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A Move Towards Community-Led Grantmaking

By February 9, 2021February 19th, 2021Foundation Blog

The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota is pleased to share our new publication, “A Move Towards Community-Led Grantmaking.”  This case study provides a detailed, thorough and honest account of our multi-year transition from a traditional staff and trustee-centric funder, to one that now conducts much of its grantmaking and strategy development in deep collaboration with community experts. 

This beautifully designed and written document describes the joys and challenges experienced during the early years of this transformation.  It describes how staff worked to identify and counter aspects of white supremacy culture within themselves and the organization, how staff and community advisors built credibility with trustees, and why community-created solutions are now resulting in some of the most ambitious grants ever made by our small foundation.  One recent example is a $1.15 million commitment to launch a new real estate development fund aimed at supporting projects led by Black property developers.  That’s a big idea for a foundation that typically makes around $3.5 million in grants per year.

This case study is by no means a how-to manual.  We are very much a work in progress.  Hopefully, our flawed-but-resilient example will encourage more foundations to venture outside of their comfort zones and explore the transformative potential of community-led grantmaking.

We are deeply grateful to Twin Cities Media Alliance for creating this document.  Here are a few page spreads of their extraordinary work.

You can view and download the case study here.

If you want a paper copy (the paper feels so nice!), just drop me an email and I’ll send one your way.

Joel Luedtke (

Joel Luedtke

Author Joel Luedtke

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