Training details

access_time 1 hour, 27 minutes

attach_money Free


How can funders make their grantmaking more transparent and inclusive while tackling the unequal power dynamic in philanthropy? Community-led grantmaking is a powerful way to shift decision-making power to the community members who are most marginalized and excluded from resource allocation.

Whether you are a large national funder or small public charity, this video will support you in activating or expanding participatory grantmaking for equity and justice. We explore practical challenges and opportunities in this powerful approach to philanthropy, featuring speakers from four different funding models.

Four different models

Moderated by Jennifer Near, general coordinator of the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative, the webinar featured speakers from four community-led grantmaking models:

  • Maria De La Cruz, associate executive director at Headwaters Foundation for Justice
    Headwaters’ funding model places community leadership at the center of the grantmaking process, recognizing that collective impact requires collective learning and mutual investment. Minnesotans who are on the front lines of social justice are trusted to guide the foundation’s decision-making. The foundation also participates in The Giving Project. Its most recent cohort of 20-25 residents raised more than $200,000 over six months, which was then disbursed as two-year grants to nine organizations.
  • Theresa Trujillo, community partner for southeast Colorado at The Colorado Trust
    Through its Community Partnerships grantmaking initiative, The Colorado Trust seeks to encourage and strengthen community-led solutions and funding initiatives to advance health equity. The foundation has embraced a unique staff model by shifting from “program officers” to “community partners” to build strong partnerships in six regions across the state and help organize, encourage and empower resident-led initiatives.
  • Liane Stegmaier, vice president of communications and strategies at Brooklyn Community Foundation
    Following its innovative community engagement project, Brooklyn Insights, the Brooklyn Community Foundation launched a resident-led investment program called Neighborhood Strength to empower local changemakers in the Crown Heights neighborhood. The initiative brings together community members to identify and direct funding to solutions that target significant local challenges. The foundation hired an experienced community organizer to facilitate the process, including three visioning sessions and the creation of a 17-member advisory council.
  • Cortez Wright, activist grantmaking advisory panelist at the Third Wave Fund
    Third Wave Fund’s gender justice grantmaking approach centers young women of color, queer and trans youth of color, and allows their vision to take center stage. Its Activist Grantmaking Advisory Panel plays a major role in deciding which emerging gender justice organizations will receive long-term funding and technical assistance through the Grow Power Fund. More than 100 people from across the country applied to serve on the panel, and six were chosen and compensated for their role. In 2016, the inaugural members awarded multi-year support to six groups.


Intended audience

  • All levels of experience

Bonus materials

View a copy the presentation slides here.

Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017