We begin with residents

Inclusion vs. Resident-centered

A guiding question of this year’s On The Ground in Pittsburgh was “what does resident-centered philanthropy look like?” As thought leaders in grassroots grantmaking, we ask this question because just about every funder will say that seeking input from grantees is good for grantmaking, but what that looks like in practice can vary wildly.

Given that thoughtful resident/grantee participation in grant decisions can greatly increase the effectiveness of those investments, we’d like to share some of the ways we are exploring centering resident perspectives, as opposed to simply including them. Including a perspective ensures that it is added to the mix. Centering a perspective ensures that it is elevated in importance, it comes in from the margins, it guides the decision-making. Residents are not the only voice to take into account as grantmaking decisions are made, but given the degree to which they are marginalized or not heard at all, working to bring those voices to the center far more frequently will be highly worthwhile.

What are some aspects of resident-centered grantmaking?

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Roving Listening: A Strategy for Building Community

In this podcast, Janis is talking with De’Amon Harges, the original “Roving Listener” at Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. As a Roving Listener, De’Amon discovers the gifts, passions and dreams of citizens in his community, and finds ways to utilize them in order to build community, economy and mutual “delight.” De’Amon characterizes his work... Read more