One Foundation’s Journey towards Centering Community-Led Work


  • Maryan Abdinur
  • Camille Gonzalez
  • Ambar Hanson Mortenson Family Foundation
  • Rabya Hassen
  • Danyelle O'Hara



Foundation, Philanthropy, Community Engagement, Trust-based philanthropy, Decolonizing Philanthropy, Community Development


For decades, the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors have been trying to solve issues in communities that have been harmed for hundreds of years by the impacts of colonization, capitalism, and other isms. One thing has become abundantly clear: if nonprofits and foundations continue determining solutions, the changes in communities will be mostly slow and unsustainable. Embracing this truth, Mortenson Family Foundation has been working to share power with communities for decisions about how and where resources should be allocated. We are doing this because people in and close to communities are best situated to define and implement solutions in the most meaningful, relevant, and sustainable ways. This article highlights some of our learnings as we embrace our emergent journey to build a more equitable partnership among our foundation, the nonprofits we partner with, and the communities we all care about.




How to Cite

Abdinur, M., Gonzalez, C., Hanson, A., Hassen, R., & O’Hara, D. (2023). One Foundation’s Journey towards Centering Community-Led Work. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 10(1), Article 7.



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