Trusting in our community

Sometimes trying something different can reveal new possibilities and strengthen relationships. A participatory granting pilot at Hamilton Community Foundation aims to achieve just that.

Participatory granting is a form of trust-based philanthropy that shifts decision-making power to those most affected by the funding. It is based on the philosophy that foundations should share power to produce more equitable outcomes.

Data suggests that traditional philanthropy has underfunded historically marginalized communities. For example, a report called Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy found that Black-serving organizations received only 0.7 percent of all grants distributed by community foundations in Canada in 2017 and 2018.

HCF’s participatory granting pilot invites community members to form a granting circle that determines community needs and allocates funds to support capacity-building for equity-deserving community-led organizations. This approach leverages the knowledge and expertise of these organizations to make the most positive impact on the lives and health of their communities.

The pilot targets organizations representing the following communities:

To learn more, visit:

Excerpt from 2024 Spring Legacy Newsletter