Participatory Grantmaking: A Shared Approach to Effective Change
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Description
If you’re a frequent listener of this podcast, or have attended any of our SSIR conferences, you probably know that one of the maxims about social innovation that I believe strongly is the one that states “the most effected are the most effective” – that those who are closest to the problems are often the ones with the greatest insights into what needs to occur to address them. In many ways, this is the ethos behind the idea of “participatory grantmaking.” Participatory grantmaking encompasses a range of models and methods. At its core, this approach to funding cedes decision-making power about grants to the very communities impacted by funding decisions. As with so many other sectors, the philanthropic sector has seen a heightened demand for greater accountability and transparency, with people wanting greater voice in the decisions affecting their communities. But as with any other approach, what does this strategy look like in action? And what can we learn about our individual approach as donors from organizations that have adopted a participatory approach?
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