The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is a five-year peer-to-peer funder initiative designed to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits. It’s an initiative built around action and immediacy. A quick perusal of the team’s website will immediately bring you to the six practices of trust-based grantmaking which the team hopes will not only break down the buzz-y term of trust-based philanthropy into actionable steps, but also encourage funders to make immediate equitable changes.

The work of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is aligned with our work and mission here at Fluxx. We believe that it’s not only possible — but also essential — for technologists to partner with philanthropists in order to build pathways to deeper and more trusting partnerships between funders and grantees.

Shaady’s desire to support the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is driven by her own extensive experience in the field. She spent 11 years at her first nonprofit, working her way up to an Executive Director position while still in her 20s.

“I quickly became privy to power dynamics and how challenging it is for leaders that are trying to do good work and trying to lead teams. So that was kind of when things crystallized for me and I saw some of the challenges in this sector that I love so much. At that time I was thinking; what can we do differently to make things easier and better for young emerging leaders, especially women of color that are put into these leadership roles without necessarily having the full infrastructure of support from philanthropy,” said Shaady.

The power dynamics in question are exactly what the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is hoping to dismantle with its six actionable practices of trust-based philanthropy. And while on the surface these practices could unnerve funders who have relied on heavily detailed or perhaps customized reporting and impact measurement structures, as Shaady explains, these processes in no way diminish the work happening in philanthropy today.

“There is this misperception that trust-based philanthropy does not lean on any evidence or data to inform its work. But I would say that any funder that genuinely cares about nonprofits achieving their intended impact, and that cares about a more equitable, connected, and democratic society can find some real opportunity in a trust-based approach,” said Shaady.

Read the full article about trust-based philanthropy by Shaady Salehi at Fluxx.