Potlatch Fund and the Future of Philanthropy

Something exciting happened to philanthropy last year because of COVID-19. Across the country, a number of prominent, large foundations began publicly adopting the tenets of trust-based philanthropy and community-based philanthropy, guided by the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. Partly they did this in order to get emergency funding quickly to community organizations “on the ground” that were responding to the many crises brought on or worsened by the pandemic. In trust-based philanthropy, the power dynamics between funders and grantee partners shift and have the potential to transform relationships. The result is a process that’s more personal and less transactional, more trusting and less suspicious, and more about sharing power than maintaining the status quo. Community-based philanthropy allows communities to