Most applicants described their patricipation in decisions about which groups should receive funding as something that made them feel included, recognized and accountable – to other groups and to broader young feminist movements.

Unlike submitting an impersonal application evaluated behind closed doors with no clarity about the selection process, engaging with FRIDA’s PGM made groups feel part of something greater.

Groups regarded the opportunity to read and discuss the work of peers in their region as a learning experience; for this reason, most groups decided to engage with the participatory voting process as a team. They experienced it as a collective process.

Most of the groups also shared that they value including their entire collectives in the decision-making process. They believe that the people in their communities should have a say in how funding is distributed, and consider this a contribution to the transparency of grantmaking processes.

The fact that all the participating groups were asked to vote means a lot to us, and shows us the intention for community based decision making.

[the process] gives feminists an opportunity to improve their proposal writing skills, be aware of the work other organizations are doing and building a sense of solidarity

Groups also shared that they experienced a great sense of responsibility when engaging with the voting process.

For most applicants, FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking process was the first (and for many the only) opportunity to participate in a voting selection process and be part of deciding how funds should be allocated to young feminist movements. For many groups, this experience was both rewarding and challenging.

It was exciting and novel for the groups to be recognized as experts in their work and context. All participants expressed that after their involvement in FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking process, they would be willing and eager to participate in other similar processes, thus further demonstrating that the experience was positive and valuable for them. In fact, several groups also participated in other participatory processes with FRIDA, which they also described as valuable and inspiring. This strengthened their belief in FRIDA’s work and its participatory approach. They encouraged other donors to experiment with more participatory voting initiatives.

When asked about challenges and concerns, most of the groups shared that it was very difficult to pick just five proposals. They felt that most of the groups were deserving and in need of funding.

The process generated in young feminist collectives a sense of confidence, sparking reflection and inspiration. 

Most were impressed by the work other young feminists in the region were doing and many reported that participating in the process invited internal reflections on their own work. In some ways, being exposed to other proposals improved their work. For example, several groups mentioned that reviewing the proposals of others encouraged them to discuss within their groups how to move forward with their work and explore different ways of organising.

When we were voting, we did not really feel the significance of our votes as we have never faced such a system before and we did not fully understand how this process works. At the end of the voting, we understood how the voting system works and fully realised that our votes were taken into accountWe saw that the two groups we voted for have received the grant.

It was very helpful and inspiring to know more about the works and future plans of other feminist groups. There were some proposals after reading which we knew so many new things about different issues in some regions that we have not even heard before.