Participative decision-making in contested societies: Examples from the field of community philanthropy

Submitted to the Foundation Review, this article examines participative, place-based philanthropy in two locations – Northern Ireland and Palestine. Drawing on the work of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and the Dalia Association in Palestine, the article considers the rationale for a participative grantmaking approach as well as the manner in which local communities and residents experienced the methodology. The fact that both Northern Ireland and Palestine are politically contested societies is factored into the analysis that is presented by the authors who have conducted interviews with key informants to supplement the literature made available by both community foundations. The role the community philanthropy organizations played in providing an important added value dimension to traditional grantmaking is described and conclusions drawn.

Authors: Avila Kilmurray & Nora Lester Murad

Published: June 2015

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