Earlier this year, a stunned nongovernmental organization leader told me that her organization had received an unsolicited, multimillion-dollar donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This leader was one of the many grant recipients who received a slice of the billions Scott gave away in 2021.

It wasn’t just the size of the donations that was so remarkable; it was also the way they were given. There were no complex grant applications and no restrictions on how to use the funds. It was a large-scale example of “frictionless giving”— a trust-based approach where funding flows fast to where it’s needed and can be quickly put to good use.

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