The way funders show up for their communities is through their grantmaking practices. Application processes, decision-making frameworks, grant structures and agreements, evaluation and monitoring practices, reporting requirements – these are the true, real-world manifestations of each funder’s values.

Last year, when shutdowns, closed schools, and an emerging threat to public health engulfed us all, and the lack of a coordinated national response failed us, many funders stepped up to support their communities, working as quickly as possible to get money out the door. The values on display in these efforts? Honor. Collaboration. Responsiveness. Trustworthiness. Dependability.

Are we going to be able to hold the line on the changes we’ve made to adopt more responsive and equitable practices? Are we going to be able to dedicate ourselves to continuous improvement? Or will grantmakers slide back into the complacency of the “normal,” even as outcomes for marginalized and oppressed communities continue to lag?

Check and live your values.
  • Get explicit about risk.
  • Understand the power of process.
  • Lean in with your community.
Use your voice.
  • Focus on long-term systems and policy change.
  • Use your influence to change philanthropy.
Build trust.
  • Be a trustworthy partner.
  • Offer flexible, unrestricted support. 
  • Do your own homework.
  • Democratize decision-making power. 
Rethink the 95 percent.
  • Increase payouts. 
  • Make your investments matter.
  • Spend down. 

Read the full article about equitable practices by Jesse Rhodes at PEAK Grantmaking.