Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative that seeks to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits, emphasizing trust and transparency.

Grantee Profile

Launched in 2020, the Trust-Based Philanthropy (TBP) Project is a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative that envisions a world where relationships between funders and nonprofits are built on vulnerability, transparency, and humility. The TBP Project believes that grantmakers have a responsibility to acknowledge and confront the reality that philanthropy has contributed to systemic inequities, particularly in the ways that wealth is accumulated and disseminated. This history is entrenched in racism, patriarchy, and other forms of oppression, which are at the root of every social issue nonprofits seek to address. The TBP Project urges funders to recognize how these norms have shaped, informed, and influenced the entire philanthropic sector—including who is deemed trustworthy, and who is not. At its core, trust-based philanthropy is rooted in a set of values that help advance equity, shift power, and build mutually accountable relationships. The TBP Project created a TBP in 4D Guide for grantmaking practitioners to  rely on trust-based values to guide four key dimensions of their organization’s work: culture, structures, leadership, and practices. TBP grantmaking practices include giving multi-year, unrestricted funding; doing the homework, simplifying application and reporting requirements; being transparent and responsive; soliciting and acting on feedback; and offering beyond-the-check support. The TBP Project seeks to tap into the existing infrastructure of the philanthropic ecosystem to induce a sector wide culture change.

About Our Grants

In 2023, the Woodcock Foundation awarded the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project a two-year, $50,000 general operating grant. Woodcock’s grant aligns with the final two years of the TBP Project, a five-year initiative. During these final two years, the TPB Project will increase its work to spread its philosophy to other philanthropy-serving organizations in an effort to embed trust-based practices and culture in the sector.