Over the past few years throughout the social sector, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented number of what many have termed, transformational gifts. These contributions span widely. Depending on the size of the recipient organization, they range from tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars across a broad range of institutions and issues. However, their common thread is the outstanding impact the gift will have on the trajectory and pace of the organization and its work.

“I cried—receiving a MacKenzie Scott gift was phenomenal. We’ve been in our community for 53 years and we’ve never had reserves. We were absolutely not prepared to receive a gift that effectively doubled the size of our operating budget. We had no idea how to go through the process and how to really create the policies for management, creating a trust, establishing the endowment within that trust, etc. We had to take a step back and figure out: How do we create a plan to utilize it and who are the partners we need to pull in to manage?” – Melissa Hudson Gant, CEO Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee

At the same time, an increasing number of funders are embracing concepts of trust-based and catalytic philanthropy. To illustrate, you can see the popularity of these trends in the number of sessions dedicated to them at Exponent Philanthropy’s 2022 Annual Conference.

Building Capacity and Strengthening Leadership

Tenets of trust-based and catalytic philanthropy include trusting nonprofits to know how best to deploy grant money, as well as offering support beyond the check. These can help build the capacity and strength of leaders and organizations over time.

Read the full article about organizational financial health and independence by Clare Golla at Exponent Philanthropy.