Estakio Beltran and Bill and Holly Marklyn

Can We Talk About...? Episode 7 Estakio Beltran and Bill and Holly Marklyn on shifting wealth and power with The Share Fund


In this special episode, founding members of The Share Fund, Estakio Beltran, Bill Marklyn and Holly Marklyn take us beyond the bounds of traditional governance and philanthropy, and into a new world of giving that makes the redistribution of wealth and power a reality. The Share Fund is an LLC rather than a foundation and is managed through a participatory process where community leaders like Estakio make all funding decisions and funders, Holly and Bill, play funding and support roles. Holly, Bill, Estakio and the other community leaders also receive support from the team at Phīla Engaged Giving to bring their vision to life. 

Across their conversation, our three guests share powerful stories of designing and experiencing philanthropy that is joyful, relational and community-driven. They illuminate some of the limitations of traditional philanthropy structures, mindsets and practices, encouraging us to grow into new ways of thinking and working. “Wealth should not, in my view, be the reason for power, which is what The Share Fund is all about. It’s trying to decouple wealth and power,” Holly shares, as an example. 


References and Resources

  • The Share Fund
    Learn more about The Share Fund on their website and read the full story of how Bill, Holly, and The Share Fund’s funding committee members designed this fund through their report: Letting Go of Power, Centering Community.
  • Funding Committee Members
    Estakio, Holly, and Bill mention various funding committee members and their respective communities. You can learn about all of the funding committee members here. 
  • Lauren Janus and Stephanie Ellis-Smith at Phīla Engaged Giving
    Phila Giving is a Black-owned, values-driven, philanthropic advisory firm based in Seattle and Chicago that supported Bill, Holly and the funding committee to bring The Share Fund to life.  


Individual Reflection Questions 

  1. What does a trusting relationship with community look like? In what ways might the current systems and structures that you work within support or hinder trust-building?
  2. Reflect on the aspects of power shifting that The Share Fund modeled. What could power shifting look like for you on your board?


Group Exercise

Visioning Exercises 

Estakio, Holly and Bill walk us through how they implemented new ways of giving to best support their communities. Visioning exercises can help you and your board collectively and creatively imagine possibilities for change and transformation, and action steps to get there. 

The What If Visioning Exercise by the Transition Bound Forward Project, for example, provides groups with a three-part structure that starts with naming…

  1. What Is: a way to process what is working that should remain the same, what is not working and what systems or structures need changing;
  2. What If: imagining new models and ways of being; and 
  3. What Next: asking groups to think about action steps for this vision.


Episode Highlight



This episode of Can we talk about…? was produced by Aya Tsuruta (Executive Producer), Emily Daman (Producer) and Jesse McCune of Podfly (Audio Engineer).

Special thanks to Asha Hossain (Graphic Design), Nancy Sanabria (Episode Host), Komiku (Music), Stephanie Ellis-Smith (Phīla Engaged Giving) and to our Philanthropy Northwest and Giving Practice teams for their thought partnership and support. Thank you to the Ford Foundation for making this project possible.

Estakio Beltran Headshot
Estakio Beltran
Funding Committee Member, The Share Fund

Estakio is a founding funding committee member of The Share Fund, working alongside Holly and Bill since 2021. He brings his professional experience to the conversation, including his former work as Director of Advocacy and Community Innovations at the Yakima Valley Community Foundation and his current role as Partnership Advisor at Native Americans in Philanthropy. Additionally, Estakio brings his lived experience growing up on the Yakama Nation along with his passion for shifting systems and lifting up community voice. 

Bill and Holly Marklyn Headshot
Bill and Holly Marklyn
Co-Funders and Founders, The Share Fund

As early Microsoft employees Bill and Holly Marklyn accumulated first generation wealth which they are now looking to redistribute back into society in an equitable manner.  They see wealth inequality, particularly racial wealth inequality, as a significant problem in our society, with intergenerational wealth transfer as a significant cause of the problem. As such, they do not intend to pass their wealth on to their children and are committed to redistributing their wealth in a racially equitable manner. The Share Fund is a manifestation of this commitment, designed to relinquish traditional donor control and cede grantmaking power to a BIPOC funding committee. 

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