Power in Letting Go: How Participatory Grantmakers Are Democratizing Philanthropy

After eight years evaluating advocacy and development programs for Oxfam, Allison Davis noticed a common factor in success stories. 

“The No. 1 thing that determines the success of anything seems to be how much people feel ownership of it,” she says. “They really own it.”

Davis takes that observation to heart in her current career as a grantmaker. She’s at Global Greengrants Fund, one of a small but growing set of funders that are handing over decision-making power directly to people they serve, a practice known as participatory grantmaking.  

Read More

'You Get Ideas.' Flatiron Institute Brings Biologists, Astrophysicists, and Coders Under One Roof

Bring leading computer scientists together with leading astrophysicists, and exciting stuff happens—complex computer simulations of galaxy formation, algorithms churning through terabytes of data collected by telescope arrays. 

Same thing goes for biologists, as they work with programmers to bring order to the chaos of neurons firing by the millions. 

But get everyone working together under the same roof with extensive time and funding, and unexpected work might take shape. New ideas could form as computer scientists and researchers from a variety of fields hold meetings, chat over lunch, or just run into each other in the hallways.

Read More