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Participatory Grantmaking, Traditional Funders, and the U.S. National Landscape

June 15 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm BST


Participatory Grantmaking, Traditional Funders and the U.S. National Landscape – sharing out research from Ford-funded grants

In 2019, the Ford Foundation funded one of the first efforts to collect quantitative and qualitative data about participatory practices – including grantmaking – in philanthropy. Nine research projects, specifically, were supported (see here for an overview) to help better understand the value, challenges, and outcomes of participatory philanthropy and, ultimately, strengthen the infrastructure and evidence base behind it.

The world and philanthropy have changed so much since these projects were commissioned, however, and the projects have adapted in multiple ways. This session will include an overview of how Ford Foundation approached this effort, including the participatory method it used to choose the funded projects, and look at two research studies of how traditional funders have approached participatory grantmaking. The first, a high-level survey from the University of Washington, provides one of the first national snapshots of where and how large foundations – both private and public – are using participatory approaches (including grantmaking) and how that usage has grown or changed since the original study was conducted. The second, a survey of women’s funds by he Women’s Funding Network, describes how these funds use participation to shift power across their organizations and what they have learned from that process.


Elizabeth Barajas-Román, Women’s Funding Network

Emily A. Finchum-Mason, University of Washington

Chris Cardona, Ford Foundation

Register HERE


June 15
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm BST
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