Our reach into communities is literally hands-on — with some 1.5 million nonprofit organizations helping to feed, nurture, support, provide disaster relief, foster civic engagement, encourage economic growth, and other supportive services for millions of residents in communities across the country. At this critical time when COVID-19 continues to take and threaten the lives of so many – particularly those disproportionately affected – community trust is critical to our work to help meet the urgent need of getting vaccines to communities that need them most. Yet, trust in the nonprofit sector is declining, a trend we can ill-afford when trust between nonprofits and our communities is everything.
During our first Upswell Pop-Up of 2021, we focused on the vital intersection of trust and racial equity, and what we must do to repair some of our deepest divides. We explored how nonprofits, philanthropy, and community-organizations can build trust; how our words and voices can be a pathway to individual and collective healing; how academia and communities can work together to strengthen trust and advance strategies to ensure children thrive; and how we must align discussions about workplace wellness, organizational development, and equity work to strengthen trust bonds that are key to equitable growth – even in the midst of the pandemic.