Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking

Funders are increasingly looking to engage the communities they serve in the grantmaking process, but there are few resources about how to do so. In this guide, GrantCraft explores how funders can engage in participatory grantmaking and cede decision-making power about funding decisions to the very communities they aim to serve. Deciding Together: Shifting Power and Resources Through Participatory Grantmaking illustrates why and how funders around the world are engaging in this practice that is shifting traditional power dynamics in philanthropy. Created with input from a number of participatory grantmakers, the guide shares challenges, lessons learned, and best practices for engaging in inclusive grantmaking. 

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Why Proven Solutions Struggle to Scale Up

Our world faces many big challenges, from disastrous weather patterns, to refugees without homes, to increasing inequality. To tackle these problems, we need to scale big ideas and unleash the power of social innovation. Fortunately, the opportunity for impact mirrors the immensity of the need. There are countless solutions and social innovators mobilizing to solve some of society’s most pressing problems. Unfortunately, many social innovations fail because they are unable to bridge the “stagnation chasm” — where proven ideas get stuck before they are able to maximize their impact.

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Scaling Solutions toward Shifting Systems

Realizing that the world’s pressing challenges are becoming more complex, many philanthropic funders are reflecting on how to create more transformational impact.

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Getting Past the Hamster Wheel

Cross-posted at eJewish Philanthropy

One of the most popular recurrent dreams comes in different variations, but the core feeling is always the same: we run but we don’t advance. We wake up with a feeling of being caught in an inescapable hamster wheel, a sort of eternal Sisyphean cycle of useless effort. I leave the explanation of these dreams to neuroscientists, psychologists, and astrologists, but my own interpretation is a metaphor for a deep malaise that affects that philanthropic sector: the inability to produce systemic change.

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Giving Wisely and With Impact: Part 4

Most philanthropic milestones know no religious or cultural boundaries. Still, some Jewish traditions add extra dimensions to the journey of giving. Tzedakah commands Jews to give as an act of justice, rather than to burnish one’s virtue.

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Giving Wisely and With Impact: Part 3

The most-effective philanthropists know not to go it alone.

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Giving Wisely and With Impact: Part 2

Philanthropists and funders want to do much more than write a check. Instead, they respond to a need to connect their giving to their convictions and motivations.

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Your Jewish Philanthropy Roadmap


Giving Wisely and With Impact

For many Jews, giving is a part of who they are. After all, tzedakah literally means “justice,” even though it’s often translated as charity. It’s a way to create a world where fairness is the rule rather than the exception. Since giving is a central tenet of Judaism, tzedakah is also a way to manifest the values Jews hold most deep.

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