Right now — in a moment that none of us could have predicted, yet should not be surprised by — a lot is being asked of philanthropy.

The world needs funders to be supporting systems change, fighting for racial equity and an end to racism, optimizing and leveraging their funding, being responsive to disasters, decolonizing their wealth, removing barriers and increasing access to capital for BIPOC-led organizations — and the list goes on.

While I too would like philanthropy to live up to this improved version of itself, this version remains out of reach as long as philanthropy and philanthropists are, at a very basic level, unable to trust. What do I mean by that? For those of you who use this language, the “donors” don’t trust the “doers” — especially if the “doers” are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). If BIPOC and from places like Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, or Ghana, then the level of trust is even lower.

Last week, I was on (yet another) webinar listening to people urge, plead, and beg philanthropy to trust more. To trust the people closest to the problems. To trust the people doing the work to make decisions about how to spend the money that has the greatest impact in their community. To trust that letting go of just a small amount of power over resources will have a differential impact on the success of organizations and movements led by BIPOC.

We’ve been hearing these calls for quite some time, but the needle hasn’t moved significantly. According to Echoing Green and Bridgespan, the holy grail of trust in philanthropy is an unrestricted grant, but Black-led organizations are not receiving this type of support.

Read the full article about trust in philanthropy by Lisa Jackson at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.