What True Partnership With A Funder Actually Looks Like, And How To Get There, with Terri Davis-Merchant

I’m joined this week by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Terri Davis-Merchant. Terri works at the intersection of affordable housing development, homelessness, policy & philanthropy as a Program Officer at Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies.

This is one of the most open and frank conversations I’ve had, and about a topic that is so often opaque: Philanthropy and the inner workings of foundations.

Terri brings to her role as a grantmaker, both a unique depth of content expertise and the critical eye of a newcomer to the field of philanthropy.  We talk about it all:

What could foundations do better? What is their proper role vis a vis the work of their grantees? What does partnership actually mean in practice?  There’s a lot of talk these days about the responsibility of philanthropic institutions to make their grants and then get out of the way of the groups doing work on the ground, but what does that mean in practice? And how do you start and build a relationship with a foundation that leads to that type of trust?

This is a juicy episode filled with honest insights, behind-the-scenes strategy tips, and a lot of laughter.