Connecting local responses around the world
A growing trend and a positive one is to decentralise grantmaking, moving to participatory and flexible funding based on principles of trust. I found it very encouraging and want to share with members of this platform. These are my takeaways from LLC Webinar -Lessons in Leadership from the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project http://leadershiplearning.org/blog/llc-staff/2020-02-12/llc-webinar...)
What stood out for me in the webinar on Trust based philanthropy: The need to re-examine own roles as Grantmakers question own privileged position of power. Who holds the power? Read the principles of trust-based philanthropy here https://trustbasedphilanthropy.org/principles-1
Collaborative leadership- Participants from Grant making organisations saw themselves as conveners, relationship-based, transparent, responsive with emphasis on promoting cross-sector peer learning amongst grantees. They stressed on structured conversations with grantee partners rather than overemphasis on formal reports. Support beyond the cheque for instance opening doors to other funders when new opportunities arise for grantees.
Power of Listening- Create a space for listening. act on what you are hearing
Humility and learning mindset-Work with humility, have a learning mindset, understand that grant making organisations and the grantees both are on a learning journey as we operate in complex settings and are navigating a path which is not well chartered.
What does annual monitoring and assessment in the grantmaking look like from a trust-based lens? It is important to surface the philosophy behind Metric based assessment , grant making organisations want to make a difference. We can promote thinking around the following:
Sustainability Another important question was around sustainability. How will the organization pay for this "thing" after the foundation is finished funding it. But we did not have enough time for discussion.
What fosters trust? Participants shared that when we show our real selves, our vulnerability- it builds trust. Building trust starts with being vulnerable -- and modelling it.. In my work with the Constellation, I learned that when we start from appreciation, when we appreciate the strengths in others, this means we trust their capacity. And when this conversation happens at a human level, moving away from titles and hierarchies, it builds a deep connection. And then there is a shift in relations.
Issues I would like more conversation in the future - measurement, sustainability in grant making and going beyond grantees to communities we serve. Are the grantees shifting the power to the communities they serve? I conclude with a quote from Brené Brown . “Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement.” -