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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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.

unbowed: Annual Report 2016 / 2017

December 31, 2017

UHAI EASHRI is an indigenous activist fund supporting the struggle for the human rights oflesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) and sex worker Africans. As we look back on the past two years, we remain grateful to our funding and grantee partners who have consistentlybelieved in our funding philosophy and most importantly, to our movements that persist in their resilience and remained unbowed. 

Monitoring and Evaluating Participatory Grantmaking

June 24, 2016

This paper discusses participatory grankmaking in a general context in terms of pros/cons and cost efficiency compared to other practices. It also discusses strategies and challenges associated with Baring Foundation's LGBTI initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Advancing Trans* Movements Worldwide: Lessons from a Dialogue Between Funders and Activists Working on Gender Diversity

September 17, 2014

This report serves a number of purposes. The first is to capture the discussions and outcomes towards better coordination and collaboration on trans* and intersex funding. Included are concrete recommendations at the organizational level that could improve an individual donor's approach to funding on trans* and intersex issues, as well as ideas about how to collaboratively and strategically support these movements. The second purpose is to document the methodologyof organizing a donor/activist convening in a collaborative manner. The means to the end of improving the amount and quality of funding is critical. A collaborative process between donors and activists resulted in a meeting that is more relevant, and that builds the capacity of donorsand activists. The first two sections of this report outline the suggested next steps and actions coming out of the dialogue, and document the meeting methodology. They are followed by a number of sections that provide reflections on the different presentations and discussions thattook place over the two days. The report finishes with recommendations to donor organizations, and trans* and intersex activists and groups. 

Participatory Grant Making: A Success Story from Southern Africa

September 1, 2014

The Other Foundation (tOF) is an African trust dedicated to advancing human rights in southern Africa, with a particular focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Our primary purpose is to expand resources available to defend and advance the rights and wellbeing of LGBTI people in the southern African region. We do this by working both as a grant-maker and a fundraiser.The founding board of tOF was first convened in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2013. At that initial meeting concern was expressed about the need for the membership of the board to better reflect the diversity of the southern Africa region. However, it was also noted that the funding for the establishment of the Foundation was a generous challenge grant from Atlantic Philanthropies, that set very specific fund raising targets within specified time-frames. It was therefore agreed that the founding board would set a limited number of tasks to fulfill, leading to the establishment of a board more appropriately reflective of the community it was established to serve. The three tasks were: (a) appoint the founding CEO; (b) undertake a pilot grant making initiative; and (c) work with the incoming CEO on a strategic plan.This report outlines the work that was involved in the development and implementation of the pilot grant making initiative, as well as reporting on the first grants that were allocated by the foundation. tOF received 114 applications for funding, from seven different countries, through an open call to support work that 'advances the rights and well-being of LGBTI people in Southern Africa'. 12 peer reviewers from six different countries in southern Africa, were selected through an open call for nominations to work with the board to select the proposals to be funded. The peer reviewers worked in four teams of 3 reviewers each, facilitated by a board member, to come to a consensus about which projects to recommend for funding. The process began by each reviewer individually assessing a number of applications, and then coming together in teams to share their findings.32 proposals were recommended for funding to the Board. About R3.1 million rand was awarded in grants ranging in size from R 10,000 to R 500,000. Grants were allocated in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Work that tOF will be supporting includes: investigating how midwives deal with inter-sex babies in Botswana; a holiday camp for children of LGBT people in South Africa; research into gender non-conformity in Swaziland; a book on Queer African Theology; mainstreaming issues related to sexual orientation in religious curricula in a university in Zimbabwe; as well as supporting anchor institutions in the region that are responsible for doing ground breaking work around the region through the Out in Africa film festival, the gay and lesbian archives, and trans and gender identity based advocacy work.

FLGBTQI + ADAM Queer Youth Initiative: Reflections from the First Foundation Cohort

March 19, 2012

In 2007, the ADAM funding collaborative and Funders for LGBTQ Issues launched a matching grants program designed to support and serve LGBTQ youth. Four years after the initiative's first grants were made, foundation staff reflect on what their participation revealed about engaging youth, the value (monetary and otherwise) of matching programs, and the power of small grants to do mighty things.