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Building trust to create change

building trust

Trust is philanthropy's

greatest asset.  


Building and maintaining trust is a learnable expertise..  When trust is broken, repairing it is essential to moving forward.  Matt helps you

earn trust at 4 essential levels:


  1. Trust in yourself.

  2. Trust among your teams.

  3. Trust throughout your enterprise.

  4. Trust alongside your partners.


Ask yourself the following questions to gauge the way trust lives in your organization.

(Hover to view.)

Trust self-assessment​

  • Do you trust your ability to respond with skill when your blind spots are revealed and you need to adapt?

  • Are you confident that your colleagues feel safe to share  their best qualities at work?  Or do you sense those qualities are held back or protected?

  • Do your teams freely share information and connect one another to key relationships? 

  • Do your teams have a plan for handling conflict?  Are difficult conversations had about what matters most?

  • Is your workplace energizing and generative? , Or does it tire people out?

  • Is your organization self-aware about its possession and use of power? 

  • Does your relationship to community go deeper than sponsorship?

Change happens at the speed of trust.

-Steven Covey

creating change

Change grows in 

predictable stages.  


Using the wrong method at the wrong time can stall your philanthropic aspirations.  Matt helps you develop fluency at creating change, using these 5 phases as guideposts.  


  1. Know your stage.

  2. Learn and discern your response.

  3. Design & act on your values.

  4. Reflect on and evaluate the results.

  5. Build systems to repeat.


Ask yourself the following questions to assess your organization's 

relationship to change .

(Hover to view)

Change self-assessment

  • Do you wish for someone who’s “been there” in philanthropy and can help you foster personal changes that lead to your best work?

  • Do you long to tap the power of your colleagues’ natural self-agency to tackle your most critical problems?

  • Do you know the stage of change your organization and your work areas are in?  

  • Do you design approaches to creating change that align with those stages?

  • Are practices established in your organization to quickly adapt through ongoing and shared learning, discernment, and action?

  • Can you point to evidence of disciplined, 
    evidence-informed judgment that leverages diverse and wholistic ways of knowing?

Six Simple Rules of

Trust & Change in Philanthropy* 


Trust is present and change will ensue when staff, leadership, and board:

  1. Connect interpersonally.

  2. Listen to understand.

  3. Confide challenging truths.

  4. Disagree constructively.

  5. Feel safe to test, fail, and improve.

  6. Have fun and celebrate together.

*brought to you by the good people at

Blue Dot Consulting.

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