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. The guide 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. 

Publication date: October 2, 2018

​Jen Bokoff

Director of Stakeholder Engagement

Candid.

Jen Bokoff is the director of stakeholder engagement at Candid (formerly Foundation Center + GuideStar). She develops partnerships, projects, and insights power the work of the philanthropic sector. She likes asking “so what?” to push Candid’s data-driven work to be as valuable and actionable as it can be. She also runs GrantCraft, a free service that taps the practical wisdom of funders to improve the collective knowledge of the philanthropy field. In her role, Jen regularly speaks at conferences and facilitates workshops, and connects people to resources, ideas, and one another. Previously, she has enjoyed giving money in her work at a private foundation, taking money in her work for the IRS, and budgeting money in her work as a client advocate. A graduate of Tufts University, Jen studied community health and sociology and spent two years involved in the Learning by Giving philanthropy program. She serves on the Alumni Council’s executive committee and also serves on an advisory committee for The Moth’s education programs. In her spare time, she is an amateur comedic improviser, CrossFitter, and second base woman on Foundation Center’s winning-in-spirit softball team. Jen is a firm believer that innovation and change happen only when passionate people across different industries collaborate; being a strong connector enables this growth in local communities and throughout the world.

Cynthia Gibson

Principal

Cynthesis Consulting

Grants Management Professional Competency Model

Cross-Cutting Competencies

  • Communications: Listen to others and communicate effectively.

Lifecycle of a Grant Competencies

  • Award and Monitoring: Establish mutual expectations between the grantmaker and grantee to support success.
  • Award and Monitoring: Monitor grantee activity to support grantee success and determine compliance with grant agreement.

Key:

Complete
Failed
Available
Locked