Trust-based philanthropy is an action many community foundations are now undertaking to strengthen relationships with grantees. As a Community Foundation team, we strive to be accessible and to understand the challenges faced by nonprofits in the important work they undertake every day to address community problems and protect community assets.

We’ve learned a lot about how to make ourselves more approachable and to streamline, where we can, the grant application and reporting processes. Instead of a complicated logic model for outputs and outcomes, we hope a grantee can share a story. We want them to tell us about how the grant changed lives and what we were able to accomplish together.

Site visits and field trips are also an important part of building trust and partnership. We are frequently visiting grantees now to better understand the projects we fund. A recent example was our visit to the Newaygo County Career Tech Center for a tour and lunch.

Trust works both ways, of course, and we hope to build a stronger-than-ever relationship with our grantee partners so that we have the most impact on quality of life in Newaygo County. We are striving to be more transparent, to provide more technical assistance, and to maintain the absolute highest standards of integrity and financial stewardship possible. Our team is always cognizant that we are the trusted stewards of many donations, creating a forever legacy. Look for more stories on our social media and in our publications about your Community Foundation, and thank you for being a part of philanthropy.