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Equity | October 27, 2022

Trust-Based Philanthropy

By Emily Nguyen, Deputy Director

In my first three months here at the Weitz Family Foundation, I find myself continuing to reflect on how we operate from a place of trust and where we have opportunities to get better. I hear the term “trust-based philanthropy” being used a lot, but what does that actually mean?

Trust-based philanthropy can be described as seeking “to demonstrate humility and collaboration in what we do and how we show up in all aspects of our work as grant makers.”

This definition goes on to further define four key areas of work for grant makers to focus on: culture, structure, leadership, and practices. You can read more through the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project. As I reflect on our work, I am most proud of our practices as a grantmaker.  We work hard to try and be transparent about what we value around racial equity and accessibility. Through our new website, meetings, and webinars, we want to make those values clear to anyone who might seek out funding. We don’t expect perfection, but rather an acknowledgement and commitment to doing and being better.

I am also proud of how we have worked to minimize reporting and provide general operating support, asking our grantees to simply meet with us and share their impact in the most meaningful way for them. Our hope is that this minimizes the administrative burden and gets folks more time to do the important work within their organizations.

While we have a lot to be proud of, we do have more work to do. Multi-year operational funding is an important tool for organizations to have financial stability. We have done some multi-year support but will work to create a more transparent and clear process for that type of funding support in the future. The articles I have read about trust-based philanthropy also recommend doing more than just grantmaking. Connecting as well as providing advocacy and support are other ways to do more than give away grant dollars. This is something we have done since the beginning of the foundation and want to continue to grow.

Finally, if we are going to be asking organizations to critically reflect on their DEIA practices, we too, must be examining how our own organization is operating. I am grateful that we began a partnership with All of Us Together to help us not only support grantees but also critically look at how we operate as a foundation.

Are there other ways that we can better live out those trust-based values? Let us know! You can always reach out to myself ( or anyone on our team. If you want to stay anonymous, feel free to leave a review at We want to hear your feedback!


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Equity | August 29, 2023

One Solution to Racial Inequity: Buying Black

By Mynesha Spencer, Inclusion Strategist

This is a guest blog from Mynesha Spencer, Inclusion Strategist […]

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