How can philanthropic foundations foster deeper relationships with their recipients and truly “walk the walk” on community-led grantmaking? One strategy is participatory grantmaking. Ciciley “CC” Moore, a senior program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recently participated in the Fund for Shared Insight’s Participatory Climate Initiative. In contrast to her usual work as program officer, her role with FSI was “to sit, listen, and be guided by those closest to the work.”

Participatory grantmaking is a revolution in philanthropy, placing those keenly affected at the center and giving them the power to decide which programs to be funded and how. In traditional grantmaking, a foundation and its officers control the available funds, and affected communities present their work for approval and fiscal support. In participatory grantmaking, individuals and communities with lived experience set the strategy and priorities, as well as evaluating grant applicants and designating grant sizes.

CC reflected: “Getting funds into the hands of the community is the start, not the end.”

Read the full interview with CC by Grantmaking Group members Jayeesha Dutta and Miwa Tamanaha.

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Ebony Welch
Ebony Welch is a content specialist at Seiche, a full-service strategy and creative consulting agency committed to social impact, and has a background in racial equity, social impact and creating visual and written content that encourages dialogue.

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