Giving Compass' Take:

• Allison R. Davis shares advice for donors who want to engage in participatory grantmaking based on the experience of the Global Greengrants Fund. 

• Are you ready to engage in participatory grantmaking? How can you engage in this practice during the pandemic? 

• Read about supporting systemic change through participatory grantmaking


Our advice to donors looking to bring more participation into their grantmaking:

  1. Look for mechanisms that invite say and feedback from the people living and working where you would like to give. It takes time to build such connections of trust and the processes to guide them. You can also partner with organizations that already have these networks and processes in place.
  2. Establish principles around the grantmaking. Ensure the people proposing the work are using community consultation. Ideally, proposals have inclusive steps to widen who is involved. Good grantmaking brings diverse voices into the decision making because diversity brings strength and innovation for wider effect. Also, at a minimum, the grant should not further exclude people by age, ability, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
  3. Peer review is important in grantmaking. Ideally, proposals are debated and improved upon through collective discussion across a diverse and knowledgeable group of people. Everyone learns and can further support the grantee when the grantmaking rounds have a mechanism of transparent peer review.

Read the full article about tips for participatory grantmaking by Allison R. Davis at Exponent Philanthropy.