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Pass the Reins: Shifting Decision-Making Power in Philanthropy

August 29, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Indie Philanthropy Initiative, Grassroots Grantmakers, and GrantCraft, a service of Foundation Center
Pass the Reins: Shifting Decision-Making Power in Philanthropy
August 29, 2017 1-2:30 PM EDT

How can funders make their grantmaking more transparent and inclusive while tackling the unequal power dynamic in philanthropy? Community-led grantmaking is a powerful way to shift decision-making power to the community members who are most marginalized and excluded from resource allocation.

Whether you are a large national funder or small public charity, this webinar will support you in activating or expanding participatory grantmaking for equity and justice. We explore practical challenges and opportunities in this powerful approach to philanthropy, featuring speakers from four different funding models.

View the webinar recording below or view the presentation slides here.

Speaker Bios:

Jennifer Near

Jennifer Near has over 14 years of experience in grantmaking, donor organizing, resource development, facilitation and program management. Her areas of expertise include: developing strategies to shift power in the field of philanthropy; working with nonprofit partners to increase their organizational capacity; providing technical assistance and support to a range of strategic partners; and working in the Just Transition framework to shift from the extractive, fossil-fuel-based economy to the local, living, regenerative economy. Jennifer most recently served as the program director for The Libra Foundation working across the grants and investment programs to advance the foundation’s human rights mission. She is currently working as coordinator for Shake the Foundations and as the general coordinator of the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative. Jennifer also serves as a Board member for 350NH and the Endowment for Health.

Maria De La Cruz (@HeadwatersFdn)

Maria De La Cruz is the associate executive director at Headwaters Foundation for Justice. She leads the foundation’s grantmaking, leadership development, capacity building and development strategies. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan State University, and her Master’s degree and Juris Doctorate at Hamline University. Maria serves as the board chair for Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and as a board member for the Minnesota Council on Foundations. Prior to her time at Headwaters, she worked at OutFront Minnesota, Minnesotans United, TakeAction Minnesota, and Casa de Esperanza. Maria lives in Hopkins, Minnesota, with her wife Shawn, children Emmanuel and Alejandra, and their dog Luigi.

Theresa Trujillo (@ColoradoTrust)

Theresa is a native of southern Colorado. She was born and raised in Pueblo, a hub city in south central part of the state. As the oldest of seven children with a large extended family, Theresa traces her organizing skills to her childhood. She has been an organizer her entire life and realizes how fortunate she is to be able to take learnings from positions held nationally and internationally and apply those learnings and skills in her home community. As a community partner for The Colorado Trust, Theresa is responsible to 10 counties in southeastern Colorado. She is passionate about her belief in the power of people to improve their communities. When she’s not supporting communities to build power, you’ll find her working on a crossword puzzle or cooking chicken mole.

Liane Stegmaier (@BklynFoundation)

Liane Stegmaier is the vice president of communications and strategy at Brooklyn Community Foundation, where she manages multichannel communications, public relations, marketing and community outreach strategies to build awareness, engagement and partnership for the foundation’s work throughout the borough. Liane joined the foundation in 2011; previously she oversaw communications for the Lupus Research Institute and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, and was an intern with the NYC2012 Olympic Bid. Liane graduated with honors from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and is a proud decade-long resident of Brooklyn.

Cortez Wright (@cortezjwright and @3Wave)

Cortez Wright is a Black Queer Femme feminist digital organizer and writer who served on Third Wave Fund’s Activist Grantmaking Advisory Panel in 2016. They are the former digital communications and development coordinator of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, a reproductive justice organization working to build new leadership, change culture and advance knowledge in Georgia and the South to ensure individuals and communities have resources and power to make sustainable and liberatory decisions about our bodies, gender, sexualities and lives. Grounded in principles of harm reduction, queer liberation and radical visioning, they have been a trainer across movements and a wearer of many hats with over five years of experience working at the intersection of racial justice, queer and trans liberation, and reproductive justice. They are a Content Writer for The Body Is Not An Apology and a Ms. Foundation Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project.


August 29, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy


Keeping a close eye on philanthropy