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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Participatory grant making

Participatory grant making turns traditional grant making on its head by giving recipients the power to make the decision about how funds are allocated. The underlying philosophy of participatory grant making is to empower individuals and communities with flexibility and support to make collective decisions about financial resources. Educators at the University of Minnesota Extension have been experimenting with participatory grant making in our efforts to leverage community knowledge and power in service of building a just and equitable food system.

Why participatory grant making?

Explore the power of participatory grant making as discussed by our educators and and partners:

Participatory grant making in action

Learn about the Action Learning Seed Fund launched by Extension to foster connections across the state and provide flexible funding to advance equity-based food system work. The fund utilizes a shared gifting method of participatory grant making. 

Watch this  15-minute video featuring highlights from our first Action Learning Seed Fund shared gifting circle to get a sense of how this process works in a virtual setting.


Get involved!

Find out how to run a shared gifting circle online through our virtual simulation with the Chesapeake Foodshed Network or by downloading our shared gifting facilitation templates:

Contact our team to learn more about how we can support your efforts and curiosities related to participatory grant making. Get a taste of our consultative work by reading the Michigan Good Fund blog post about a shared gifting circle that we designed and facilitated in partnership with Capital Impact Partners. 

Reviewed in 2020

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