Trust = Bedrock of Good Giving

Congratulations to Janet Camarena, Director of the San Francisco Foundation Center Library, for her work in launching Glasspockets (  Will transparency lead to change?

Professional philanthropy – foundations – are slow to change.  Despite all the talk, foundations are still drowning in paper.  At a time when we have instant communication – email, blogs, and other social media – we don’t have innovation in grantmaking.  For most foundations, the following is the rule:

  • 20 hours average required to apply for a grant
  • Months to wait for a response
  • And yet, most foundation grants are $10,000 or less

Philanthropic Ventures Foundation grants in 48 hours.  Much of our giving is “paperless.”  There is a mistaken assumption that paperwork is due diligence.  Due diligence is relationships and trust.  If there is a relationship, then endless paperwork is unacceptable.  The grantor and applicant already know each other, the grantor agrees that the applicant is doing good work, their program is dynamic, meeting challenges when they occur.

With trust, a foundation can make grants that are immediately responsive, paperless, and used at the discretion of the nonprofit program director.  This is grantmaking that is nimble, responsive and exciting.

Trust is seen by some grantmakers as naïve, when, in fact, it should be the bedrock of all philanthropic giving.


About venturesfoundation

Founder and CEO of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation
This entry was posted in foundations, grantmaking, grassroots, non-profit, philanthropy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Trust = Bedrock of Good Giving

  1. Bill,

    Thanks so much for the positive review of our newest online effort! So glad you like it. I think the other side to the trust coin is how to build trust in philanthropy and I think the more open philanthropy is about how it operates and what it’s doing, the more trust it builds. Too often when grantmakers talk about trust they are only thinking of the nonprofits they support and not necessarily about how to build trust in their own institutions. With Glasspockets we provide a framework for grantmakers to think about how to look at their own institutions through that “due diligence” lens that too often is only reserved for grantees.


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