Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits. We invite foundations to examine their grantmaking values and practices through a trust-based lens, including proactively working to cede power and control toward a more equitable nonprofit-funder ecosystem. We work with foundations to create a philanthropic ecosystem that is trust-based. We build and curate the tools and resources to engage grantmakers around ways to embody this approach, and why it matters.


How to Do A Trust-Based Grantee Meeting

Posted on October 2, 2020 by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

How can funders approach grantee check-in meetings to foster productive relationships and glean important insights, all while proactively alleviating power imbalances? And how can we consider grantee check-ins  as an alternate approach to reporting? This funder-specific tool offers a checklist of trust-based considerations before, during, and after grantee check-in meetings… Read More

5 Myths of Traditional Philanthropy: A Response to Common Misperceptions About Trust-Based Principles

Posted on October 2, 2020 by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

This guide outlines five common myths and misperceptions that come up in discussions about trust-based principles, and offers clear responses about what a trust-based approach is and isn’t. Use this guide to challenge traditional assumptions about philanthropy and offer new, clear perspectives into the conversation about what it means to take a trust-based approach… Read More

Trust-Based Philanthropy Self-Reflection Tool

Posted on October 2, 2020 by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Trust-based philanthropy is a holistic approach that requires alignment in a grantmaking organization’s four interrelated areas: 1) practice, 2) leadership, 3) culture, and 4) values. This tool is designed to help funders at various stages of the trust-based journey examine how trust shows up across your organization, and identify areas that may need more inquiry, refinement, or deepening. This is… Read More

7 Responsibilities of A Trust-Based Board

Posted on October 2, 2020 by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Trust-based philanthropy invites foundation board members to recognize their critically important role in upholding and modeling an organization’s culture and values. When board members embrace this as their main role in a trust-based context, it opens up tremendous potential for building and sustaining a culture of trust, alleviating power imbalances, and empowering staff to build trust-based relationships with grantee partners… Read More

Legal Considerations of Trust-Based Philanthropy

Posted on October 2, 2020 by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Oftentimes in philanthropy, we tend to think of legal considerations in the context of compliance and risk mitigation — i.e., preventing things from going wrong and protecting funders from liability or harm. As a result, foundations that are curious about trust-based philanthropy may have questions about its legal compliance and legitimacy. Is trust-based philanthropy consistent with a foundation’s legal requirements?… Read More

Trust-Based Philanthropy At-A-Glance

Posted on October 2, 2020 by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

This 2-page overview provides the overarching context for trust-based philanthropy, descriptions and rationale for the six interrelated principles, recommended steps you can take, and the benefits you will see. This introductory primer will be most relevant to foundation leadership, trustees, and staff. It can be used as a general reference point, or for more in-depth discussion and reflection among colleagues… Read More

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