Participatory Grantmaking

When those affected by decisions are the decision-makers

We believe that the power and potential of feedback and meaningful connections among funders, nonprofits, and the people and communities at the heart of our work extends to organizations doing advocacy and systems change work. But how do funders and advocates connect with the people who are affected by their efforts? How do they include the voices of those most impacted by the policies they aim to shape?

To begin to answer these questions, our Advocacy/Policy Committee commissioned a landscape scan of advocacy and policy work, which identified participatory grantmaking as a key strategy. With that analysis, along with our commitment to listen and respond to impacted people and communities, especially those typically least consulted by philanthropy, we launched a participatory grantmaking initiative in 2021 to explore power-sharing around advocacy and policy work. The initiative focused on involving people affected by climate change in the funding and policy decisions that impact them, and was rooted in Shared Insight’s values of inclusion, trust, experimentation, and openness. It was informed by our commitment to advancing equity,

Through this initiative, we created a participatory process of design, grantmaking, and implementation. Grants were announced in January, 2022. 

Participatory Grantmaking Teams

Participatory Grantmaking

Based on the decisions of the Design Team, grantmaking for this project was focused on two geographic areas: the Southeastern United States and the “Kolea Region,” a joint region encompassing Alaska and Hawai’i and named for a migratory bird. The grantmaking budget for this initiative was initially $1 million, but in response to Design Team feedback in favor of amplifying impact throughout two regions of focus, Shared Insight raised an additional $1 million from aligned funders. The Grantmaking Group made decisions about awards from this one-time, $2-million fund.

Our partners and team members, along with their networks, nominated a total of 35 groups. The choices were rooted in the eligibility criteria and purpose statement created by the Design Team, along with the criteria for nominators that the Design Team had reviewed and revised. We assessed eligibility and alignment, adding qualified groups to the portfolio for consideration. To fill specific gaps identified by our teams, we invited nominator-partners and potential grantees to themselves nominate additional groups.

Meet the organizations selected through our participatory grantmaking initiative

Want more details about the grantmaking process?
Read here about the teams’  “big ideas,” what exactly happened, and what was unique and interesting about this initiative.

For more information, contact us

Resources

Check out these webinars and articles to hear directly from community leaders, consultants, and funders about their experiences, learnings, and reflections at different stages of the participatory grantmaking process.

The Nuts and Bolts of Participatory Design

April 2021

Participatory Grantmaking Learning Session

December 2021

Participatory Climate Initiative, Learnings and Reflections

April 2022

Who Chooses? Shifting and Sharing Power with People Most Impacted by Philanthropy’s Decisions

March 2022, Center for Effective Philanthropy

By, Melinda Tuan

Fund for Shared Insight Advocacy/Policy Committee

Kate Barnes

Kate Barnes

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Genny Biggs

Genny Biggs

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Chris Cardona

Chris Cardona

Ford Foundation

Gita Gulati-Partee

Gita Gulati-Partee

Fund for Shared Insight

Jessica Kiessel

Jessica Kiessel

Omidyar Network

Lindsay Louie

Lindsay Louie

Fund for Shared Insight

Katy Love

Katy Love

Consultant

Jamaica Maxwell

Jamaica Maxwell

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Ciciley Moore

Ciciley Moore

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Rick Moyers

Rick Moyers

Fund for Shared Insight

Winifred Olliff

Winifred Olliff

Consultant

Claire Poelking

Claire Poelking

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Melinda Tuan

Melinda Tuan

Fund for Shared Insight

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