The Best Relationships Are Built on Trust

By: Melissa Bienenfeld

The best relationships are built on trust, and that is especially true when it comes to your money.

We recently read this great interview by eJewish Philanthropy with Angelique Power, who recently joined the Sillman Foundation.

Here are some of our main takeaways:

Individual Donors Matter!

69% of total dollars donated in 2020 came from individual donors. While it’s larger foundations that appear in the news with their multi million dollar grants, it’s really the individual donors that make up for the majority of philanthropic funds. Why does that matter for MyTzedakah Fund? Well, we are passionate about harnessing the individual donor to make a massive impact, when coming together for a common goal.

Why ‘Trust-Based Philanthropy’?

To make any relationship work, it needs to be based on trust. The same is true for funders/ donors and the nonprofits they support. When we as donors choose to support an organization, it is not only because we believe in their cause, but because we trust their administration to execute. And if we do not trust them, we have no business supporting them. That’s why there is a new trend in philanthropy called ‘Trust Based Philanthropy’, in which foundations commit to multi year grants with unrestricted funding. Essentially what this means is organizations are free to use the money for what they see fit, and the money is committed for multiple years. This type of funding puts the organization back in the driver’s seat, allowing them to decide the most effective use of funds. Enabling them to come up with their own metrics and reporting allows them to spend their limited resources on actually tackling the problems they set out to solve.

Young People Matter:

Power describes some of the research she has done with younger people in Detroit. She says: “Young people give me hope. So we did this research at Skillman where we asked young people in Detroit about their perceptions of their future. And hands down, the majority of young people felt optimistic, they felt powerful, they felt like they had agency in their future.”

We know that our younger donors feel optimistic about the future and that they can impact change. That’s why we created MyTzedakah- our generation deserves the right tools to affect change. Together, we are supporting our community like never before.


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