Posts in Trust-Based Philanthropy
Exploring the Pillars of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Transparent and Responsive Communication

I was at an engaging talk this past weekend that reminded me why effective communication must be at the core of our work at the foundation. The talk topic was ‘How to use behavioral economics to shape food policy and make choices of what to put in our bodies.’  Some of the ideas that were discussed are common here in New York City: taxing sugar-laden beverages and providing calorie information on menus. But one research study grabbed my attention (I know, it may not sound that exciting, but stick with me here!).

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Exploring the Pillars of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Provide Unrestricted, Multi-Year Funding

Editor’s Note: Every two weeks, we’ll be exploring one or more of the seven pillars of the Foundation’s trust-based philanthropy approach. View previous posts in the series here.

Last weekend I took a yoga class near my home in Brooklyn. The fit and kind young yoga instructor started the class by interpreting some of the dharma. Now to be honest, I usually zone out during this part–I have a hard time taking ancient wisdom from 23-year-olds. But this time the message permeated a bit as the instructor talked about the Bhagavadgita, the Hindu text which speaks about giving: 

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Exploring the Pillars of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Support Beyond the Check

Editor’s Note: Every two weeks, we’ll be exploring one or more of the seven pillars of the Foundation’s trust-based philanthropy approach. View previous posts in the series here. 

Two weeks ago, we invited the program directors from our New York City grantee partner organizations to join us on a retreat. Our plan is to do this annually, so that our partners get to know each other’s programs and build community. This part of our work falls under the Trust-Based Philanthropy principle of providing “Support Beyond the Check.” We also think of thought partnership, support around leadership transition, introductions to potential funders or allies, and lending our offices for off-site meetings as ways we support grantee partners beyond the check – some of them more helpful than others. 

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Exploring the Pillars of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Solicit and Act on Feedback

Editor’s Note: Every two weeks, we’ll be exploring one or more of the seven pillars of the Foundation’s trust-based philanthropy approach. View previous posts in the series here.

Two year ago, we launched a new grantmaking area here at Robert Sterling Clark—we now fund network and leadership development programs. As we developed this new grantmaking area, we also implemented a new way to evaluate our grantmaking. We asked each of our grantee partners to complete a self-assessment tool to help us understand the progress they were making with our support.

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Exploring the Pillars of Trust-Based Philanthropy: Simplify and Streamline Paperwork

Editor’s Note: Every two weeks, we’ll be exploring one or more of the seven pillars of the Foundation’s trust-based philanthropy approach. We start today with simplifying and streamlining paperwork. To read a series introduction from Foundation President & CEO Philip Li, click.

I started my career as a grant writer for a small nonprofit organization in Boston. I remember how strange the grant-seeking process seemed to me then– I would write some things down and put it all in an envelope (this was pre-email—use your imagination).

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