Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Local partners like churches, schools, and community organizations are often at the front lines of addressing the problem of recurring deadly violence against Black urban youth. Foundation grants are frequently used to fund their work. While foundations annually award millions of dollars in grants to community-based organizations addressing youth violence, there is little detailed information available about the foundation grantmaking decision-making process. Notably, there is a lack of research on the determinants of the grant decision-making process that may inadvertently affect grantee outcomes and ultimately the of beneficiary organizations and communities.A sample of ten decision-makers who had funded or sought funding for projects addressing youth violence in Chicago, Illinois, over the previous five years made up this descriptive phenomenological study. The study's primary focus was the nuanced perspectives of the grant decision-making process. Findings conveyed that proximity and "trusted others" commonly have an impact on the decision-making process for grantmakers and grant seekers in both personal and professional decisions. Remarkably, 90% of study participants had a personal experience with youth violence and one study participant emphasized the necessity of centering the input of youth in violence prevention work. Grant seekers and grantmakers alike stand to gain from a more comprehensive understanding of the grant decision-making process, which may yield more productive partnerships. Ideally, this study will provide data and context for conversations that could lead to better outcomes in foundation-funded efforts to address Black urban youth violence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Social Work Commons