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Leading with Trust

Trust-Based Philanthropy

Landscape of rolling hills and blue skies

Trust-based philanthropy flips the script on conventional philanthropy. With values rooted in advancing equity, shifting power, and building mutually accountable relationships, trust-based philanthropy seeks to demonstrate humility and collaboration in our culture, structures, leadership and practices.

What trust-based philanthropy looks like in our grantmaking:
We center our partners by listening, learning from their expertise, and responding to their needs and feedback.
We allow partners to focus on community needs by doing our own due diligence and simplifying our processes.
We support the capacity and flexibility of partners by offering unrestricted, multi-year funding when possible.
We invest in partners beyond grantmaking by providing opportunities to bolster their organizational and individual health.
We encourage transparency and honesty from our partners by not requiring absolute success and perfection.

We’re not getting it right all the time, and we encourage feedback from partners to help us do better. We measure the Foundation’s success as a trust-based funder by regularly surveying our grantees to learn how they perceive our processes and partnership.

Headwaters Foundation is a founding member of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project – check them out to learn more about values and practices that help democratize philanthropy.