Peer Learning for Family Philanthropy Leaders
The National Center for Family Philanthropy, The Philanthropy Workshop, and the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project are pleased to announce a six-part Learning and Action Lab for family foundations and individual donors interested in leveraging their philanthropy toward a more just and equitable nonprofit sector. At its core, trust-based philanthropy is about addressing power imbalances and shifting our culture and practices so that nonprofits have the time, space, and support they need in order to advance their work. This Learning and Action Lab is specifically designed for executives and trustees of family foundations who are ready to embrace and/or deepen their commitment to trust-based practices and operationalize a more equity-aware, trust-based culture within their organizations.
Trust-based philanthropy is a holistic approach that requires the alignment of your organization’s culture, values, leadership, and practices in service of a healthier and more equitable nonprofit ecosystem. As such, the curriculum for this cohort will include an exploration of trust-based culture, values, leadership, and governance; opportunities to cultivate power-consciousness and humility in leadership practices; case studies from organizations that have fully operationalized the six trust-based grantmaking practices; peer coaching and peer learning with others on the trust-based journey; and a chance to identify and implement action steps to bring about practical, positive, and timely changes within your family’s philanthropy.
The curriculum will be broken out into six virtual sessions from February through May. Sessions will be 90 minutes to 2 hours long, including time for small cohort breakouts.
This program has limited availability, so interested participants are encouraged to apply early. Applications open on October 1, 2021, and close January 7, 2022. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to NCFP Friends and members of The Philanthropy Workshop; we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.
You may apply as an individual or with additional family member(s), advisors or senior staff members. Please complete one separate application form for each applicant, and indicate on the form that you are applying as part of a family group.
Learning Session Dates and Descriptions: February through June 2022
All sessions are currently scheduled to take place from 12 to 2 pm, Eastern.
- Tuesday, February 8: The Purpose, Values, and Culture of Trust-Based Philanthropy
- Tuesday, March 22: Trust-Based Leadership & Governance
- Tuesday, April 19: Understanding Impact in a Trust-Based Context
- Tuesday, May 24: Operationalizing Multiyear Unrestricted Funding
- Tuesday, June 14: Operationalizing Doing the Homework and Streamlined Paperwork
- Tuesday, June 28: Operationalizing Transparency, Feedback, Support Beyond the Check
Tuesday, February 8: The Purpose, Values, and Culture of Trust-Based Philanthropy
The practices of trust-based philanthropy are rooted in power-consciousness, a commitment to learning and growth, and a recognition that the change we seek to address relies on the expertise of those who are closest to the issues at hand. This requires us to acknowledge that our sector has inadvertently contributed to racial inequity, both in the way wealth has been accumulated and in the way its dissemination has been controlled. While the scale of inequity may be overwhelming to grasp, trust-based philanthropy offers a clear set of values and practices designed to alleviate these power imbalances and advance the success and impact of our nonprofit partners.
Tuesday, March 22: Trust-Based Leadership & Governance
What does it look like to embody trust-based values and principles as a philanthropic leader? How can we lean on our values and share our power in service of a stronger and more effective nonprofit ecosystem? This session will provide an opportunity to explore the ethos of what it means to be a trust-based leader, tactics for building trust among staff and board, and clarity on how to lead from values.
Tuesday, April 19: Understanding Impact in a Trust-Based Context
When it comes to making grants, many funders lead with questions about impact and outcomes. This inclination generally comes from a place of wanting to prove that your grants are “making a difference” or determining whether or not you should keep funding a particular project or organization. However, being an effective grantmaker requires us to take a few steps back and examine our understanding of how change happens. Specifically: What is it that you hope to achieve as a result of your grantmaking? How can you best position your grantees to achieve their intended impact? Without these big picture reflections, funders run the risk of maintaining an overly narrow view of impact, which inadvertently perpetuates power imbalances and distracts us from a bigger picture perspective. A trust-based model advocates for a learning mindset, where we prioritize long-term relationships with grantee partners to learn about and bolster their impact over time.
Tuesday, May 24: Operationalizing Multiyear Unrestricted Funding
This session will set the stage for a deeper exploration of the six practices of trust-based philanthropy and will offer space for participants to discuss and learn about different ways to embrace one of its cornerstone practices: multiyear unrestricted funding. We’ll explore the frequently asked questions that come up with these and related practices.
Tuesday, June 14: Operationalizing Doing the Homework and Streamlined Paperwork
Trust-based philanthropy embraces a learning mindset, wherein we replace burdensome, transactional paperwork processes with opportunities for genuine learning and exchange. This takes different forms in different foundations, depending on your issue focus, team size, and learning goals. In this session we’ll dive deep into different ways to reduce the paperwork burden on your grantee partners while still getting the information you need.
Tuesday, June 28: Operationalizing Transparency, Feedback, Support Beyond the Check
What does it look like to operationalize humility and transparency? The final three grantmaking practices — be transparent and responsive, solicit and act on feedback, and offer support beyond the check — are fundamentally about how we show up as funders and partners. These practices, representing much of the ethos of trust-based philanthropy, reinforces the model’s focus on values and culture. In this session we’ll explore a range of ways to operationalize humility and transparency in your giving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should attend?
The Trust-based Family Philanthropy Learning and Action Lab is a peer-based learning cohort for donors, board members, and senior staff in family philanthropy with a deep commitment to finding immediate ways to apply trust-based philanthropy concepts to the management, governance, and grantmaking practices of their giving strategies. Current NCFP Friends and members of The Philanthropy Workshop will receive priority registration.
Applicants will be accepted and notified on a first-come, first-served basis pending review of individual applications by NCFP and TPW staff. This initial cohort will be limited to 40 individuals, after which registrants will be placed in a wait list.
How do I register?
- There is a two-step process:
(1) Before you register, please complete an application. This will allow us to verify eligibility and address any questions you may have on your application.
(2) Upon notification of acceptance you will receive an email with instructions on how to register for the program, including payment of the registration fee.
- The application deadline is January 7th, 2022; however please note that applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis with preference given to NCFP Friends and members of The Philanthropy Workshop; we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.
- Applicants will be notified of their acceptance on a rolling basis, and no later than January 8, 2022.
What should I expect in the evaluation of my application?
Applications will be reviewed and approved based on several factors including:
- Ability to commit to an intensive, peer-based virtual program
- Demonstrated commitment to operationalizing the principles of trust-based philanthropy
- Your role and ability to advocate or influence the creation or expansion of trust-based governance, grantmaking, and management practices
- Geographic and racial diversity across the program
When will I know if my application is accepted?
Applicants will be notified of their acceptance from NCFP and TPW on a rolling basis and no later than January 8, 2022. Upon acceptance, applicants will receive instructions to help them register for this program. TPW members with questions about the status of their application may contact Jennifer Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Others with questions about their status, including NCFP Friends and all others, may contact Jason Born at email@example.com.
May I apply as part of a group from my family/foundation?
Yes, you may apply as an individual or with additional family member(s), advisors or senior staff members. Please complete one separate application form for each applicant, and indicate on the form that you are applying as part of a family group.
How much does it cost to participate?
For this five-month, six-session offering, the non-member registration fee is $2,000. Members of the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s Friends of the Family Program may register at a special rate of $1,500. Members of The Philanthropy Workshop are eligible to attend as a benefit of their TPW membership at no additional fee
What if I can no longer attend the program? Is there a transfer policy for this event?
The deadline for cancellation refunds is January 15, 2022. After this date, no refunds can be issued. Cancellations from paying registrants are subject to a $250 processing fee. All cancellations MUST be submitted in writing and emailed to Michael Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals who need to cancel that are able to transfer their registration to another eligible attendee will not have a cancellation fee applied. The substitution deadline is January 20, 2022.
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