Blueprint 2017, Participatory Grantmaking, and More

2016 has been quite a year. Let's all take a collective deep, reflective breath.

Personally, I'm looking forward to some time offline playing board games, reading books, writing letters, and catching up on Netflix later this month to relax and recharge. But before I do, I have three exciting things to share with you! 

  • Today marks the launch of Lucy Bernholz's Blueprint 2017, the forecast for philanthropy and the social economy in the year ahead. Her reflections come at a particularly good pause point as we prepare for new leadership in the United States and ponder the intersection of philanthropic and political activities. This year's edition also explores how government surveillance and the commercial ownership of civil society's digital infrastructure affect free expression and association, which has been on my mind in recent months both in the office as we adapt new digital systems to support our work and in the broader world as we see the impacts of leaked e-mails. This is a great year-end read to spark conversation and structure strategies for the year ahead. Give it a read today, and shoot us an e-mail ([email protected]) if you'd like to share your reactions in a blog post. READ THE REPORT​ 
  • I'm thrilled to announce the topic of our next guide: participatory grantmaking. Increasingly, funders are looking to engage the communities they serve in the grantmaking process, but there are few resources to inform, shape, and encourage this approach. Drawing on the experiences of diverse funders worldwide, our GrantCraft guide will explore the what, how, and why of participatory grantmaking, offering practical wisdom and examples that can influence strategy, practice, and structure across all types of foundations. As part of our research process, a survey will be coming out in January, so please stay tuned! Additionally, if there are organizations/contacts that you would like us to have on our radar, please let us know here. The guide will be published in 2018, but components will be released throughout the guide creation process. Additionally, a working group of participatory grantmakers including Disability Rights Fund, FRIDA, Red Umbrella Fund, UHAI-EASHRI, and Wikimedia Foundation will serve as advisors for this project.
  • Finally, don't forget to check out our new blog series on Out in Ohio: An LGBTQ Funders' Immersion Trip in Cleveland which took place on September 8-9, 2016 and was sponsored by the national affinity group, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and led by local LGBTQ funding ambassadors Kristi Andrasik, Cleveland Foundation and Brian Schultz, Foundation Center Midwest. This is shaping up to be a great collection of posts about how we can better support LGBTQ communities both locally and nationally. 

Thank you all for being a part of the GrantCraft community. If you'd like to contribute a year-end grant or individual gift to support the development of and freely available access to our resources, please be in touch with Aleda. And, as always, I invite you to be in touch with your feedback and ideas by emailing me at [email protected].

This letter originally appeared in yesterday's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free

About the author(s)

Director of Stakeholder Engagement