At Palestine's community foundation, which I co-founded, we innovated a process called, "Community-controlled grantmaking." We believed that funding belonged to the community already, so since we weren't donors (it wasn't our money), our job was only to ensure a process that was transparent, democratic and accountable. The decision about how to use funds belonged to the community for which they were intended. So they voted (there's a process here) and monitored the grants and the grantees reported back to the community. I wrote two articles based on my experience as the founding director which are in the brand-new book, "Smart Risks: How Small Grants Are Helping Solve Some of the World's Biggest Problems." My chapters are about how financial reports can undermine development (or promote it) and about communication between international and local organizations. I think anyone interested in how to allow the grassroots to lead would like the book. You can read about it here:

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Comment by Nora Lester Murad on June 4, 2017 at 10:49am

We don't try to convince donors. We just choose to work with ones that are already convinced. Community determines priorities through transparent voting process and yes they have a community monitoring committee to ensure accountability to the community.

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on May 23, 2017 at 10:13pm

Community centric grant making is wonderful because communities know what is best for them. I want to congratulate you for your achievement.

How were you able to convince the donor agency?

Also I was wondering about how did the community determine their priority? 

Was community engaged in assessing its own progress?

Am sharing two links you had shared related to the topic-


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