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Trust-Based Philanthropy Practice: Support Beyond the Check

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
10:00am - 11:30am PDT
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Philanthropy California and the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project invite you to join us for a monthly webinar series for funders. Each month, we’ll explore each of the six trust-based principles that, when practiced together, help alleviate power imbalance in the sector.  Each webinar will explore the nuts and bolts of putting the principles to practice, while offering opportunities for peer learning and reflection.

In the sixth of our seven-part webinar series, we’ll explore offering support beyond the check. Fundamentally, this principle encourages funders to see our role as partners in a spirit of service with our grantees, as opposed to transactional gatekeepers that simply write checks. Many funders have the power and ability to support our grantees in myriad non-monetary ways -- through convenings, opening doors to other funders, serving as a sounding board, promoting our grantees’ work, and more. What are some ways you might be able to support your grantee partners beyond the check? And what are some tactful ways to offer that type of support without making grantee partners feel obligated? And what are some examples of support beyond the check that have really paid off for grantee partners? Join us for this webinar as we explore the various ways we can be more intentional about offering this type of support, and strategies for making time to provide this type of support amidst busy schedules. 



Carrie Avery

President, Durfee Foundation

Carrie Avery is President of the Durfee Foundation in Los Angeles, California, which focuses on leadership by providing fellowships, grants to new organizations and sabbaticals to long-time nonprofit leaders. Prior to working for the Durfee Foundation, Carrie practiced law, first with the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., and later with a private firm in San Francisco. Carrie received her B.A. from Stanford University, her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a Georgetown University Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She serves on the boards and executive committees of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, where she is governance chair, and the Berkeley Repertory Theater, where she is vice chair. She has also served as board chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and Northern California Grantmakers, where she founded and for several years chaired the Family Philanthropy Exchange, co-chair of St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland, California, and co-chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.


Shaady Salehi

Director, Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

Shaady Salehi is a social impact leader who helps funders and nonprofits clarify their story to realize their vision. Throughout her career, Shaady has worked in various sectors -- from philanthropy, to social justice, to public media -- using strategic communications to galvanize coalitions, establish legacies, generate buy-in, and strengthen networks. Previously Shaady was Managing Director of Distribution and Impact at ITVS, where she led a team to advance the reach and impact of documentaries on public television. Prior to ITVS, she was Executive Director of Active Voice, a pioneering organization that uses storytelling to catalyze social change. Shaady is a 2014 Aspen Institute Fellow and sits on the board of Let It Ripple, a nonprofit that experiments with collaborative filmmaking for the common good. She holds an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University, an M.A. in Anthropology from UC Davis, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Oberlin College.

John Esterle 

Co-Executive Director, The Whitman Institute

A strong advocate of Trust-Based Philanthropy, John is the Co-Executive Director and a Trustee of The Whitman Institute. John began working at TWI in 1988 as a Research Associate before becoming its Executive Director.  In 2004, following the death of TWI’s Founder, Fred Whitman, John led TWI’s transition from an operating to a grantmaking foundation and its later decision to sunset the foundation in 2022.  A past board president of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, John has served on the boards the Germanacos Foundation, LeaderSpring, and Images and Voice of Hope.  John was also the PTA president for two years of Rooftop Alternative K-8 Elementary School in San Francisco. Prior to joining TWI, John directed Crime and the News Media, a pilot project that featured a series of dialogues between Bay Area journalists and proponents of alternatives to incarceration. He received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from the Hutchins School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Sonoma State University and his M.A. in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University. He lives with his wife in San Francisco and is the proud father of two grown children.

Leslie Ito

Executive Director, Armory Center for the Arts

Leslie A. Ito is highly regarded as one of the most skillful, entrepreneurial arts executives in the Los Angeles region with over 20 years of proven leadership and fundraising expertise to her credit. Ito's reputation for cultural "bridge-building" and advocacy underscores her deep commitment to arts equity and access for all people. She is currently the Executive Director of the Armory Center for the Arts.  Prior to this position, she was the President & CEO of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the U.S. She has also held the position of  Program Director for Arts and Health at the California Community Foundation, and Director of Grant Programs at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. She has served as Executive Director of Visual Communications, the nation’s premiere Asian American media arts organization, and as Program Associate in the Media, Arts Culture Division at the Ford Foundation in New York. Ms. Ito served on the Board of Directors for Americans for the Arts, TELIC Arts Exchange in Los Angeles’ Chinatown and Films By Youth Inside (FYI Films), inspiring incarcerated youth through filmmaking. She is also a co-founder of the LA Asian American and Pacific Islander Giving Circle. In 2016, Ito was awarded the prestigious Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation.  A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Ito received an M.A. in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College.  Leslie lives with her husband and two children in South Pasadena.

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.


Next webinar coming up in this series:


Presented in partnership with:


No cost to participate

Who May Attend
This program is open to everyone. 

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.