A $1-million participatory grantmaking initiative for 2021 starts with a design team  

Fund for Shared Insight is pleased to announce the launch of a $1-million participatory grantmaking initiative with the selection of a 13-member design team whose recommendations will shape the initiative’s grantmaking in 2021.

This new effort expands on Shared Insight’s work to date to promote listening and high-quality feedback as a way to advance equity and build meaningful connections among funders, nonprofits, and the people and communities we ultimately seek to benefit.

While Shared Insight continues to see listening and feedback as essential practices, participatory grantmaking is considered another way to help funders, particularly those that support advocacy and policy work, to partner with nonprofits and elevate the voices of those most impacted but least heard in decision-making.

This initiative focuses on involving people deeply impacted by climate change in the funding and policy decisions that affect them. You can learn more about the design team, which began its work together in November, on the website here. Twelve of the 13 design team members were selected by partner organizations because they bring lived expertise around climate change, ecological disruptions, and/or ecological knowledge and come from communities (such as BIPOC communities or small towns) historically excluded from policy decision-making. They are joined by one representative from Shared Insight’s core funders.

Meet the design team members and learn more about them on the initiative’s page

The team will advise on the focus of the grants and the structure of a grantmaking body. Grantmaking will begin in 2021.

Shared Insight is pursuing this new work as it continues to scale its feedback initiative, Listen4Good, recognizing that feedback surveys are not always the best tool for every circumstance. Informed by Shared Insight’s theory of change, which includes an “experiment and innovate” strategy, the funder collaborative aims to increase knowledge about different kinds of listening practices. And while there is a large body of work around participatory grantmaking, it is a new practice for this group to undertake.

A goal of the initiative is to share learnings with other funders and the broader field, adding to the excellent resources already available. As always, Shared Insight’s efforts are in service of its overarching aim — that the people and communities philanthropy seeks to help, especially those whose voices are least heard, are better off in ways they define for themselves.

More information about Participatory Grantmaking