The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project calls on grantmakers to take the necessary action to advance equity and end power imbalances in grantmaking. At our GDConnect 2022 conference, General Service Foundation and Libra Foundation shared insights on how they're implementing these practices into their grantmaking processes.

At the core of the trust-based philanthropy (TBP) movement is an invitation to grantmakers to center their work around advancing equity, ending power imbalances in grantor-grantee relationships, and building mutual trust and accountability. When grantmakers are intentional about building and fostering trusted partnerships with grantees, both parties are better positioned to make the biggest positive impact in their communities.

But as more grantmaking organizations are embracing trust-based philanthropy, addressing the question of what this values-based approach looks like in action has become a necessary first step for most of them. In presentations at our GDConnect 2022 conference, two GivingData clients weighed in with real-world examples from their trust-based philanthropy journeys.

Trust-based philanthropy must align with a foundation’s mission and values
The journey toward trust-based philanthropy tends to look different for different grantmakers because it must start from each grantmaker’s mission and core values. “It’s not merely a set of principles or best practices to follow,” Elaine Mui advised.

Mui is the Grants & Operations Manager at the General Service Foundation (GSF), a GivingData client that has long been a values-based funder and started implementing trust-based philanthropy practices beginning in 2016. “It’s about getting clear on what our goals and values are, and then systematically aligning your actions and your operations with a trust-based philanthropy mindset.” From that solid foundation, a grantmaking team can make strategic decisions about how to move sustainably toward trust-based philanthropy.


Read the full article about trust-based philanthropy at GivingData.