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The Ethos of Being Trust-Based Session 3: Building Trust Begins at Home — Practices That Advance or Weaken Trust in Your Organization

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 -
10:00am to 11:30am PST
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About the Series

The Ethos of Being Trust-Based, developed by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Philanthropy CA, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, is a webinar series dedicated to exploring the fundamental values and dispositions central to a trust-based approach. At the heart of this work is a deep focus on building trust and relationships at every level, both internally and externally. This requires constant self-examination, a cultivation of interpersonal skills, a willingness to reimagine and adjust organizational practices, and an understanding of the greater systemic factors that have given way to the institution of philanthropy as a whole. It requires that we see and name how racial inequities have been perpetuated in our institutions, behaviors, and practices, even as we strive to alleviate them. Trust-based philanthropy invites us to understand and take action on these ideas at the personal, interpersonal, organizational, and systemic levels in order to interrupt the perpetuation of power imbalances in our sector.

Between the global pandemic and this country’s racial reckoning, our interconnectedness, and inequalities, have never been clearer. From this reality, how can we cultivate trust-based dispositions that support mutuality throughout crisis response, and beyond? 

  • How can we seize the potential for redistribution of power, especially to benefit communities that have been systematically oppressed? 
  • How might we fully embody partnership in a spirit of service? 
  • What context is essential for us to understand? 
  • What behaviors do we need to un-learn? 
  • And can we embrace and sustain self-reflection and generative listening as must-have tools for transformation? 

Join the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Philanthropy California, and GEO as we explore these questions and examine the aspects of trust-building essential for a strong and healthy ecosystem at all levels: individually, interpersonally, inter-organizationally, and systemically. Each webinar will: 1) feature seasoned perspectives on some of the overarching concepts related to trust-based values and dispositions; 2) include stories and lessons from funders who try to live and breathe relational values; and, 3) offer space for small group reflection on how to cultivate what’s required to embed a trust-based ethos in our philanthropic practice

Session 3: Building Trust Begins at Home — Practices That Advance or Weaken Trust in Your Organization

A trust-based culture—one that prioritizes power-sharing, dialogue, transparency, and learning—is essential to cultivating relationships of trust within organizations. Simply put, being a trust-based organization requires there to be trust within your organization—among staff, between staff and board, and between the board and the CEO. When this trust is broken, or if it is never built to begin with, it can seep into the external aspects of your work with the potential of threatening your relationships, credibility, and reputation. In this session, we will: 
  • Work with tools for building and sustaining trust internally
  • Learn to recognize and prevent microaggressions and macroaggressions that undermine trust-building
  • Understand ways to build and sustain internal dialogue, understanding, and transparency to equip your organization for navigating the discomfort and breaches in trust that may occur within your organization. 


  • Brenda Solórzano, CEO, Headwaters Foundation
  • Shawn Escoffery, Executive Director, Roy + Patricia Disney Family Foundation
  • Solomé Lemma, Executive Director, Thousand Currents
  • Kameron Green, Southern California Grantmakers (moderator)


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