Reimagine Funder-Nonprofit Relationships


It’s Time to Rebalance Power in Philanthropy

The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project reimagines traditional funder-grantee relationships. We work with foundations to create a philanthropic ecosystem that is trust-based. We build and curate the tools and resources to educate grantmakers about how to embody this approach, and why it matters. And we invite others to join us by connecting new and experienced practitioners to learn from each other and help grow their trust-based muscles.

Core to this work are six key principles that put trust-based values into action:


Give Multi-Year, Unrestricted Funding

Unrestricted funding over time is essential for creating healthy, adaptive, effective organizations.

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Do the Homework

Before entering into a grantmaking relationship, the onus of due diligence should be on the grantmaker, not the grantseeker.

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Simplify & Streamline Paperwork

Nonprofit staff spend an inordinate amount of time on funder-imposed paperwork; they will be more effective if they are freed up to concentrate on mission.

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Be Transparent & Responsive

Open, honest, and transparent communication minimizes power imbalances and helps move the work forward.

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Solicit & Act on Feedback

Grantees provide valuable perspective that can help inform a funder’s support and services.

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Offer Support Beyond the Check

Responsive, adaptive non-monetary support can help foster healthier organizations by bolstering leadership and capacity.

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“A deliberate, trust-based approach can liberate foundations from the structures that hold too many of us back.”

— Pia Infante, The Whitman Institute