NCFP believes that one of the core tenets of enlightened philanthropy is listening to end beneficiaries and being regularly informed by the people donors seek to serve. Participatory grantmaking takes listening one step further to engage community members in the decision-making process around grants. This Content Collection features research, case studies, discussion guides, and other articles and blog posts on the practice of participatory grantmaking (also sometimes referred to as “community led grantmaking”).
Please also see the following NCFP Content Collections for additional information and resources on topics related to this collection:
Research and Reports
From Beneficiary to Active Agent: How Youth-Led Grantmaking Benefits Young People, Their Communities, and the Philanthropic SectorReport
Participatory Grantmaking: Has Its Time Come?Report
Blog Posts and Perspectives
How Participatory Grantmaking Can Strengthen Your PhilanthropyBlog Post
Engaging Youth Voices in Participatory Grantmaking PracticeBlog Post
Democratizing Family Philanthropy: Shifting Practice to Share PowerBlog Post
Philanthropy as Democracy Enhancement: Big Philanthropy’s Role as Discovery for Social Problem-SolvingBlog Post
Case Studies and Foundation Profiles
Participatory Grantmaking Case Study: Durfee FoundationCase Study
Participatory Grantmaking Case Study: Catherine Donnelly FoundationCase Study
The Canary Fund: Participatory Grantmaking at the David Rockefeller FundImpact Story
Another World is Possible: A Vision of Putting Philanthropy Out of BusinessArticle
Community-Centric Youth Philanthropy: A Case Study of Greater Worcester Community Foundation’s Youth for Community Improvement ProgramCase Study
Learning Together: Reflections on a Participatory Grantmaking ProjectReport
A Move Toward Community Led Grantmaking: A Case Study of the Jay and Rose Phillips FoundationCase Study
Grantmaking That is “With” and Not “For”Article
The Perrin Family Foundation: A Funder Journey StoryBlog Post
Toolkits and Guides
Flipping the Script: Shifting Foundation Power to CommunityTool
Additional Posts and Perspectives
Getting Your Board on Board with Participatory Grantmaking: Addresses some of the most common concerns of embedding participatory grantmaking approaches.
Who Owns Philanthropy? A Look through an Antiracist Lens: Questions the uses, effects, and basic ownership rights of philanthropy in a democratic and racialized context, applying it to disaster philanthropy.
The Historical Case for Participatory Grantmaking: Makes the case that participation has always been part of philanthropy as a value, ethos, and practice.
Big Philanthropy Faces a Reckoning, Too: It’s time to challenge philanthropists and their foundations to open up their grantmaking decisions to those who’ve been marginalized.
A Funder Collaborative’s Promising, Participatory Model for Diversifying Arts Funding: Housed at the New York Community Trust and guided by funders and arts practitioners, the Mosaic Network and Fund serves as a promising and potentially replicable model for foundations looking to better engage historically underrepresented communities.
Not Just Cute Faces: Youth Grantmakers Are Strengthening Philanthropy: Youth are driving grant dollars to organizations that are changing communities through more than 800 programs around the world.
How Youth Are Advising a Foundation Leader and Guiding a Major California Grantmaker: The California Endowment’s President’s Youth Council is one of many examples of the far-reaching potential of getting young people involved at the highest levels of philanthropy.
Participatory Design Approaches to Impact Investing: Identifies four key stages in which a participatory approach can make a difference in your foundation’s impact investing strategy.
Additional Resources on Participatory Grantmaking: GrantCraft’s comprehensive collection of blog posts, articles, and other online media produced on the topic.