For many grantmaking organizations, the challenges and upheavals of 2020 catalyzed a different way of funding. An industry that had been characterized by compliance obsession, complexity, and rigidity suddenly opened up to a new, values-driven philosophy. This new focus on equity, relationships, and reducing the burden on grantees ultimately leads to more time spent on the work of social change, better serving the mission of both nonprofits and their funders.
Indeed, some in the sector have been practicing and advocating for this different (and better) way for a long time. Those long-standing efforts have culminated in the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative launched in January 2020 with the aim of addressing the inherent power imbalance between funders and grantees.