Doing Less to be More

“The interpersonal work it takes to build community, to be comfortable and uncomfortable with each other, to learn how to come as our whole selves, to figure out how to hold space for all of these whole selves, to hold ourselves and each other accountable, to affirm and support each other, and enjoy each other’s company takes time. It’s a vital part and practice of working towards justice.”BadAss Visionary Healers 

Threshold Philanthropy turned TWO this month! The terrific, tender, and sometimes terrifying twos! We are toddler-ing into this year, fresh from long naps, bruises, good food, crying for all reasons, manifesting more freedom, and inviting you all to join! 

Our two-year anniversary reflections are a compilation of some of our celebrations, stumbles, growing edges, aha moments, and commitments going into 2023. We could fill books on how much we have learned and are still learning from this last year. May what we share and offer be a gift and of some use. Gratitude for all of you who have witnessed us transform over and over again and we invite you to collaborate in our next iterations.  

Year Two Learnings 


Co-CEO relationships are becoming more common in our sector. This configuration has required Morgan and Lindsay to practice more vulnerability, transparency, and adaptiveness. We understand why some of our colleagues who were in a Co-CEO relationship have parted ways in the last two years. It is humbling work.  

Morgan and Lindsay are each other’s “coco” and offer that this last year has been less lonely having the other by their side. Having a Co-CEO has also been key in preventing burnout for both.  

Their many visioning sessions led them to revamp their roles with having one CEO more external facing and the other be more internal facing. Choreographing how these roles can best bring out their genius and joys. 

Trust and Growth as a Team! 

We hired Liz and metasabia!!!!  With their brilliance and talent, we have launched our newsletter, blog, and strengthened our internal processes so that they are buttery smooooth and up to Morgan’s standards=beautiful. 

Adjusting to our new formation was made more easeful with one of our favorite resources, the Liberating Organizations Handbook by Wildseed Society and our staff coach Angela Powell.    

What is the matter with money? 

As an organization founded with a lens of reparations, with a focus on Black and Native women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and communities. There are times where a scarcity mindset can creep into our team and founding funder. When direct asks from partners can feel like too much, and when our own biases and previous experiences color how we are hearing requests. Giving financial resources, specifically to individuals, rather than organizations, has kicked up a lot of unhealthy thought patterns and trauma around money for us and our communities. 

Trauma of Money is a training that we took as a team to learn more about our individual and collective money stories. We learned that all of us have deep money disorders. SURPRISE! Capitalism, individualism, and oppression breed scarcity mindsets. By leaning into authentic conversations, being patient, and increasing our transparency, we’re navigating our way through these uncertainties.  We’re actively growing our abundance mindset and realigning ourselves with the notion that there is enough for all of us to be satisfied and cared for. 

Outgrowing and Transforming  

Out of our 12-month role as grantmaker, we deepened relationships, co-created our strategy, and built pilots with our partners. As we maintain our relationships and roles in each of these spaces, we’ve committed to strengthening our analysis and focusing our energy in our roles as an economic entity and civic actor.   

Our identities have led to a different set of expectations from our communities. People see our faces and expect alignment and funding. We cannot fund everyone, or everything. We are learning how to engage and be in relationship with a wide range of communities and potential partners and not have it be solely based on financial transactions and seated in authentic friendships.  

Back to the Future  

In 2023, we’re taking time to build alongside our existing partners in Washington state and exploring the answers to “How much can we maintain well and what does that look like? Each of our relationships are important and need nurturing and tending to, which is another reason why we are not taking on new partners.  

For now, we have met “the ones” that we want to deepen and build with and vice versa. Going wide and skimming the surface is the opposite of holistic community care. It’s time to get to know all the workings of maintaining a relationship. Learning all the awkwardness, discomfort, beauty, joy, and difficulties. If you’ve ever been in a relationship that you want to devote time to, you know what we’re talking about. IT’S WORK! Fulfilling, challenging, and transformative work.  

Doing Less to be More! 

We are deepening our knowledge and practices in each of our four roles and building deeper relationships with our partners. In each of our previous workplaces, from grant reporting to programs, we’ve been told to do more, “How much more did you fundraise this year compared to last year?” “What is your strategy to expand to new regions?” “What were your students test scores this year and how will you beat them next year?” We were taught competition and urgency will save you. We’re done with that approach

Relationships rooted in care and dignity require us to move slowly, listen more deeply, and meet each other with vulnerability and courage. Quality over quantity, that’s our strategy:) How much more healed would our communities be if that was what we all implemented and measured, instead of quantity and productivity as our worth? 

Lastly, quiet February is right around the corner, which invites Threshold Philanthropy to intentionally take time to dive deeper into our own healing. Keeping us in alignment with our values, accountable to our relationships, and ourselves. Practicing new habits while co-creating our radical imaginations for liberation have taken form.  

“Give light and people will find a way.”

Ella Baker

*all illustrations by Liz Rideau

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