Participatory Grantmaking: Has Its Time Come?

The Ford Foundation commissioned this paper to explore participatory approaches, especially participatory grantmaking, and their potential use by foundations.

The paper synthesizes several existing participatory frameworks, identifies common components, and applies these to philanthropy as a “starter” framework that can, hopefully, be used as a springboard for ongoing discussion and development among grantmakers and non-grantmakers.

The paper explores whether these existing frameworks—or at least key components of them—can be applied to institutional philanthropy by proposing a starter framework for participatory grantmaking that can, hopefully, be used as a springboard for ongoing discussion across the field.

The paper also includes suggestions and ideas for action for those interested in advancing participatory approaches to philanthropy. It closes with a call for institutional philanthropy to consider embracing the power of inclusion, openness and participation to achieve better results for communities and all of society.

This Collection

Participatory Grantmaking

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).

See Collection

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!


Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now