FundAction is a new participatory fund making grants for social transformation, organised around a community of activists based in Europe to support social movements working towards a transition to a just and equitable world. The goals are to shift decision-making powers about funding, from foundations to those closer to the issue, strengthen collaboration and mutual support among European activists and build the capacity of activists and the social movements they work with.
FundAction is built in a democratic and participatory way. A group of donors and activists came together in 2016 to form the idea for FundAction. In a series of meetings, they outlined the intention and values. Since May 2017, a smaller Facilitation Group has been putting this idea into action.
Normally philanthropic money sits in an institution where staff and board members decide where to spend it. Participatory grantmaking seeks to involve those directly affected by the issues – the people that the money intends to help – in decision-making about where that money goes.
FundAction was born out of conversations between activists and funders at several occasions. At the EDGE Funders Alliance European Retreat in 2016, four foundations (Open Society Initiative for Europe, European Cultural Foundation, Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation and Guerrilla Foundation) decided to pool funding.
Decision-making is a learning tool for FundAction members. By reviewing, discussing and applying for grants, the Assembly members learn from each other, expand their networks and improve their own skills. The Assembly takes daily decisions at FundAction platform.
We’ve already been blogging about the steps taken to get to this point so if you’re interesting in the journey we took you can find out more first here and then here. Also, if you’re interested in finding out more about all things participatory grantmaking, we suggest you follow the FundAction blog that will be showcasing insights and nifty practices that are learnt along the way.