Our Role in the Ecosystem

Categories: Reflections

In the past two consultation calls, we received clear feedback about us not having completely figured out how we fit in the ecosystem of existing participatory grantmakers and how we would really add to the field instead of competing with some of them for already scarce resources. 

While all of us had their reasons and ideas about what LEAP would add to the field of philanthropy and participatory grantmaking (PG) more specifically, at the time of our first call with activists and social entrepreneurs, we did not articulate these ideas clearly enough. Some PG veterans we approached were rightly confused, most likely asking themselves whether we just hadn’t done our research or were ignoring all the great work already out there. 

Solidarity with existing participatory grantmakers and appreciation of their efforts in getting those up and running (often under much harder circumstances) is a necessary condition if we want to contribute to the field. Again, we are grateful to all of you who washed our heads! 

None of us alone will move the needle in philanthropy. Yet collectively, we will be able to show that there is a diversity of innovative approaches out there that contribute to shifting power and resources into the hands of those doing the work.   

We are currently doing more work on outlining how we build on and add to existing PG approaches. At this point, we have a hunch that with LEAP we will be able to mobilise new funders to get interested in PG and thus add to the overall size of the cake instead of just taking a piece of it. We also believe that there aren’t enough pan-European participatory funders that support projects with systems-level impact. Finally, we are exploring how we might bring two worlds together: activism and social entrepreneurship, under a lens of systems change. See the FAQs for our initial answers. This will definitely need a separate blog post and more thinking on our poart.

As always, we are eager to read your feedback and questions in the comments section and will get back to you asap! 


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