Trust-Based Philanthropy

The community foundation I work for is starting research regarding the trust based philanthropy model. I am curious if there are other community foundations out there already engaging in this practice. Can you provide a couple of pros and cons regarding your experience? What has been the biggest challenge?



  • KentWeimerKentWeimer
    World Traveler 100 Likes U.S.A. Second Anniversary
    edited April 2021


    This sounds intriguing.

    One of the books I had to read in the course work to obtain my Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation was Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential by Dan Pallotta.

    It addresses some of the issues raised in the the trust based philanthropy model. Here is a brief description.

    Uncharitable goes where no other book on the nonprofit sector has dared to tread. Where other texts suggest ways to optimize performance inside the existing paradigm, Uncharitable suggests that the paradigm itself is the problem and calls into question our fundamental canons about charity.

    It would be worth your while to read this as you do your research.



  • @KentWeimer Thank you for the suggestion! I will definitely look into this book, it sounds very interesting.

  • Thank you, Rand!! I really appreciate you taking the time to share that information with us. I am curious what system you use for your grant application workflow?

  • @jessicascites We use Foundant's GLM for our grant processes and currently still use SmarterSelect for scholarships.

  • Lol - that was a silly question here on the Foundant discussion board. :) Thank you, Rand.

  • Not a silly question at all. For example, we worked with C-Suite for a couple of years using another grant program before we moved over to their GLM application, and still using another program for scholarships (although we will probably be moving that to Foundant's module within the next year or so).

  • @RandMorgan So how do you move applications through the workflow for the organizations that have sent you a pdf of a request from another funder? Do you fill out the application in GLM for them with the information they have provided?

  • @jessicascites Great question, Jessica. I asked our Program Officer, Lauren Weber. Her short answer was that it was a somewhat complicated workaround. She suggested giving her a call, and she would be happy to explain what she did. (If it's okay to post phone numbers here, you can reach her at 970.304.9970).

  • Thank you!! I will give her a call later this week.

  • Thanks for everyone's participation in this conversation! Regarding trust-based philanthropy, folks may be interested in next week's Coffee talk, Grants Coffee Talk: Values-Based Grantmaking – Aligning Organizational Values with Grantmaking Practices. It's not exactly the same, but I imagine there is overlap.

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