Cynthia Gibson

Founder and Principal, Cynthesis Consulting

Cynthia M. Gibson, Ph.D., is founder and principal of Cynthesis Consulting, which specializes in evaluation, public policy research and analysis, program development, strategic planning, survey design, marketing and communications (including digital/social media). With more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, she’s held leadership roles for several national foundations and nonprofits and become a highly regarded strategist, thought leader, writer, and practitioner on issues ranging from civic engagement and nonprofit management to health care and education. Read more.


Participatory Grantmaking: Has Its Time Come?

Posted on August 25, 2020 by Cynthia Gibson

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… Read More

Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking

Posted on August 24, 2020 by Cynthia Gibson

Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking looks at why and how funders are engaging in participatory grantmaking and shifting decision-making power to the very communities impacted by funding decisions. Through examples and insights from a diverse range of participatory grantmakers, the report explores the benefits, challenges, and models of participatory grantmaking… Read More