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Putting the 'Community' in Community-Based Human Service Funding: Recruitment, Motivation, and Role Negotiation of Granting Committees

Megan M. Farwell and Femida Handy
JHHSA, Vol. 43 No. 4, 420-444 (2021)

We explore how funding decisions are made when giving grants to human services organizations that include mental and physical health. Community engagement in the decision-making processes is expected to yield many benefits, including a deeper understanding of community problems, a better sense of grantee needs and challenges, and greater effectiveness. This qualitative study examines the experiences of 20 community grantmakers and 5 grantmaking staff in six Washington State human service funders. Findings suggest challenges with achieving the goals of more participatory grantmaking, stemming mainly from recruitment processes, grantmaker motivations, and sensitivity to staff roles.

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