The Case Foundation has released new research into the effectiveness of open grantmaking, from their Make It Your Own Awards experience.

As part of the Case Foundations technical staff at that time, I had the privilege of figuring out how to put the MIYO competition software together.

In 2007, the Case Foundation launched its first public grants program, the Make It Your Own Awards (MIYO), which challenged people from all walks of life to discuss what matters most to them, decide what kind of community they want, and take action together. With nearly 5,000 applicants and more than 15,000 voters, the program involved the public in nearly every aspect of decision- making, and used the latest web 2.0 tools to empower applicants to raise funds and supporters.


The design challenges for MIYO were two-fold. The grant application (and, later, the public voting) had to be open enough to solicit public grant applications, but secure enough to ensure legitimacy. I wrote about our technical solution in an earlier post about the MIYO software.

This report focuses on how well the grant competition as a whole achieved its results. Its a worthwhile read for any foundation considering involving the public in grantmaking – or for any organization considering the use of prize economics for civic purposes. Leve…

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