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Making It Stick: From Disaster Response to Long-Term Institutional Change

July 14 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am


Session Description

Trust-Based Philanthropy

At a time of crisis and change, philanthropy is responding to community needs in an unprecedented way. Foundations are unrestricting grants, listening and responding to urgent needs, seeking out emerging efforts to support, and even increasing their payouts. Not coincidentally, many of these disaster response tactics are core principles of trust-based philanthropy, which takes an intentional, sustained approach to addressing the inherent power imbalances between nonprofits and funders. The question, however, remains: As more and more foundations see the value in trusting the leadership and guidance of nonprofits on the frontlines, will these trust-based practices sustain for the long haul? And what is the work of foundation executives and trustees in paving the way for a trust-based future?

In this session, hosted in partnership with the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, we’ll hear from the CEO and Board Chair of the Headwaters Foundation in Montana who have intentionally built a trust-based culture within their organization and throughout its grantmaking practices. We’ll hear from them about the work of building and operationalizing a trust-based culture, the ongoing dialogue it requires, and how that can inform the roles and responsibilities of CEOs and trustees.


We invite all Iowa Council of Foundations members to participate in this session and encourage you to invite your board members and trustees to the conversation as well. We hope this virtual conversation will offer a unique opportunity for your board members to engage with the network about trust-based philanthropy and the shifts that have occurred in the philanthropic landscape in Iowa over the past few months.

This session will also be open to other regional associations of grantmakers who have participated in Trust-Based Philanthropy sessions, like the 2020 ICoF Winter Quarterly Membership Meeting. We hope you will benefit from participating in this session alongside colleagues from across the country.



Brenda Solorzano, CEO, Headwaters Foundation





Robert Philips, Board Chair, Headwaters Foundation





Shaady Salehi, Trust-Based Philanthropy Project (moderator)




Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate that trust-based philanthropy practices are part of a larger frame centered in relationship-building, dialogue, and transparency
  • Articulate the connection between organizational culture and grantmaking practice
  • Clarify the roles of CEOs and trustees in a trust-based context
  • Debunk common misconceptions that can be barriers to embracing trust-based philanthropy
  • Examine the changes your organizations have made in your disaster response work and explore the policies and practices that can be sustained in your ongoing grantmaking and leadership work


July 14
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Event Category:


Kari McCann Boutell


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