Communities taking the lead in funding decisions

Communities taking the lead in funding decisions

Over the past decade, we have worked with and learnt from a multitude of funders and partners about participatory grantmaking. Handing over responsibility has forced us to look critically at our role as a funder. This has resulted in communities co-deciding on all our funding decisions forming a cornerstone of our 2022-2025 strategy. Money is power. We believe that through participatory grantmaking, we can shift the power to those people who matter most.

How is this done? Here's how!

Why Participatory Grantmaking?

First and foremost, because communities know better than us what works for them. But participatory grantmaking is about more than effective grantmaking: it also creates a paradigm shift in how we work alongside communities. By sharing decision-making power about funding with the very communities that funders aim to serve, the participatory process becomes part of the impact rather than an administrative and often opaque process. And by involving communities and their representatives in defining funding strategies, criteria and award decisions, we strengthen their capacity and ability to take over larger grantmaking responsibilities in the future.

What does it look like in practice? Dive in!

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The Love Alliance

The Love Alliance believe that it is crucial to put communities in the driver’s seat of change. That’s why we work through the participatory grantmaking approach. This way, the Love Alliance plans to allocate € 38,8 million euros by 2025 to support community organisations in their work to break down barriers faced by key populations. So far, the Alliance has supported 129 grantees from 8 different countries in Africa.

Robert Carr Fund: the efficient participatory grantmaking model

The Robert Carr Fund is a participatory grantmaker, which means that the communities most impacted by HIV recommend where funds should be directed. This allows us to shift the power and transfer the decision-making to the communities themselves.

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