Expanding the Scope of Trust-Based Philanthropy: How Funders are Helping Reshape Learning & Evaluation

The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is partnering with the Fund for an Inclusive California in a three-part series to chart a course for how philanthropy can reimagine learning and evaluation in alignment with community priorities.

We are excited to share the first article in a three-part series in partnership with Trust Based Philanthropy Project. Through this series, Jazmin Segura, director of the Fund for an Inclusive California and Maricela Piña, founder of Community Centered Evaluation & Research, chart a course for how philanthropy can reimagine learning and evaluation in alignment with community priorities.

Jazmin Segura, Director of Fund for an Inclusive California partnered with Maricela Piña, the Learning and Evaluation lead of the Fund to discuss how they have approached this work as a way to measure how the fund is accountable to community partners.

To make real, transformative progress toward a just future, we must trust and learn from communities who are best positioned to identify and craft solutions for the issues they face.

We believe in relational community building with partners within nonprofits and movements, and seek to shift power away from philanthropy and toward social justice leaders and organizations.

One area where philanthropy has held on tightest to power and control over community partners is through the commissioning and use of evaluation data. Traditionally, evaluation has been commissioned and used by funders to determine the “effectiveness” of nonprofits and social movements, holding grantees to exacting and often unreasonable funder-derived standards.

In the series, Jazmin and Maricela provide an overview of how F4ICA is reshaping learning and evaluation in its efforts, followed by a case study of how they have partnered with community advisors to ensure learning and evaluation informs community-driven grantmaking. We will wrap up the series sharing practical steps and tools for peers in philanthropy interested in reimagining L&E at their own institution.

We are excited to share these insights and tools with the philanthropic community to shift the power dynamic of traditional learning and evaluation efforts.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series in August 2022, and follow the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project blog for more stories and insights on shifting power imbalances in philanthropy.