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The Ethos of Being Trust-Based Session 2: Interpersonal Skills: The Hardest Skill Building You'll Ever Do

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am PST

About the Series

The Ethos of Being Trust-Based, developed by Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Philanthropy CA, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, is a webinar series dedicated to exploring the fundamental values and dispositions central to a trust-based approach. At the heart of this work is a deep focus on building trust and relationships at every level, both internally and externally. This requires constant self-examination, a cultivation of interpersonal skills, a willingness to reimagine and adjust organizational practices, and an understanding of the greater systemic factors that have given way to the institution of philanthropy as a whole. It requires that we see and name how racial inequities have been perpetuated in our institutions, behaviors, and practices, even as we strive to alleviate them. Trust-based philanthropy invites us to understand and take action on these ideas at the personal, interpersonal, organizational, and systemic levels in order to interrupt the perpetuation of power imbalances in our sector.

Between the global pandemic and this country’s racial reckoning, our interconnectedness, and inequalities, have never been clearer. From this reality, how can we cultivate trust-based dispositions that support mutuality throughout crisis response, and beyond? 

  • How can we seize the potential for redistribution of power, especially to benefit communities that have been systematically oppressed? 

  • How might we fully embody partnership in a spirit of service? 

  • What context is essential for us to understand? 

  • What behaviors do we need to un-learn? 

  • And can we embrace and sustain self-reflection and generative listening as must-have tools for transformation? 

Join the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, Philanthropy California, and GEO as we explore these questions and examine the aspects of trust-building essential for a strong and healthy ecosystem at all levels: individually, interpersonally, inter-organizationally, and systemically. Each webinar will: 1) feature seasoned perspectives on some of the overarching concepts related to trust-based values and dispositions; 2) include stories and lessons from funders who try to live and breathe relational values; and, 3) offer space for small group reflection on how to cultivate what’s required to embed a trust-based ethos in our philanthropic practice.


About Session 2: Interpersonal Skills —— The Hardest Skill-Building You’ll Ever Do

In philanthropy, we sometimes overlook or deprioritize the interpersonal skills required to do this work well. This includes the ability to connect dots, show up in an emotionally intelligent way, listen actively and empathically, and know when to get out of the way. It also requires a clear understanding of power, and how power imbalances between funders and grantee partners are exacerbated by race, gender, and class inequities. Cultivating and advancing effective interpersonal skills requires practitioners to bring self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and willingness to take multiple perspectives into account. In this workshop, we’ll:

  • Examine the context of philanthropy with regards to relationship building
  • Build capacity to listen well
  • Explore practices that help to cultivate empathy and compassion
  • Build self-awareness around power, privilege, and navigating across differences
  • Explore practices around transparent communication and managing discomfort



Kate Seely, Northern California Grantmakers



Chris Murchison, Organizational Culture Consultant & Coach

John Esterle, Co-Executive Director, The Whitman Institute

Angel Roberson Daniels, Executive Director, Angell Foundation

Ellen Friedman, Executive Director, Compton Foundation


Other Sessions

Session 3: Building Trust Begins at Home — Practices That Advance or Weaken Trust in Your Organization >>> Learn More

Tuesday, February 23 | 10:00am - 11:30am


Session 4: Confronting and Correcting Historical Power Imbalances >>> Learn More

Tuesday, March 30 | 10:00am - 11:30am


Session 5: Reimagining Funder Roles in a Trust-Based Context >>> Learn More

Tuesday, April 27 | 10:00am - 11:30am 


Presented in partnership with:

No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online.
NCG & Catalyst members: Register online.
Non-members: Register online.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
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