Trust-Based Philanthropy News | The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

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Trust-Based Philanthropy

(Jan. 26, 2023) There has been a growing trend for institutional funders, like foundations: a shift towards trust-based philanthropy. It’s all about developing more equitable relationships with nonprofits, trusting them to be the experts in how to fulfill their work, and eliminating burdensome application and reporting hoops.

Giving as individuals doesn’t usually include the paperwork and processes of a big funder. However, there are some basic tenets of trust-based philanthropy that apply to individuals giving any amount.

For instance, a nonprofit would almost always prefer an unrestricted gift—giving it flexibility to use it for its greatest needs and priority impact areas. That’s instead of designating it for a very specific purpose.

Instead of expecting nonprofits to prove to you why they’re worth investing in, be proactive about seeking out those agencies that are working in areas that are meaningful to you. Our nonprofit directory is a good place to start.

Offer support beyond the check through voluntarism, advocacy, or making introductions to other potential donors.

Learn more about the national Trust-Based Philanthropy Project.