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, we 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 new participatory grantmaking initiative to explore power-sharing around advocacy and policy work. The initiative focuses on involving people affected by climate change in the funding and policy decisions that impact them. The initiative is rooted in Shared Insight’s values of inclusion, trust, experimentation, and openness, and informed by our commitment to advancing equity,

Consultants Katy Love and Winifred Olliff, both experienced practitioners of participatory grantmaking, are leading our efforts, creating a participatory process of design, grantmaking, and implementation scheduled to extend through 2022. 

Participatory Grantmaking is “an approach to philanthropy that cedes decision-making authority to the very communities affected by funding decisions”
Grantcraft by Candid

$2 Million

NEW INITIATIVE
with the goal of
involving people deeply
impacted by climate change

Participatory Design

To get started, we partnered with people and organizations with relevant knowledge of communities impacted by climate change in the United States (including states, territories, and D.C.) to select members for a Design Team. Twelve individuals with lived expertise around climate change, ecological disruption, and/or traditional ecological knowledge were selected. They come from communities that are historically excluded from policy decision-making, such as BIPOC communities, rural and small-town communities, and coastal, island, or inland communities. They joined with one funder representative to engage in a six-week participatory design process to define the program’s purpose. 

Design Team members are participating as individuals, not formal representatives of their communities. Their participation does not indicate that they are affiliated with participating funders beyond this initiative or that they are representing or endorsing the actions or statements of the funders. Team members and the partner organizations that selected them were offered compensation.

Eleven Design Team members will also continue their advisory roles into the grantmaking phase to provide advice about how their design is implemented.

A learning event to explore lessons from the first phase of our participatory grantmaking initiative.

DESIGN TEAM

A-dae Briones

A-dae Briones

Lodi, California

A-dae is Kiowa/Cochiti, and is the Director of Programs for the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative at First Nations Development Institute.

Austin Ahmasuk

Austin Ahmasuk

Nome, Alaska

Austin “tusauna” Ahmasuk is a kingikmiu inupiaq born and raised in Nome, Alaska, who works as a Marine Advocate for Kawerak, Inc, a tribal consortium for the Bering Strait region. Mr. Ahmasuk is a lifelong hunter, trapper, and mariner, and he has been an environmental and tribal advocate since 1997.

Billy Kinney

Billy Kinney

Haleleʻa, Kauaʻi, Hawaii

Billy Kinney is from the rural, coastal, fishing communities of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi. He has joined this committee because his work is centered in understanding pilina (relationality), akua (the divine), and kilo (traditional observational practices) for Hawaiian place-making and planning.

Cynthia Naha

Cynthia Naha

Santa Fe, New Mexico

A member of the Hopi Tribe from Northern Arizona, and of Tewa and Dakota lineage, Cynthia joined the committee because she is interested in assisting others to build capacity around communicating climate change, especially within our Pueblo and Tribal communities.

Donald Bogen

Donald Bogen

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Donald Bogen is the Co-Director of Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizer. Louisiana finds itself facing sea level rise and coastal land loss, which threatens livelihoods and local cultures. Donald joined this committee to make sure funders get it right when addressing the needs of vulnerable populations.

Elsie DuBray*

Elsie DuBray*

Cheyenne River Reservation, South Dakota

Elsie is a young Oohenunpa Lakota, Nueta, and Hidatsa woman who has grown up on the Cheyenne River Reservation. She spent her life watching and learning from the Buffalo first hand and being passed knowledge and seeks to bring holistic health to the people, animals, and land in her community and this Earth.

Garett Blaize

Garett Blaize

Southwestern Virginia

Garett is a 21-year-old living in the Appalachian Mountains. In the past few years, they’ve taken part in a number of advocacy campaigns on behalf of their communities which are undergoing a period of economic and social transition resulting from the long-term impacts of the coal industry in the region.

Janiece Watts

Janiece Watts

Minnesota

Janiece is joining the committee to dream about better ways for participatory grantmaking to service and support environmental justice work. Environmental justice solutions that come directly from people most impacted have gone un-funded for too long.

Jayeesha Dutta

Jayeesha Dutta

New Orleans, Louisiana

Jayeesha Dutta is a tri-coastal, tri-lingual Bengali-USAn interdisciplinary artist, cultural organizer, pop-ed facilitator, and healing justice practitioner. She is a co-founding member of Another Gulf Is Possible (AGIP) Collaborative, catalyzing the use of art, culture, media, direct action, healing and transformative justice towards just transition solutions for our people and the planet.

Reverend Leo Woodberry

Reverend Leo Woodberry

Florence, South Carolina

Reverend Woodberry became involved in environmental work in the 1990s and he has and continues to work in the areas of water, air, as well as renewable and sustainable energy issues. Reverend Woodberry is the pastor of Kingdom Living Temple, Executive Director of New Alpha Community Development Corporation in Florence, SC, and a member of the SC Environmental Justice Network.

Lindsay Louie*

Lindsay Louie*

Menlo Park, California

Lindsay Louie is a Program Officer for Philanthropy Grantmaking at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It is a privilege to join this committee with a diverse group from across the country to design a participatory grantmaking process to support and enhance listening to those who are most affected by climate change in the United States and whose voices have not historically been heard and elevated.

Rosalinda Guillen

Rosalinda Guillen

Washington State

Rosalinda is a farmworker and food sovereignty/solidarity economy organizer.  She works to build a broader base of support for rural communities and sustainable agriculture policies that ensure equity and healthy communities for farmworkers.

Soledad Gaztambide-Arandes

Soledad Gaztambide-Arandes

Puerto Rico

Soledad Gaztambide-Arandes is the Policy and Government Relations Coordinator at the non-profit organization Para la Naturaleza. She joined the committee to experience participatory grantmaking and add value to the design team and process, considering Puerto Rico’s challenges and our experience as a small island territory in relation to the impacts of climate change.

*Design Team participants during the design phase only.

Next Steps: Participatory Grantmaking

“This program will fund grassroots groups that implement climate justice or environmental justice work in their communities that centers traditional and/or local ecological knowledge and connection with Mother Earth. The work of these groups will demonstrate approaches to adaptation that may also be applied in other contexts and influence policy.”

Program purpose statement created by the Design Team

Along with creating the purpose statement, the Design Team identified two geographic focus areas: the Southeastern United States and a joint focus on Alaska and Hawai’i (the “Kolea Region,” named for a migratory bird). The grantmaking budget for this initiative was initially $1 million, and in response to Design Team feedback, Shared Insight raised an additional $1 million from aligned funders to amplify the initiative’s impact and expand its reach to include both focus areas. 

Throughout this process, we are reaching out to people and organizations with relevant knowledge to gather feedback about our approach, and have made changes based on their ideas and insights. We collected nominations this summer from Design Team members and their networks, and a participatory grantmaking group from the two regions will meet in the fall to select recipients. The grants will be general operating support grants (wherever possible) and will be a minimum of $10,000 each for a 12-month period. Distribution is expected to begin January 2022.

For more information contact us at participatorygrantmaking@fundforsharedinsight.org

Fund for Shared Insight Advocacy/Policy Committee

FUNDERS

Linda Baker

Linda Baker

David and Lucile Packard Foundation

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

Rachel Huguet

Rachel Huguet

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Shaheen Kassam-Lakha

Shaheen Kassam-Lakha

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Jessica Kiessel

Jessica Kiessel

Omidyar Network

Lindsay Louie

Lindsay Louie

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Anna Loizeaux

Anna Loizeaux

The JPB Foundation

Ciciley Moore

Ciciley Moore

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Claire Poelking

Claire Poelking

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Jennifer Chavez Rubio

Jennifer Chavez Rubio

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

STAFF & CONSULTANTS

Gita Gulati-Partee

Gita Gulati-Partee

Fund for Shared Insight

Rick Moyers

Rick Moyers

Fund for Shared Insight

Melinda Tuan

Melinda Tuan

Fund for Shared Insight

Katy Love

Katy Love

Consultant

Winifred Olliff

Winifred Olliff

Consultant

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