We are all in this together.

A unique network. A unique approach. With shared visions of a better future, we support our partners to amplify and accelerate positive impact. Together, we enable community-led change to gain momentum from coast to coast to coast.

Photo credit: Lisa Kannakko.

Philanthropy done differently

At MakeWay, we take an active, bottom-up approach to philanthropy and invite our partners to join us in a growing movement towards trust-based philanthropy. We break down traditional methods to empower local leaders. We build deep and meaningful relationships with communities, we listen and lead from behind to address challenges and realize solutions.

Building the right programs

We believe that effective philanthropy is community-led by local changemakers. It’s offering tools and support. It’s listening and building relationships that help programs grow.

Integrated programs enable us to leverage expertise, experience, strategic partnerships, and deep community connections to tackle pressing local and systemic challenges. We can provide better support to our partners and move faster and more effectively with a clear vision for change.


It takes a village to create lasting change. For MakeWay that village is our partners. We come together to focus collective efforts and have a stronger, more lasting impact towards environmental, social, and economic transformation.



Changemakers come in all forms; from social change leaders to grassroots initiatives, social entrepreneurs, and communities. MakeWay partners with leaders who are on the ground, moving from vision to impact. Sometimes, we dot the i’s and cross the t’s so changemakers are free to focus on their mission. Other times, we provide funding so initiatives can accelerate their impact. There are so many different ways we offer support to changemakers.


MakeWay partners with philanthropists who are looking to activate their wealth further to enable nature and communities to thrive. We help them discover and define a strategy that matches their values with impact in the world. We also provide philanthropists with custom solutions ranging from advisory services to program design and delivery.


Whether a small family foundation or an established institution, our foundation partners aspire to make a lasting impact in defined geographies or issue areas. MakeWay offers expertise and deep relationships with communities and local leaders to help expand their philanthropy in new ways. We also provide foundations with custom solutions ranging from advisory services to program design, delivery, and impact measurement.

Financial Advisors

MakeWay works with financial advisors to help their clients make philanthropic investments that align with their unique values. We also provide custom solutions ranging from impact investment to grant management.

“People need to know that MakeWay is nothing like any philanthropic organization they’ve worked with before. Ditch your assumptions and prepare to innovate! One of the most rewarding things for me is how reciprocal the relationship is. I can be bold with my ideas and I am prepared for them to be bold in response. We’re in it together. MakeWay represents the gold standard, in my mind, for engaged philanthropy.”

Jess Housty
Qqs Project Society

Tools for Change

Today’s complex environmental and social landscape requires not only proven but democratic, community-driven approaches to positive change. At MakeWay, we reduce barriers and provide the expertise, experience, strategic partnerships, and deep community connections to ensure that all efforts go further.

In collaboration, we create custom solutions to help achieve change. With 20 years of experience building and implementing a unique approach, MakeWay is a proven partner.

Advisory services we offer our partners include, but are not limited to: research and scoping, strategy and design, grants management and delivery, evaluation and learning.

  • Define a tailored giving strategy
  • Connect to purpose-aligned initiatives and go deeper with philanthropy
  • Dive into new issues and geographies or expand an existing program
  • Evaluate outcomes, share learnings, and revise as needed

Creating on the ground impact takes time and resources. The shared platform supports grassroots initiatives by providing charitable expertise and operational support, so that they can concentrate on what they do best – driving real change.

  • Home to over 60 unique and aligned projects
  • Opportunity for collaboration among fellow projects
  • Tools for governance, compliance and financial management
  • Resources for grants administration, human resources, risk management

Make meaningful gifts and build relationships with changemakers on the ground. The result is an informed and engaged giving strategy managed by our team of experienced program leads.

Deep subject matter expertise and trust-based community networks mean grantmaking goes beyond surface solutions, directing investments in ways that maximize positive, sustainable change. Whether individual, institutional, government, or corporate, we support donors to be more connected and effective in their giving.

Our knowledgeable program leads work to:

  • Manage strategic granting portfolios
  • Collaborate in active partnership with communities to help articulate, design, and implement lasting solutions
  • Act as networkers, conveners, and relationship builders

A strong collective effort with a unified mission takes us all to greater heights. Collaboratives bring grantmakers and community representatives together to pool resources and share ideas. This gives community-led initiatives a foundation for success with more flexible and responsive financial supports, fewer administrative hoops, and opportunities for shared learning, co-creation, and evaluation.

  • Promote more informed and effective grantmaking
  • Combine effort to improve the efficiency of accessing money and other resources (such as tools and equipment)
  • Make it easier for communities to access funding
  • Break down the traditional model of top-down philanthropy
  • Strengthen connections among philanthropic institutions and communities
  • Most collaboratives include additional programming like knowledge exchange, shared measurement, storytelling etc.

We believe in using economic levers to create positive social change and encourage corporate responsibility. Impact investments are made in companies, organizations, and initiatives to generate positive social impact and a financial return.

MakeWay offers the country’s first fully-customizable 100% impact invested donor advised fund – ImpactDAF. This unique philanthropic vehicle provides the grantmaking functions of a DAF, while also mobilizing the underlying investments for positive impact. Each ImpactDAF has a customized financial and impact strategy that aligns with its purpose. This means that ImpactDAF’s are able to have a positive impact through grantmaking and investing.

  • Align values with investments to achieve financial and social return
  • Offer a fossil fuel-free ESG portfolio (managed by Genus).
  • Lead research on new impact investing solutions
  • Provide impact measurement using a methodology aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

An alternative to starting your own foundation, donor advised funds are an efficient and flexible vehicle for charitable giving. Through a donor advised fund, you can deliver on your unique philanthropic vision, while minimizing costs and maximizing impact.

When you work with MakeWay, you join a national community of individuals, charities, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses who share your passion for environmental and social change.

  • Benefit from efficient, flexible giving
  • Invest in a fossil fuel-free investment portfolio
  • Leave a legacy or honor a loved one
  • Manage charitable giving from one place, minimizing costs and maximizing impact

Learn more or partner with us:

Leanne Burton
Director, Partnership Development