en/money-and-movements

Girls to the Front: A Snapshot of Girl-led Organizing

October 11, 2018

The research used in-depth interviews and an online questionnaire, as well as an exhaustive desk review to collect data from girl-led groups and organisations, girl-centred organisations and the stakeholders that support them at different levels. This is an exciting opportunity to spotlight how girl-led organising takes place and how funders can provide flexible support that responds to the needs of girls and their organising.