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We believe trust should be at the center of philanthropy.

We’ve long recognized that true, long-term impact requires developing trust-based partnerships with grantees. We now recognize that this value, must permeate all facets of our practices and procedures, so that our processes are flexible, take minimum time and resources of our grantees to complete, and are structured in a way that is more responsive to the needs of community-based organizations.

As a funder, we work to:

Center the needs of our grantee partners by listening, responding, and adapting to their feedback.

Reduce administrative burden by simplifying our applications and reports and doing our due diligence.

Offer unrestricted and multi-year funding when we’re able to so organizations can plan and meet emerging needs.

Support our grantee partners in ways that complement or amplify their work – this can be a variety of things – helping with a report, making a connection to a peer or another funder, organizing a meeting.

Encourage transparency and foster a culture of learning and curiosity (sometimes we learn more when things don’t work out then when everything goes according to plan!).

Photo of rail trail in Millerton shows trees, blue sky, and a paved path.

Photo of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail which extends from the hamlet of Wassaic, New York to Copake Falls, New York.

We’re not the only funder part of this movement.

Launched in January 2020, the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project (TBP) is a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits. TBP envisions a world where relationships are built on vulnerability, transparency, and humility; where community and nonprofit leaders are valued, supported, and trusted; and where funders bring an awareness of power and equity to their grantmaking. Check them out to learn more about values and practices that help democratize philanthropy.

Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

How we measure our effectiveness

We measure our effectiveness as a trust-based funder, through an annual Grantee Perception Survey, to understand how our grantee partners perceive our processes and approach to partnership.