What if a collective base of philanthropic practices were united to create a methodology for giving? Introducing the Trilogy of Philanthropy. Based on trust, evidence, and collaboration, this process could influence philanthropic giving practices and the way funders and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) work with each other and be a natural conduit for equitable giving.

Trust-based philanthropy is the first phase of the trilogy. Trust is when funders rescind the oversight of NGOs. Eliminate or reduce the number of scheduled grantee reports and required site visits. Transition from project-based funding to unrestricted funding. Commit to an “open-door” practice and support the asks of NGOs. Leverage resources by volunteering introductions to other funders or support for critically needed public policies. Lend a voice to uplift the work of NGOs.

Evidence-based philanthropy is the second phase of the trilogy. Let the real-time statistics of NGO programs guide giving strategies. Why wait for the outcomes of two- and three-year funder project initiatives when NGOs can share the effectiveness of programs based on what’s happening now? Utilize the data collection of NGOs that includes real-life storytelling of the journeys of people and communities. Funders and NGOs can partner better when using the same baseline statistical evidence to strategize solutions to issues and needs assessment, and, through this partnership, reduce the misalignment of funding.

Place-based philanthropy is the last phase of the trilogy. The impact of community collaboration to contribute to the overall improvement of program outcomes. Rename this participatory engagement as a “resources-to-table” social movement. We all have a voice. We all have expertise. We all leverage our expertise to the art of the possible.

The beauty of the Trilogy of Philanthropy? Diversity, equity, and inclusion are naturally addressed and minimize the interference of unconscious bias.

Read the full article about philanthropy methodology by Ursula D. Stewart at PEAK Grantmaking.