Building relationships grounded in trust is how we create systemic change. Establishing trustworthy relationships with our funded partners allows us to remove historical barriers to funding more efficiently by connecting community members to unrestricted resources and support. These meaningful, lasting relationships provide the foundation for us to make our community a place where everyone can thrive.

Early in 2020, KZCF began a shift toward trust-based philanthropy. Using this approach, which prioritizes those most affected by inequity, KZCF has transformed the power dynamic between funders and funded partners and streamlined the grantmaking process. “The responsibility is on us to understand the work of our partners, as opposed to putting that burden on them,” said Sandy Barry-Loken, vice president of Community Impact & Investment.

“We’re hearing from partners that they feel more comfortable picking up the phone when things aren’t going well or when they need thought partnership. There’s a higher focus on learning and not on perfection.”

In 2017, Thomas Barr created the Robert W. and Marion S. Barr Fund in honor of his parents, who valued the power of literacy. Barr’s 30-year commitment to giving grows from his support of Unrestricted Funds and his belief that we can only create an equitable community if we do it together.

“Everyone has a role to play, to do their part to make the community stronger.”

- Thomas Barr, KZCF Donor

Between 2020 and 2021, KZCF provided more than $3.5 million in grants for education and learning through the Love Where You Live Fund. In 2022, education and learning needs came second only to basic needs and human services. This shift demonstrates the nature of change and the importance of adaptability in funding through unrestricted giving.

Vice President of Donor Relations & Scholarships Joanna Donnelly Dales understands the value of unrestricted giving and encourages funders to think long-term about their community investments.

“Unrestricted giving is the ultimate trustbased philanthropy,” Dales said. “We are calling into existence the true meaning of what it means to be a community foundation. We do this by pooling our resources, standing united as a collective and encouraging our funders to think strategically about the needs of our community members.”

Love Where You Live Funding

The Love Where You Live Fund is adaptable and exists to fund areas with the greatest need. In 2020 and 2021, the top four funds remained the same. However, in 2022, we noticed a shift in the order of priority, indicating a shift in the needs of our community.

Love Where You Live Funding Chart

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To read all of the stories from our 2022 Annual Report, click here.