October 6, 2023

David Suarez receives grant from Surdna Foundation

Evans faculty member and nonprofit scholar David Suarez received a research grant from the Surdna Foundation for a project entitled, “What is Effective Participatory Grantmaking? A Comparative Assessment of Four Initiatives.” This project extends Suarez’s growing expertise and research program in participatory grantmaking, a power-sharing approach to grantmaking, which a number of private foundations have pursued in recent years. Since few foundations have evaluated their efforts to share power with stakeholders, the purported benefits of adopting such innovations remain unproven, and insufficient knowledge has accumulated in the field to elucidate critical questions such as whether some practices shape outcomes more than others. To begin to fill this gap,  Suarez will complete a field scan of participatory grantmaking practices and initiatives in institutional philanthropy. Then, building on that work, as well as the literature on participation in nonprofit organizations, he will utilize a comparative case study approach to investigate four participatory grantmaking initiatives.