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3 Questions With Bridget Dunn - The Philanthropy Connection

Friday, February 11, 2022 1:42 PM | Nancy Clark (Administrator)

Bridget Dunn
The Philanthropy Connection

TPC inspires and enables a community of women to learn, grow, and engage in collective giving to support nonprofit organizations that address systemic inequities impacting individuals and families within the greater Boston area.

We recently spoke to Bridget and invited her thoughts on their current efforts!

What’s the most interesting effort your circle is focusing on right now?

In 2021, TPC rolled out a new four-tier membership investment structure. This updated membership framework creates a new membership entry point at $300 and allows all members to choose the contribution level most comfortable for their financial situation. All members receive the same privileges and voting rights, and are equally welcome to participate in our programming and grant making processes. In less than a year this new structure has resulted in a higher number of total members and several lapsed members rejoining. TPC is working to become a more equitable, inclusive organization and this new membership structure allows us to live those values.

What is something your circle is currently challenged by?

TPC is seeking to incorporate the principles of Trust-Based Philanthropy (TBP) in our grant making. This has required re-thinking some of our grant making processes and challenging ourselves to incorporate new ideas. Some tangible changes we have made towards this end have included:

  • Changing all grants to be unrestricted funds
  • Completely rewriting our application and rubric to emphasize principles of TBP and reduce the burden on applicants
  • Allowing applicants to submit applications they wrote for other opportunities
  • Waiving grantee reporting requirements and strengthening our liaison program to communicate with grantees in a less demanding way

The work is not yet done and we are continuing to look inward as an organization and have hard conversations about how we can better exemplify the values of TBP.

What Philanos resource has been most helpful to you this year, and why?

We found the Philanos chat boards to be very beneficial as we’ve researched and incorporated these changes. We were able to gain valuable insights about how other groups have structured their memberships and went on to meet with leaders from those groups in very helpful and informative sessions. Additionally, as we explored opportunities for offering multi-year grants, participants in the chat forums offered us valuable insights into how their group accomplished this and led to several excellent 1:1 conversations. We are always grateful for the willingness of other Philanos organizations to share their wisdom and insights with us.

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