Mission​

As a participatory grantmaker, our mission is to shift decision-making power over funding from funders to affected communities and activists working on the frontlines. We work to facilitate movements’ daily work on transformative change by:

  • Facilitating access to flexible and low-bureaucracy funding 
  • Replacing the standard model of competition over funding with the FundAction model which offers a democratic platform for exchange, collaboration and sharing of resources.

 

On the level of funders and people of wealth, we work to facilitate transformative change by sharing our lived experience of participatory grantmaking and by inviting funders to join the journey, shift power and become catalysts of this much needed change in philanthropy.

Participatory Grant Process

Back in 2016, FundAction was a true pioneer in its attempt to shift power from funders to activists. Today, FundAction is still unique as a practitioner of participatory grantmaking.

The FundAction model represents a genuine power shift in decision-making over funding and has established itself as an effective vehicle for shifting power from funders to movements. Funders of FundAction play an active role in terms of learning and advising but they have no decision-making power. Instead the activist members decide collectively how they redistribute the funds among themselves. 

Governance and structure

01

FundAction is an activist-led fund without any paid staff. Day-to-day decisions are made by an eight-person Facilitation Group, including a coordinator and a funder representative.

While the daily coordination is in the hands of a Facilitation Group, the members community is the highest decision-making body.

 

02

Facilitation Group members rotate every two years and get selected through a community process. They dedicate a few days a month on FundAction and receive compensation for their work.

They make decisions online and/or offline (at the Annual Assembly). 

03

Participatory decision-making processes are at the core of FundAction.

We use a digital participatory platform to engage with our community members, making it easy and accesible for all our members to join all processes.

04

Watch this space for updates as we are currently in the process of becoming an independent legal entity after having been fiscally hosted by EDGE Funders Alliance in our formative years.

Grants

As a participatory grantmaking fund, our core activity consists of funding multiple grant rounds for our community of grassroots activists who seek funding to continue their vital work across diverse topics and countries throughout Europe. 

Our activist members decide collectively on our online platform how they redistribute the funds among the proposed projects. Once proposals are up, all members can comment and in a next phase they vote. 

Resist

Offers €1000 rapid response grants for urgent and emergency actions, processed on a rolling basis by the Facilitation Group which confirms that applications fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Resist grants are also intended to help grow the platform by inviting members to apply on behalf of projects not represented on the platform, and then inviting them to join.

Rethink

Offers grants of up to €5000 for collaboration, exchange and capacity building. With Rethink, we aim to support the building of a pan-European community of activists through study visits, gatherings, trainings, translation support, research, mentoring,… Members vote for the proposals on our digital platform. The most voted proposals get the grant. The number of available grants varies in every grant round. 

Renew

Offers grants of up to €20,000 for projects that generate systemic change by addressing the root causes of injustice and promoting a better vision for the future. 

Ten applications are voted through to a peer-to-peer panel, which gets randomly selected within the FundAction community. The peer-to-peer review consists of studying the proposals and video interviews, resulting in a collective decision on the final selection. The number of available Renew grants is usually around five. 

FAQS

  1. Make sure to carefully read our Eligibility Criteria
  2. Fill the form  to express your interest
  3. There will be two application rounds per year. Watch this space to find out more!

We consider our funders to be our partners and our allies. 

Giving up power over deciding where the funding goes does not mean taking up a passive role as a funder. We want funders and people of wealth who share our values around participatory grantmaking to take up this struggle with their peers in philanthropy and to help us grow support. We want to be safe space for learning and exchange.

At the start, four foundations decided to pool funding: Open Society Foundations, European Cultural Foundation, Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation and Guerrilla Foundation. Other institutional donors who joined later are Un Monde Par Tous and Porticus. Among the founding foundations, Guerrilla Foundation has committed to continue their support long term. The others give ad hoc support or are winding down their financial support. The biggest proportion of FundAction’s budget currently comes from wealthy individuals

We try our best to make the application procedure as smooth and easy as possible. The form is meant to be simple and should not require much time to be filled: we do care about our members’ time. We are also aware that our platform is only in English for now, which comes with severe limitations, and that most of us are not English native speakers. In short: we don’t care about the English, we care about the content! We try our best to make the application procedure as smooth and easy as possible. The form is meant to be simple and should not require much time to be filled: we do care about our members’ time. We are also aware that our platform is only in English for now, which comes with severe limitations, and that most of us are not English native speakers. In short: we don’t care about the English, we care about the content! 

Become a Funder and support the community

Learn how to become a Donor

 

FundAction is the go-to example of how to do funding differently and democratically towards systemic alternatives.

Do you want to become a member?

Check out eligibility criteria