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Webinar Series: Demystifying Trust-Based Philanthropy

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 1: Description

Does Trust-Based Philanthropy Mean Unconditional Trust? 

There is a common misperception that trust-based philanthropy is about trusting nonprofits unconditionally. In reality, a trust-based approach uses trust as a gateway to rightsize power imbalances between funders and grantees, in order to facilitate deeper, more transparent relationships. With an intentional priority on relationships over transactions, trust-based philanthropy creates conditions for mutual accountability in the funder-grantee relationship.

In this session, we will clarify the misperception that trust-based philanthropy means unconditional trust, and dig into the nuances of why trust is an important vehicle for more equitable funder-grantee relationships. Speakers will share how they have cultivated (and maintained) trust, how they model and reinforce mutual accountability in a trust-based way, and how they have worked through challenging moments when trust breaks down. Participants can expect to obtain greater clarity on why and how to build trust, and strategies for developing mutually agreed upon expectations for a trust-based funder-grantee relationship.

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

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