New report on how funders can engage in participatory grantmaking


Alliance magazine


New research released by GrantCraft, a free service of Foundation Center, explores how funders can cede decision-making power about funding decisions to the communities they aim to serve. With financial support from the Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations, Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking illustrates why and how funders globally are engaging in this growing practice.

‘This approach isn’t just about more effective grantmaking, but it also creates a paradigm shift in how we work alongside communities as agents of change in their own context. By sharing decision-making power about money, the participatory approach itself is part of the impact,’ says Katy Love, director of resources at the Wikimedia Foundation, an organization that takes a participatory grantmaking approach.

Written by Cynthia Gibson, the guide features voices and examples drawn from a range of participatory grantmakers. ‘This GrantCraft guide highlights practices of many smaller, human rights-focused foundations. We often look to large, well-known foundations for learning, but the grassroots foundations featured in this guide have just as much wisdom to offer, and are particularly intentional about inclusion,’ says Jen Bokoff, guide editor and director of stakeholder engagement at Foundation Center.

To capture the breadth of this work, the GrantCraft guide is complemented by additional resources, including a collection of relevant publications and a repository that includes details about specific foundations’ approaches to participatory grantmaking.

While the guide is the first of its kind focused exclusively on participatory grantmaking, it builds on Foundation Center’s work tied to community philanthropydiversity, equity, and inclusion, and our global research.

Download the guide here:

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