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Our Process (for Funders)

Wondering what working with Family & Friends Fund might look like for your family, your private foundation, or your donor advised fund?

We aren't in the business of research, but we do rely on research.

We aren't in the business of fact finding, but we do make sure we know the facts.

We aren't in the business of networking, or empowering others, or training you out of your bias. We aren't in the business of connecting white leaders to Black leaders so that the white leaders can make decisions in board rooms full of other white leaders based on the knowledge they extract from Black leaders.

We ARE in the business of facilitating genuine connections between people who have access to risk capital (that they have a history of investing in people who already are their friends and family) and people who don't have access to risk capital.

We do this through 4 stages that are anything but transactional.

1. We hear from so many leaders (mostly white) that you want to "do more than donate" but don't want to be/seem like "white saviors". You have a lot of trepidation, if not down right fear of doing the right thing the wrong way. This is where we start. We validate and attempt to contextualize these fears, always humanizing you and your team.

2. Next, we move forward by expressing genuine trust in your intent and we aim to earn your genuine trust in return (we EARN it, we know we are not entitled to it). We help you and your family members or teammates make new connections and we expose you to the expertise already in the communities you desire to help -- not to co opt the knowledge or even to learn from it necessarily, but to bear witness to it and learn to believe in it and rely on it.

3. After trust is earned (we know we can't skip this part!) we start to transition some decision making. We tried to rush this part at the beginning...but we've learned that baby steps here lead to the best long term impact. For many of our early donors this looked like donating $20 to be directed by Black leaders into their community followed by larger gifts of $100, or $1000, or more. For your family, your foundation, or your donor advised fund this might look like a one time donation into our Fort Wayne fund -- where we walk you through the process and you get to experience the power redistribution first hand. We promise, it doesn't hurt.

4. Finally, we help you reflect on and systematize your transformation. A one time power transfer is not the goal. Instead, experiential learning is the goal. We've heard from so many donors that they were always told that their job as a donor was to keep control. We help you transform that thinking on some or all of your grant-making portfolio. Once that thinking is transformed, we know you will be, too.

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