Learning – We prioritize learning and unlearning in a posture of humility

Appreciation – We appreciate each other’s unique contributions

Accountability – We believe in accountability to self and in mutual accountability

Trust – We trust each other and treat each other with respect

Care – We care for each other

In addition to informing our Theory of Change, our Values guide the way we interact with our colleagues, partners, and the philanthropic community as a whole. Through collaboration with our partners, we created Our Five Tenets of Grantmaking to exemplify how we apply these Values in our work.


Our Five Tenets of Grantmaking


Collaborations should be locally-led – The best and most sustainable results are generated by locally led collaborations in which any needed technical expertise is paired with and guided by the needs of the local organization.


International solidarity matters – Solidarity means respecting the insight that local communities have and standing behind them rather than out in front in a way that overshadows them. It is important that our partners sense that they have a strong ally internationally who they can rely on.


Appreciate & compensate – This is not to suggest that donors engage in transactional relationships with partners, but rather that appreciation and respect are conveyed to partners by recognizing that their time is precious, valuable, and should be remunerated.


Focus on complementarity, not polarity – It is important to focus on complementarity rather than polarity; it is not “either/or” but “both/and.” Our partners urge us to value various kinds of expertise equally and to keep an open mind regarding what expertise could complement or supplement their own.


Expertise is not measured by degrees – Just as organizations can benefit from scientific instruments and specialized training, there is often no substitute for the experience of a community that has lived on and with the land for generations. The most powerful collaborations we have seen include ones where local expertise was paired with scientific or legal expertise in a complementary fashion.