Background

Rooted in the feminist principles of mutual accountability, collective care and feminist solidarity, FRIDA implements a model of grantmaking that places young feminists at its center, not as passive beneficiaries but as equal partners. FRIDA operates with the recognition that young feminists understand the needs and experiences of their communities and with the trust that they have the strength and capacity to lead the change. This trust extends to the financial side: FRIDA provides flexible funding so young feminists can spend the money how they best see fit.

FRIDA is continuously exploring new ways to reflect on its model and improve its participatory grantmaking practices. In this section, we share the insights generated out of an external evaluation process to assess the impact of FRIDA’s Participatory Grantmaking (PGM). As part of this external evaluation, we wanted to understand what participation means to the communities that we exist to support, where and how this grantmaking model brings joy and excitement, and what young feminist collectives found challenging in the process. Ultimately, we generated knowledge to transform and improve FRIDA’s PGM model.

To carry out the study, we gathered a team of researchers to carry out a participatory evaluation
which engaged FRIDA’s community of applicants, grantee partners and advisors. The development of the methodology was a process of reflection and collaboration where all participants were included as active members of the team. We wanted to create a space to learn, exchange and co-create knowledge with everyone involved. The process inquired into participatory practices in philanthropy but also provided insights into the nature of young feminist organising.

To carry out the study, we contracted external consultants to implement a participatory evaluation process which engaged FRIDA’s community of applicants, grantee partners and advisors. Those external consultants carried out the study and captured findings in two separate reports. Here, we summarise the insights of those two reports.