Robert Sterling Clark Foundation's CEO Interviewed in Funder Spotlight
Since his appointment as president a year and a half ago, Phil Li of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation has taken dramatic steps toward embodying trust-based philanthropy, including getting rid of lengthy reporting requirements and shifting toward multi-year unrestricted support. As part of The Whitman Institute’s ongoing series featuring funders embodying trust-based philanthropy, we sat down with him to get the scoop:
TWI: What was the driving force behind these structural shifts around proposals, reporting, and multi-year support?
PL: These changes were heavily informed by my background as a former nonprofit ED and grantseeker. The process of proposal writing and reporting always felt so arduous, and a lot of funders were asking similar or redundant questions… As a grantmaker, I knew I wanted to break down some of those barriers, which generally reinforce the power dynamic between grantmaker and grantseeker. Grantseekers bring so much to the table — knowledge, boots on the ground — and if we can approach our grantees as partners in social change, we believe the outcomes will be stronger. . .