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PEAK Grantmaking

Building Trust-Based Partnerships to Foster Equity

Organization Members Only

During crises like the coronavirus pandemic, individuals and communities that have been marginalized face disproportionate hardships and longer-lasting impacts. For funders like Brooklyn Community Foundation looking to address these injustices, meet urgent needs, and improve equity, establishing trust and collaboration is nonnegotiable.

Brooklyn Community Foundation has a strong history of making grants through a racial-justice lens, with a total grantmaking investment of over $60 million over the past decade. This discussion with Marcella Tillett, VP of Programs and Partnerships, will explore the techniques she and the Foundation use to create trust-based partnerships at all levels—with grantees, donors, stakeholders, and community partners—in times of crisis and in anticipation for the future.

Talking points will include how to lead with trust (favoring accessibility and minimizing burden) and promote equity at every step in the grants process, from strategizing with partners to building applications, collaboratively performing reviews, awarding funds, and reporting on impact. Every step provides a unique opportunity to shift power to community and build lasting, meaningful relationships.


Rachel Mindell
Content Marketing Manager

Marcella Tillett
Vice President of Programs and Partnerships
Brooklyn Community Foundation