Mechanics of Participatory Grantmaking

For practitioners starting out with participatory grantmaking or looking to refine their own participatory processes, understanding the minutia how other foundations approach this work can be invaluable.

To capture the finer points of how participatory grantmaking at numerous foundations works, we’ve reached out to participatory grantmakers and asked them to provide a detailed description of their process. These responses — ‘the mechanics’  — have been compiled below, organized and alphabetized by submitting organization.

If you would like to see your participatory grantmaking work featured here, we welcome submissions! In this Word document please respond to the most resonant questions that allow you to illustrate the key features of your organization’s participatory grantmaking process and send to participatorygrantmaking@foundationcenter.org. In your responses, feel free to link to any relevant resources on the web and allow yourself to get as specific as possible! (Please note that responses are subject to light editing by GrantCraft.)

  • Brooklyn Community Foundation
    • (New York, United States)  The Brooklyn Community Foundation works in partnership with generous donors and community leaders to bolster vital nonprofits, strengthen neighborhoods, and increase opportunities for youth.
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
    • (Toronto, Canada)  The Catherine Donnelly Foundation promotes positive social changes by funding a combination of programs and projects in areas such as environment, housing, adult education, and impact investment.
  • Disability Rights Fund
    • (Global) The Disability Rights Fund is a grantmaking collaborative that supports persons with disabilities around the world to build diverse movements, ensure inclusive development agendas, and achieve equal rights and opportunity for all.
  • Durfee Foundation
    • (Los Angeles, CA)  The Durfee Foundation is a family foundation. It focuses on the Los Angeles region and builds partnerships with individuals and organizations that share their ideals of creativity, risk-taking, fiscal care, integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and continuous learning.
  • FundAction
    • (Europe)  FundAction supports grassroots activists from across Europe that work on a variety of issues and social movements
  • Global Greengrants Fund
    • (Global)  Global Greengrants Fund makes grants to grassroots efforts around the world in support of environmental justice, human rights, and sustainability
  • Haymarket People’s Fund
    • (New England, United States)  Haymarket People’s Fund is an anti-racist and multi-cultural foundation that is committed to strengthening the movement for social justice in New England.
  • Kindle Project
    • (Global)  Kindle Project is an agile philanthropic organization invested in democratized, collaborative, and strategic grantmaking that aligns donors and projects for meaningful impact.
  • Liberty Hill Foundation
    • (Los Angeles, CA)  Liberty Hill Foundation supports community organizing and social change movements.
  • The New York Women’s Foundation
    • (New York, United States)  The New York Women’s Foundation creates an equitable and just future for women and families by uniting a cross-cultural alliance that ignites action and invests in bold, community-led solutions across the city.
  • Red Umbrella Fund
    • (Global)  Red Umbrella Fund is a global fund that makes grants to sex worker-led groups, organizations, and networks.
  • RSF Social Finance
    • (San Francisco, CA)  RSF Social Finance is a nonprofit with a mission to create financial relationships that are direct, transparent, personal, and focused on long-term social, economic, and ecological benefit.
  • UHAI EASHRI
    • (East Africa)  UHAI is an indigenous activist fund which provides flexible, accessible resources to support civil society activism around issues of sexuality, health, and human rights in the East African region with a specific focus on the rights of sexual minorities.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by GrantCraft using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Deciding Together.

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