February 3, 2022 - 1:00 pm
There is a values-to-practice gap in traditional philanthropy. Many foundations do their work in the name of building community, advancing equity, and increasing opportunity – however our sector’s most common grantmaking practices rarely reflect those values. Project-restricted grants, unclear grant guidelines, lengthy paperwork requirements, and unrealistic impact measures have come to be the status quo in our sector, with little regard for the expertise of the nonprofits we support. Not only does this perpetuate a top-down power dynamic that makes it virtually impossible to build trust and transparency; it also obstructs nonprofits’ ability to innovate, grow, and achieve their intended impact.
Trust-based philanthropy offers a different approach, applying equity-centered, power-conscious values in the way we approach all aspects of grantmaking. This translates to leading with trust rather than distrust, respecting the time and expertise of nonprofit partners, and prioritizing relationship-building and mutual learning over scrutiny and transaction.
In this session, we will explore the core values that are fundamental to a trust-based approach, and the six grantmaking practices that help advance a healthier and more equitable nonprofit sector: 1) multiyear unrestricted funding, 2) doing the homework, 3) simplifying and streamlining paperwork, 4) being transparent and responsive, 5) soliciting and acting on feedback, and 6) offering support beyond the check. We’ll hear concrete examples from foundation leaders that have operationalized these practices, as they share the details of transformation, their learnings along the way, and their approach to bringing along staff and boards on this journey.
Participants can expect to walk away with a clear understanding of what it means to be a values-aligned grantmaker, persuasive talking points to help engage staff and boards, and concrete steps they can take toward operationalizing trust-based grantmaking practices.