Sadly, too many of us have had our stories taken and used for someone else’s gain without our consent. This has been true in philanthropy as well as in other fields. In order to center and respect the voices of those doing work on the ground, especially grantee partners, Astraea used a consent practice for this report. It looked like this:
- The person being interviewed consents to the interview.
- After being interviewed, they receive a copy of their mostly unedited narrative. The person being interviewed can edit, delete, add, change or shift anything they want. They send this piece back and the writer builds the report from this changed interview.
- Once the draft report is complete, a copy is sent to each interviewee with their quotes or reflections highlighted so they can see how their story fits within the context of the report. This is another opportunity for them to make changes.
- Once each person interviewed has approved their story within the body of the report, the report’s content is complete. There is always the chance that minor edits will be made for design or clarity, but any major edit or change has to go back for approval.
We know that as funders there is always a complex power relationship between ourselves and our grantee partners. Our hope is that with a transparent consent process, we can be in right relationship with our grantee partners and others whom we interview.