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Committee Reflects on Participatory Grantmaking

In June, the participatory grantmaking committee members gathered virtually for three days to listen, learn, and build community with nonprofit organizations applying for a girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) grant. In total, the committee recommended 18 multi-year grants and four planning grants totaling $330,000 to nonprofit organizations. In the seventh cohort of girlsBEST grantee-partners, grantees will focus on STEAME (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and Entrepreneurship) to invest in girls as the best way to build opportunities and boost their future economic success. They are receiving their first year of funding on a multi-year grant. Multi-year grants are renewed for up to three years, based on an annual grant review and progress towards goals. Seed grants support planning and are limited to one year. The grant period for this funding is July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. All grantmaking supports general operations, which provides greatest flexibility for organizations. 

During the site visit meetings, the committee asked organization leaders about their program goals, outcomes, and vision to realize economic justice for girls and gender-expansive youth. Many shared the need to build a sense of belonging and togetherness, create positive relationships, and cultivate leadership opportunities. Collectively, grantee-partners shared a common theme on addressing mental health and having multiple pathways to build economic success. One partner shared their vison to realize economic justice through activism is “rest, healing, joy and freedom to express.”

The participatory grantmaking members ended their experience with positive relationships and left feeling inspired to do more.

A few reflections shared by the committee were:

  • Thankful to participate virtually as a participant and get to know other organizations doing great work.
  • Nice to hear about new programs from the community – we are doing a great job with representation across the state.
  • Fun listening to organizations speak about their work, hear the passion and excitement to share.
  • Appreciate the informal layout and setting – unspoken rules of professionalism harm BIPOC communities.
  • Passion driven on emotionally heavy subjects.
  • It is nice to hear stories from real people from the community.
  • This work is not just about budgeting, it’s about wealth investments.
  • So proud of the work.
  • Happy to be part of this experience.

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