FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund’s participatory grantmaking model was co-created by feminist organisers to serve those same movements in ways that best allow groups to access funding, learn from each other and build connections across the regions they work in. Young feminists are present at all levels of FRIDA’s work and organisation, and participate in strategic, resource mobilization and funding decisions. Young feminists are staff members, advisors and board members who steer the strategic direction of the fund.

FRIDA engages young feminist collectives, grantee partners and those applying for funding, as well as young feminist activist members of the FRIDA Global Advisory Committee, in decision-making about its grantmaking process and participatory decision-making about where funding goes.

FRIDA's grantmaking model is in an ongoing consultation and reflection process with young feminist movements on what a feminist funder should look like. This model goes through an evaluation and adaptation process after each grantmaking cycle to continue to respond to its purpose.

Almost all young feminist collectives regardless of whether they received a grant, when interviewed and surveyed as part of this evaluation, felt very positive about FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking process. For most of them, this was the first (and for many the only) opportunity they have had to participate in a process where they read and vote for groups in their region and consult on how support and funding should be allocated to young feminist movements in their contexts.

Groups felt honoured and grateful to have the opportunity to participate, and they expressed that the process itself had been empowering and rewarding for them. Being able to participate in deciding who should receive funding in their context was overall described as a valuable learning opportunity that made them feel included, recognized and accountable to other groups and to the movement as a whole.

The majority of the groups shared that it is important to include the young feminist young feminist collectives who apply that apply the decision-making process. They believed that the people who come from these communities should have a say in how funding is distributed and contribute to the transparency of these processes. It made groups feel that they were part of something collective and not just participating in an impersonal application process done behind closed doors where they don’t have clarity about the selection process.

HOW DID APPLICANTS DESCRIBE THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH FRIDA’S PARTICIPATORY DECISION MAKING?

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.

WHAT CRITERIA AND CONSIDERATIONS MOTIVATED YOUNG FEMINIST GROUPS TO SUPPORT THEIR PEERS IN THE SELECTION PROCESS?

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 evWhen groups were asked which criteria they applied for the selection process, several of them said that they were guided by the connection they felt with the projects presented and decided based on what they considered to be the most critical needs in their context. 

The majority of groups expressed that they voted for underrepresented issues, for groups using innovative approaches, as well for those that they considered to be less likely to be funded. A few groups also shared that they selected some proposals based in their own country because they felt they could more accurately understand and assess their relevance.

As part of the voting process, groups explain their selections. In the voting section, they can address any concerns or questions they have about the groups. In their comments, groups justify their vote by providing contextual analyses and deep reflections on the way they understood the value of – or resonated with – the vision of the proposals they voted for.en heard before.

Below are some examples of comments explaining why groups voted for their peers and endorsed them to receive funding: