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Demystifying Trust-Based Philanthropy Session 5: What Does Evaluation Look Like in a Trust-Based Context?

Series Description

The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is pleased to announce a six-part webinar series addressing common questions, clarifying misconceptions, and exploring ways to overcome obstacles in implementing trust-based philanthropy.

Trust-based philanthropy is a philosophy and approach rooted in values of relationship-building, mutual learning, and systemic equity – with a vision of advancing a healthier and more impactful nonprofit sector. While this approach is generally associated with six core grantmaking practices such as multi-year unrestricted funding and streamlined paperwork, the day-to-day work of trust-based philanthropy is very nuanced and dynamic. In fact, funders who have embraced this approach are finding that it requires ongoing self-reflection and rigor with regards to how they think about – and evolve – many of the deeply embedded practices and assumptions of traditional philanthropy.

Given these nuances, it is not surprising that there are many questions and occasional misperceptions about what it actually means to embody trust-based philanthropy in practice. In this 6-part webinar series, the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project will explore some of the most commonly asked questions and the underlying misperceptions that may be roadblocks to understanding and operationalizing trust-based philanthropy.

Each session in the series will focus on a frequently asked question from the field, and will feature perspectives from foundation leaders and others who have grappled with similar or related questions. At the end of each session, participants will walk away with: 1) a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the underlying cultural philosophy of trust-based philanthropy; 2) tips for how to think about and approach these nuances in their own work; and 3) talking points for how to answer these FAQs when they come up from colleagues or peers. Each session will also provide dedicated space for small-group peer dialogue about ways to implement these practices into your grantmaking.

Who should attend: Anyone in a grantmaking role that is curious about understanding the nuances of trust-based philanthropy and how it applies to your work. This series will be ideal for those who have some baseline familiarity with trust-based philanthropy and have questions about how it manifests in practice.

Session 5: Description

What Does Evaluation Look Like in a Trust-Based Context?

There is a misperception that trust-based philanthropy is at odds with rigorous impact evaluation because of its focus on relationships over project-specific metrics. Trust-based evaluation is indeed rigorous, but it differs from the sector standard in that it prioritizes a learning stance over a proving stance. This ultimately helps illuminate a more nuanced understanding of the barriers and catalyzers of social change, as well as useful information that can help grantmakers improve their strategies toward advancing impact.

In this session, we will unpack these important nuances and will highlight examples of how grantmakers are relying on rigor and continuous learning to understand impact. Participants can expect to gain a clear understanding of trust-based philanthropy’s three-pronged approach to learning and evaluation, as well as concrete tools they can use to implement in their own work.

To learn more about the other sessions in this series, click the links below. 

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