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Trust-Based Philanthropy 101

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
9:00am - 11:00am PST
LA84 Foundation
2141 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $0.00
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What if funders started grantee relationships with a deliberate focus on building trust and mutual learning? How could this benefit our collective work and humanity? These are questions being posed by a growing community of funders who are embracing trust-based philanthropy as a way to alleviate power imbalances and make it easier for nonprofit leaders to focus on their work. But what does trust-based philanthropy look like in practice? And how can we fully embody trust-based relationships at all levels — among trustees, foundations, nonprofit leaders, and communities?

In this session, three leaders from various perspectives will dig into these questions together. We'll start with an overview of the six principles of trust-based philanthropy, followed by personal stories about the challenges and opportunities that can come along the way, and suggestions on how to take the next step. Participants can expect to walk away with a clearer understanding of how to embody and practice trust-based philanthropy, and how it can bring greater ease, authenticity, and joy to our work.


Rudy Espinoza

Executive Director, Inclusive Action for the City

Rudy Espinoza is the Executive Director of Inclusive Action for the City, a community development organization designing innovations to responsibly revitalize low-income, urban areas. At Inclusive Action, he leads their advocacy efforts in support of the working poor and their micro-finance programs that support micro-entrepreneurs. Rudy specializes in designing economic development initiatives in low-income communities, researching the informal economy, building private/nonprofit partnerships, and training the working poor to participate in the socio-economic revitalization of their neighborhoods. He serves on the East Area Planning Commission for the City of Los Angeles as well as the Commission on Revenue Generation, the Advisory Boards of the LA Development Fund, Investing in Place and the LA Food Policy Council, and the Board of Directors for the Center for Nonprofit Management and Esperanza Community Housing Corporation. Rudy holds degrees in Business Administration and Urban Planning.

Vera de Vera

Trustee, The Durfee Foundation

Weingart Foundation, Director, Leadership for Movements

Vera de Vera joined the Weingart Foundation in 2018 as Director, Leadership for Movements. In her role, she leads the development of a pilot leadership program for social movement builders. Vera has nearly two decades of experience in philanthropy. Most recently she served as the Director of the California Community Foundation’s Community Building and Nonprofit Sustainability initiatives and previously the Western Regional Director of the Fannie Mae Foundation. She has served on several nonprofit boards over her career and currently serves as a board trustee for the Durfee Foundation and the Center for Courage and Renewal. Vera holds a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University College of Law. She also received a master’s degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA and is a Certified Professional Coach.


Phil Li 

President of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation in New York

Before joining Robert Sterling Clark, Phil served as the Chief Operating Officer at The Century Foundation, a public policy think tank, and at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, where he helped the organization convert from a private foundation to a public charity. For four years he led the philanthropic practice at Changing Our World, a nonprofit consultancy and before that he worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation on two of its leadership development initiatives. Phil served as the Executive Director of the Coro New York Leadership Center, a nonprofit that trains and develops individuals interested in public affairs for four years.  He was introduced to Coro as a participant in its Leadership New York program, which prompted him to jump to the nonprofit sector from Wall Street. He started his career at Merrill Lynch and finished as a junk bond analyst with Moody’s Investors Service.

Phil currently serves on the board of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the United Philanthropy Forum.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Phil has a BA in Economics and Biology and an MBA from The Wharton School in Finance and Strategic Planning. 


Claire Peeps

Executive Director, Durfee Foundation

Claire Peeps is the executive director of the Durfee Foundation. Previously she served as the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Festival, as the publisher of High Performance Magazine, and as director of education at the Ansel Adams Center/Friends of Photography. She has served as a consultant to the J. Paul Getty Center, the San Francisco Art Institute, The Music Center of Los Angeles County, and ARTS Inc, among others, and has served as president of Grantmakers in the Arts, chair of Southern California Grantmakers, and vice chair of the California Council for the Humanities. Claire is a Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, appointed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to represent the Third District. She is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy, and an adjunct instructor at the USC Price School of Public Policy. Her book, Activists Speak Out: Reflections on the Pursuit of Change in America, was published by St. Martins/ Palgrave in March 2001. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of New Mexico, and holds certificates from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Presented in partnership with:


No cost to participate

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

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
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 an accommodation 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.

About this Location
This location is ADA compliant, has dedicated nursing rooms, and gender-neutral restrooms available.

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