Participatory Grantmaking

In the Spring of 2021, The Healing Trust launched participatory grantmaking programs in the Bedford County and North Nashville communities. Participatory grantmaking is rooted in the idea that communities know what is best for them. The goal is to engage the community in a process that allows residents to use their lived experience to deliver over $200,000 in grant funds in their communities.

North Nashville


The 37208 Fund is a participatory grantmaking model that empowers people who live, work, and minister in the 37208 zip code to distribute funding to people making a difference in their community. It was created as a result of a recommendation of the Special Committee Report, designed to bring reparations and justice to North Nashville. The 37208 Fund Committee makes all funding decisions and includes a cross-section of residents, artists, pastors, business owners, and youth representatives.

Corner to Corner, a North Nashville-centered organization dedicated to educational equity, economic equity, and spiritual growth, serves as the fiscal agent for the fund.  The Healing Trust and The Frist Foundation jointly support the Fund.

Read more about their work below.

Four North Nashville residents receive $28,000 for arts, food and transportation projects

The 37208 Fund continues to sprinkle North Nashville artists, teachers and activists with cash

37208 Fund helps North Nashville man improve life in his community

‘Faces of North Nashville’ Revives Joy of Community

Bedford County


In 2021, The Healing Trust embarked on a participatory grantmaking journey in Bedford County committing $115,133 for funding, administration, and stipends for community participation. With the leadership of a local consultant and fiscal sponsorship from the Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford, a 10-member committee began their work. The committee included community leaders, residents, and representatives from the religious community, the education sector, the private sector, and local government. The committee distributed $86,901 to the following organizations:

  • Bird Street Church of Christ
  • Branches Counseling Center
  • Center for Family Development
  • Gilliland Historical Resource Center
  • High Calling Ministry
  • Johnson Family Giveback
  • Learning Way Elementary
  • Scott United Methodist Church
  • Sevier Street First Baptist Church
  • Shelbyville-Bedford County Public Library
  • Shelbyville Community Garden
  • Shelbyville Community Soup Kitchen
  • Shelbyville First Methodist Church
  • William Catholic Church
  • M&M Youth Clinic


The participatory grantmaking work in Bedford County continued in 2022 with an increased budget of $128,935. For the second year in a row, the Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County provided fiscal sponsorship. A new committee came together to analyze Bedford County’s strengths and opportunities. Committee members included non-profit representatives, local church leadership, and a county commissioner. With a focus on people that are unhoused, the committee distributed $117,700 to support printing for a new community resource guide, Wal Mart gift cards, and a warming shelter. In addition, a mini-grant process resulted in funds being distributed to the following organizations:

  • Bedford County Schools Backpack Program
  • Bird Street Church of Christ
  • Branches Counseling Center
  • Center for Family Development
  • FullMoon Healing Project
  • Haven of Hope
  • Johnson Family Giveback
  • Living Stones Ministry
  • Scott Chapel United Methodist Church
  • Sevier Street First Baptist Church
  • Shelbyville Community Soup Kitchen

A new committee is coming together and will begin work in spring 2023.

Please contact Sam Jackson for questions about the participatory grantmaking program.