Who We Are


why leadership?

What we do

Theo Rigby

Our Story

Trust and investment in leadership transforms our ability to win social change.

The LeadersTrust builds on decades of history as a core strategy of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund to invest deeply in the leadership and organizational capacity of its nonprofit partners. Now an independent entity fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center, the LeadersTrust has expanded to partner with more than a half dozen foundations to support their grantees across the country.

With over $30 million in investments to date, together we are building a change sector where resources are invested equitably, power is shared, and leaders have the capacity, relationships and investment they need to lead boldly and dream big.

Our Values


We center racial equity in everything we do because we believe it is the surest path for transformative social change.


We believe in the power and expertise of the people who are the heart of organizations and movements for social change and follow their lead.


Relationships are at the heart of our work. No one can do it alone and accompaniment— feeling seen and supported— is transformative.


Trust is essential to how we operate. We honor the wisdom of our partners to guide the work, define what they need, and determine the right path forward.

We dream of a world that is loving, equitable, joyful and just

Winning the transformative, structural changes we need requires a deep belief and investment in people, organizations, and their collective power.



Our Mission & How We Work

The LeadersTrust believes that a deep investment in the leadership and organizational capacity of change makers is critical for success. By delivering responsive, long-term, high-touch investment in the people at the heart of organizations, we unlock the radical imagination and inherent power of leaders, organizations, and movements to achieve transformative change.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning or leadership. Working closely with funding partners, we align capacity-building efforts to meet the needs of leaders, organizations, and a range of movements including worker rights, conservation and reproductive justice.


In partnership with multiple foundations, we’re making sure resources are invested equitably, power is shared, and leaders have the capacity, relationships and investment they need to lead boldly and dream big.


We’re investing in leaders at the heart of organizations and movements for change who are transforming our world to be more loving, equitable, and just.


We’re connecting aligned and skillful consultants and capacity coaches with leaders and organizations.

Our History

The LeadersTrust originated as a core strategy of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, where the Flexible Leadership Awards approach was conceived in 2004 and has supported core Fund grantees for almost two decades.  

Beginning in 2016, additional foundation partners joined forces to catalyze deep investments in the leadership capacity of their grantees and movements.

In 2021, the LeadersTrust became an independent entity under fiscal sponsorship of the Tides Center.

“We truly value our partnership with LeadersTrust for Irvine’s Fair Work initiative. Their philosophy of acompañamiento, where the grantee is leading and you're accompanying them on a journey, embodies Irvine’s approach to capacity building. One of the most important things we can do as grantmakers is to invest in leadership development of grantees, so they have the support they need to address complex challenges and create lasting change.”

Virginia Mosqueda, Irvine Foundation

“If you really want to see concrete progress in developing a bench of leaders of color, then leadership development is really essential. Not just giving the skills to be leaders, while obviously important but also for me it was really helpful in convincing me that I wanted to step up to leadership.”

Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLAD

“Often our organizations are struggling to stay afloat and prioritize resources to pay staff, run programs and keep the doors open – this program provides money and resources specifically to support internal leadership development, organizational development and sustainability that is flexible and tailored to your needs – without this program to provide money for coaches, outside consultants, trainings and workshops I know TLC would not be where we are today.”

Kris Hiyashi, Executive Director, Transgender Law Center