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In a sector focused on improving social outcomes across a wide range of issues, we need only look within our own organizations to understand why we have not yet achieved the depth of change we seek. Throughout the social sector, there remains a glaring omission of a fundamental element of social impact: race equity. Race equity must be centered as a core goal of social impact across the sector in order to achieve our true potential and fulfill our organizational missions. The goal of this publication was to identify the personal beliefs and behaviors, cultural characteristics, operational tactics, and administrative practices that accelerate measurable progress as organizations move through distinct phases toward race equity.
A focus on racial equity can increase your effectiveness at every stage of the grantmaking process. Blending experience and candid advice from grantmakers, this guide explores how a racial equity lens can help you scan your field or community, cultivate new leaders, encourage creative approaches, get people talking, and nourish change inside your own foundation. HighlightsThree tools for activating a racial equity lensYour Race/Your RoleQuestions to ask inside your foundationWhat's in the Guide?What Is a Racial Equity Lens? For grantmakers and foundation leaders, using a racial equity lens means paying disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while analyzing problems, looking for solutions, and defining success. Some use the approach to enhance their own perspectives on grantmaking; others adopt it as part of a commitment endorsed across their foundations.How a Racial Equity Lens Works: A racial equity lens is valuable because it sharpens grantmakers' insights and improves the outcomes of their work. People who use the approach say it helps them to see patterns, separate symptoms from causes, and identify new solutions for their communities or fields.Applying a Racial Equity Lens: Skills and Strategies: Where, specifically, does a racial equity lens get put to use by individual grantmakers? The answer is simple: everywhere. A keen awareness of race and ethnicity, and of their impact on access to power and opportunity, is a distinct asset when applying the classic skills of effective grantmaking.Implementing a Commitment to Racial Equity: Policies and Practices: When a foundation decides to focus on racial equity, how does that commitment get translated into the organization's goals and routines? Foundation leaders and program staff share examples of what they have learned about applying a racial equity lens to their programming, operations, and external affairs.Looking Inward: Using a Racial Equity Lens Inside Your Foundation: Grantmakers who have championed racial equity within their foundations describe a handful of tactics for getting over the predictable hurdles. Ground the discussion of racial equity in the foundation's mission, they say, be open to learning, and be upfront about your goals. But don't lose sight of the possibility of resistance and setbacks.
This joint PolicyLink-Bridgespan analysis says funders are a key part of the racial equity ecosystem: to benefit the entire nation they should both be transparent in reporting where grants go and fund what movement leaders say is needed to achieve enduring change.
The Covid-19 pandemic and our long overdue national reckoning on racial injustice have thrust into sharp relief the results of centuries of economic inequality and systemic racism. While the pandemic and its accompanying economic devastation have hurt so many, people of color and low-income communities have been hit exceptionally hard. More than 100 million people in America—half of all people of color and one-quarter of all White people—struggled to make ends meet even before the pandemic and they continue to bear the heaviest toll, even as the economy bounces back.For corporate leaders, this historic moment presents an opportunity to make lasting progress against stated commitments on racial equity and ensure the billions of dollars pledged to communities of color actually lead to equitable outcomes. Our 2021 CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity will guide you beyond diversity and inclusion commitments to the heart of the business opportunity ahead: addressing the intended and unintended impacts of your products, services, operations, policies, and practices on people of color and low-income communities, with key recommendations across the three domains of corporate influence.
PolicyLink, in partnership with Well Being Trust, developed Advancing Well-Being by Transcending the Barriers of Whiteness to identify "centering whiteness" as a social and institutional framework that prevents meaningful movement toward racial equity, describe specific social and economic inequities that have been exacerbated by this framework, and make clear new narratives that will be necessary for systemic and policy change. This paper, along with the companion Community Dialogue Guide, serve as the starting point for critical dialogues that deepen and build shared understanding across communities.
This report represents the latest in an effort by Philanthropy-Serving Organizations (PSOs) to advance philanthropic practice and impact by centering racial equity. Written by some members of United Philanthropy Forum's Racial Equity Committee together with Community Centered Evaluation & Research, the report is based on findings of the Forum's inaugural Racial Equity Capacity Assessment for PSOs. Nearly three-quarters of Forum members completed the assessment, which provides a baseline to examine PSOs' internal efforts and external programming in advancing racial equity. The Forum also completed the assessment, and is using the results to inform the Forum's internal racial equity work.
Power Beyond Measure: Reshaping the Research and Evaluation Landscape for Boys and Men of Color is a new research agenda that outlines six strategies for advancing equity and opportunity for Boys and Men of Color (BMOC) in the U.S. These strategies and recommendations lift up ways to ensure their voices and perspectives are reflected in research and funding; to promote power and capacity-building in their communities; and to build more equitable, anti-racist research and evaluation systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic and contemporary anti-Black racism movements have shone further light on the systemic racism and hardships faced by Black people in Canada. The experience of Black people in Canada points to the inadequacy of public policy in addressing the concerns of Black communities. It also suggests that Canadian philanthropy has not sufficiently invested in the well-being of Black communities and Black community organizations.This research report provides the first systematic, empirical examination of the extent to which Canadian philanthropy has responded to the unique and intersectional challenges facing Black communities. In establishing the social context and lived experience of Black community members, the report makes apparent that the needs of Black people in Canada are both specific and urgent. Despite the clear case for investment, Canadian philanthropy has largely been absent in supporting Black people in Canada. Evidence that illustrates how Canadian philanthropy has failed to meet the needs of Black people in Canada is drawn from the analysis of two sets of original data: 1) Semi-structured qualitative interviews with ten Black and non-Black philanthropic leaders from across the Canadian philanthropic sector; and 2) a review of the funding portfolios of 40 Canadian foundations.
This body of work is a gathering place to bring together the wealth of knowledge about Indigenous-led funds and the wisdom of Indigenous leaders in philanthropy; to create a space where Indigenous leaders in philanthropy can learn from each other, and where funders can understand effective and decolonial approaches to grantmaking. This body of work is also a call to action. An invitation for actors within the philanthropic community to reflect upon their power and privilege, and listen to the leadership of Indigenous peoples. The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples commissioned this work in 2020, to amplify the voices of these Indigenous leaders and Indigenous-led funds, so that their calls for stronger support can be answered. To embark on this journey of greater understanding, one must start by humbling oneself to listen deeply and learn; to step outside of the Western and non-Indigenous notions dominating philanthropy; and to open the mind to Indigenous worldviews. This landscape scan will take you on a journey to Indigenous communities,cultures and worldviews all over the world. It will take you into communities who have their own history and understanding of,visions for philanthropy that is richly rooted in ancestral knowledge and cultural values of giving and sharing. If we can make space for the leadership of the Indigenous peoples and communities demanding respect and recognition in philanthropy, together we can transform the way we do grantmaking.
Developed by the Mid-South Philanthropy Network as a self audit, the purpose of the Memphis Funders' Racial Equity Audit is to measure the extent of local equitable grantmaking, uncover shortfalls, and reflect on and put into action ways to create more racially equitable grantmaking. Twelve of the 21 Mid-South Philanthropy members participated, most by filling out a survey and completing a video conference interview with consultants. Three additional local intermediary funders also participated, resulting in a total of 15 participating funders. This report provides anonymized data that summarizes the findings of the surveys and interviews.
Community foundations can play a powerful role in connecting high-net-worth donors with local organizations working to advance community needs—especially organizations led by people of color. Connecting donors to organizations that are providing leadership and meeting critical needs in the community is one way community foundations can help donors ensure their giving is having local impact and can help strengthen the value proposition for donors to work with community foundations. Recognizing that many community foundations are already playing this role, we wanted to learn more about how they are doing so.We interviewed staff members from 13 community foundations, representing a range of geographies and asset sizes. We prioritized reaching out to community foundations who already had a point of view on racial equity because we thought other community foundations might be able to learn from their practices to connect donors and nonprofits. The staff members we spoke to primarily led donor services for their foundation, and we spoke to a few CEOs as well. In addition, we reached out to four philanthropic intermediary organizations that are structured differently from community foundations and have an emphasis on funding social justice organizations, grassroots organizations, and/or organizations led by people of color. These interviews yielded insight into how community foundations might think differently about their role and practices they could consider to deepen engagement with communities and donors.This report distills highlights and themes from our interviews with community foundations and other funding intermediaries. The findings are organized around three big questions:WHY Does This Matter? Forming a point of view on racial equityHOW Do We Direct Resources to Meet Critical Community Needs? Ways communityfoundations are connecting donors and nonprofitsWHAT Difference Are We Making? Evolving thinking about assessing impact
In 2020, the Mott Foundation commissioned philanthropic researcher, Dr. Larry McGill, to examine how U.S. community foundations can use the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to lead local revitalization efforts, advance racial equity and recover from the complex effects of the pandemic. The subsequent report aims to help community foundations unpack the SDG framework and use it to create an organized approach to their work toward systemic change.