Back to Collections

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".

More ways to engage:
- Add your organization's content to this collection.
- Easily share this collection on your website or app.

Search this collection

Clear all

13 results found

reorder grid_view

Letting Go of Power, Centering Community: The Share Fund’s Story of Incorporating Participatory Grantmaking in Family Philanthropy

August 1, 2023

This guide offers insights and inspiration for family philanthropists to consider how they can implement participatory grantmaking into their giving. It shares how one family, the Marklyns, established The Share Fund, a participatory giving model that is not funded with endowed funds, but by their deliberate, annual redistribution of their assets to their mission. Their experience is an offering — to the broader philanthropic community and families curious about the model — to learn about one family's journey to developing a participatory grantmaking model that is intentionally designed to shift power and redistribute wealth. As one of The Share Fund Group members expressed, their model is about "creating something new in a way that will be able to serve the community without strings attached."

Community Fund: A Participatory Grantmaking Case Study

January 26, 2023

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) Community team is committed to creating a more equitable, inclusive, and just California full of opportunity, where everyone and every community has the power to shape their future. Key to advancing this mission is CZI's Community Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations across San Mateo County, providing essential programming and acting as catalysts for social change in their communities.Since its inception in 2017, the Community Fund has supported 175 organizations with close to $26 million in grants. These grants empower local changemakers to tackle structural inequities in their communities, from the housing crisis to educational barriers. We hope that the fund — and its impact — will continue to grow, bettering the quality of life for people across San Mateo County and the Bay Area for generations to come.This report maps out the history and growth of the Community Fund, as well as the creation of the Fund's participatory grantmaking practice in the 2021 and 2022 grantmaking cycles, which propelled grants totaling $13 million to 139 organizations across San Mateo County. This collaborative funding approach engages directly impacted community members as part of the grant funding decision-making process in an effort to build trust and prioritize community voice.

Community Interest Funds 2022 Impact Report

October 13, 2022

The Omaha Community Foundation awarded 87 grants totaling $845,000 to local nonprofits and neighborhood groups through our five Community Interest Funds, which includes the:African American Unity FundLGBTQIA2S+ Equality FundFuturo Latino FundRefugee Community Grant FundOmaha Neighborhood Grants ProgramGrants made through our Community Interest Funds are strategic investments meant to increase access, equity, and opportunity. We engage everyday community members to lead grant processes, and we rely on them to exercise and apply their own power and understanding.Each committee is made up of residents who come from or identify with the population being served. They review proposals, and based on the needs they are seeing in their communities, they decide which projects will have the greatest impact.

Some Lessons from Participatory Grantmaking and Meditations on Power for the Field

July 26, 2022

In 2019, the Fund for Shared Insight, a national funder collaborative seeking to improve philanthropy by promoting high-quality listening and feedback in service of equity, created a participatory process of design, grantmaking, and implementation. The full initiative is still underway, but at this moment, we, Shared Insight's learning and evaluation partner, want to reflect on and share back what we are learning from extant data review, observations of meetings and events, conversations with staff, and data collected at up to three time points from those involved in the participatory processes. While there are many useful lessons to learn about how to do participatory grantmaking and what was learned specifically around issues of climate for people in the regions of focus, one of our unique areas of inquiry was to hear directly from those involved about how they felt about shifts in power through the process. We noticed some divergence in perspectives that we thought worthy of exploration. Given the focus on learning from this work, this report is less a full accounting of all lessons and outcomes and more a deeper look to help the funder collaborative and the field grapple with questions around power based on the lessons from this participatory grantmaking initiative.

Indigenous Women's Flow Fund: 2021 - 2022 Storytelling

July 7, 2022

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.

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.

Grassroots Grantmaking: Embedding Participatory Approaches in Funding

February 1, 2020

For me some of the most interesting insights to come out of my research were around how traditional funders can move towards participatory models, and the fact that this is possible. As interest in participatory grantmaking (PGM) gathers momentum it is likely that one-off programmes will be designed and tested but will quickly fade as the next 'latest thing' arrives. This research has tried to identify and address some of the biggest barriers and things to think about, with examples from funders, grantmakers and foundations who are doing it well, in order to help others embed PGM. I have looked at risk factors or concerns that might stop a board or senior management supporting this approach and what resources and staff skills are required to operationalise it.

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: 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.

Change, Not Charity: The Story of the Funding Exchange - A Pioneer in Social Justice Philanthropy

January 25, 2017

This publication tells the story of the Funding Exchange, a pioneering national network of social justice foundations that was created in 1979 and operated for nearly 35 years before deciding to disband. Its purpose is to provide an honest exploration of the Funding Exchange's experience – the network's significant influence as well as the problems and internal strains that led to its eventual dissolution.The story offers lessons that have practical relevance for today's social justice activists and funders, philanthropy scholars, and foundation professionals.

Collaborating With The Crowd: Insights From The 2014 My LA2050 Grants Challenge

July 13, 2015

In 2013, LA2050 asked the Los Angeles community to dream up the most imaginative ideas on how to improve the future of Los Angeles. What we found was so much more than ten fabulous winning proposals -- we found that Los Angeles is bursting with creative ideas to improve communities. We released the report Unleashing the Potential of Los Angeles to interpret the trends, tools, and ideas that emerged in 2013. We ran the My LA2050 Grants Challenge again in 2014, and Los Angeles did not disappoint. This paper, Collaborating with the Crowd, shares data, emerging trends, and evaluative metrics which surfaced in the 2014 My LA2050 Grants Challenge.

Philanthropyandthe New Economy: Models for Collaborative and Democratic Innovation

May 1, 2014

The New Economy Coalition sponsored this paper by the Tellus Institute to begin a conversation about federated funding and other models of philanthropy that might be particularly useful to movement building. Most of the organizations in the New Economy Coalition would not exist without the exceptional generosity and commitment of individuals and foundations. The boldness and leadership of these donors has allowed many new ideas to germinate and grow. At the same time, some models of philanthropy can sometimes have a dampening effect on collaboration by forcing too many organizations to compete, rather than to cooperate. This background paper offers information about the history and design of different types of giving, as a way of asking whether additional innovation within philanthropy might be a way to enhance the impact of the emergent New Economy movement. We hope that this will stimulate important conversations and experiments. We look forward to hearing everyone's views.