A Community of Practice

Actively working to transform existing power dynamics within philanthropy to move decision-making authority to communities being served

Who We Are

In March 2020, a group involved in Participatory Grantmaking (PGM), began meeting to share their work, ideas and hopes for the future of PGM. Since then our community has grown to over 800 people from around the world. Members of our community represent a wide range of actors within philanthropy. This includes people working with or within foundations, with funders, and donors who are actively working to transform existing power dynamics to move decision-making authority to communities being served.

Participatory grantmaking has been practiced within modern philanthropy for over 40 years, and is increasingly being explored, promoted, and strategically used by foundations and collaboratives around the world today. While there is a growing body of literature and tools to help people wherever they are in their participatory journeys, there is also a visible interest to learn from others, share experiences, and grow the practice together. This community of practice aims to be this missing space for practitioners to access knowledge and connect with one another.

 

Our Mission & Vision

The Participatory Grantmaking Community is a global collective of individuals and organizations interested in sharing knowledge and practice to improve participatory grantmaking and encourage its use within philanthropy. 

We believe that when grantmaking processes are designed and owned by communities themselves, philanthropy will be more effective, democratic, and just. 

The Work

We support each other through peer-to-peer learning, resource sharing, and advocacy. 

  • Peer-to-peer learning – deepening relationships between community members
  • Deeper Dive – sharing best practices and resources around participatory grantmaking, including examples of what has worked and what hasn’t
  • Advocacy – influencing the field of philanthropy to be more transparent, equitable, accountable and democratic

Our Community Values

  • We believe in self-determination
    • The concept of self-determination is critical to grantmaking decisions; grants and grant strategies should be determined by the communities served
    • Self-determination means that people have the right and responsibility to make. choices and decisions about their own lives

 

  • We are rooted in values of anti-oppression and equity
    • Within our community, we are committed to challenging stigma and discrimination including anti-Blackness, racism, classism, sexism and ableism. We are attentive to histories of colonization, imperialism, violence, and capitalism and a culture of taking which has shaped how institutional philanthropy has arrived to where it is today.
    • Our work aims to honor a human rights approach to global issues, and be inclusive of the rights of all people. 
  • We value accountability and transparency
    • We honor and own our mistakes, and value critical feedback. While we are steadfast in our commitment, we know that mistakes, and the process of openly and transparently learning and growing from them, are an inherent part of the work. We recognize that race, equity, access, diversity, and inclusion efforts are evolving and that they require us to learn, adapt, and innovate. The process is the point. 
    • We value accountability. We understand we are not alone in our journey as a community and that circles of feedback enhance our work, relationships, and trust. We practice “calling in” each other and aim to actively receive and share constructive critical feedback with our peers, within and outside of our community, and to incorporate what we learn, with care, openness and humility. 
  • We move with care, love, and joy
    • We are engaged in deep, often difficult work where tension is inevitable. In order to thrive in this work, we take time to support each other and celebrate our work. We make time for check ins, compensate people fairly for their time, and work to create a space of collective care for our communities. 

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