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The Vida Agency
Crowd of people protesting with signs and text Promoting a just society and a sustainable environment.

Satterberg Foundation

Trust-Based Philanthropy Amplification

Since early 2016, the Satterberg Foundation’s grantmaking program has increasingly centered around Trust-Based Philanthropy, which aims to put Grantees on a more even footing with grantmakers through multi-year, general operational funding; valuing Grantees’ lived experiences and expertise; and authentic relationships in lieu of “reporting.” Satterberg engaged TVA in early 2021 to reposition the Foundation as pioneers and proof of concept of this more equitable approach to philanthropy.


Satterberg Foundation


TVA conducted a series of one-on-one, in-depth interviews with the Foundation’s Grantee Partners to learn about the work they do and how Trust-Based Philanthropy is affecting that work. We heard that Satterberg’s approach greatly reduces the amount of time and resources Grantees spend on applications and reporting requirements, and it also relieves much of the stress of fundraising, allowing nonprofits to focus on their core work and freeing them to innovate and adapt without fear of losing funding

Man in sunglasses and a hat leaning on fishing gear looking stern at camera.
Two girls sitting in garden with plants and seeds in front of them.


Based on the interviews, TVA crafted a series of inspiring stories that centers and showcases the work and far-reaching impact of Satterberg’s Grantee Partners. The stories also highlight how Trust-Based Philanthropy is more effective than traditional models at producing the positive outcomes funders want. The stories showcase a range of nonprofits from each of the regions the Foundation serves, representing their funding priorities of social justice and environmental sustainability.

Trust based philanthropy section of Satterberg website with text Redistributing power to our grantee partners.

TVA also completely overhauled the Foundation’s website, from design to functionality to content, with a mind to re-orient the user experience around the efficacy of Trust-Based Philanthropy, centering the work of the Foundation’s Grantee Partners rather than the roles of Board and Staff, and inspiring and challenging other funders to join this movement.


TVA crafted two press releases around Satterberg’s key initiatives: 1) one that summarized a survey report Satterberg commissioned from The Headwater People that delved into how their Grantee Partners experience the Foundation’s community-centered approach to funding, and 2) another that publicized The Metropole Building Project. The Metropole is a space in an historic building in Seattle’s Pioneer Square that will be developed into a community-centric home for nonprofits, with an emphasis on those organizations that serve or are led by communities of color.