Key Points

Institutional racism is woven into organizations, processes, and practices in complex ways that inhibit transformational change. Participatory grantmaking and trust-based philanthropy are two paradigms that can shift such power dynamics in foundation giving. This article examines how Pride Foundation, a regional LGBTQ+ community foundation in the Pacific Northwest, restructured its grantmaking as part of a broader organization-wide commitment to racial justice.

Through an embedded case study, the authors followed Pride Foundation in the first year of transforming its grantmaking to address two questions: the factors foundations should consider when exploring participatory grantmaking, and how a foundation can best navigate a transition. This article documents the foundation’s self-study year and details five issues that emerged as pivotal aspects of the grantmaking transition: staffing, communication, community participation, funding restrictions, and organizational readiness.

The resulting discussion contributes to foundations’ knowledge about what it takes to manage this type of transformation, and provides other foundations committed to racial justice a better understanding of what to expect in undertaking this shift.

Open Access