Foundations Working to Increase Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Philanthropy, Report Finds

Foundations Working to Increase Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Philanthropy, Report Finds

A growing number of foundations and grantmaking organizations are launching efforts aimed at making philanthropy more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, a new report from D5, a coalition of philanthropic organizations working to help donors achieve greater impact, finds.

The report, State of the Work 2012 (52 pages, PDF), examined the progress D5 has made in helping U.S. foundations recruit new leaders who more closely reflect the country's demographic trends, increase funding within diverse communities, and be more transparent about data collection with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the sector. Among other things, the report found that a growing number of grantmaker associations are working to strengthen connections with diverse communities and recruiting staff and board members that better reflect the nation's diversity regarding race and ethnicity, gender, LGBT communities, and people with disabilities. The Association of Black Foundation Executives, for example, offers a Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities Toolkit that includes knowledge tools designed to help funders create successful diversity-oriented funding strategies, while a partnership between Philanthropy Northwest, Native Americans in Philanthropy, and the Potlatch Fund is working to foster learning, better connections, and mutual trust in pursuit of more equitable diversity strategies.

In response to the report's findings, the D5 coalition, which was launched in 2010 and is sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, will kick off a number of learning and implementation activities over the next twelve months, including leadership development efforts with affinity groups and other partners, capacity building for population-focused funds through the Philanthropic Inclusion Fund, and support for additional regional diversity studies.

"We need philanthropy to look more like America, so we can better respond to the complex issues facing Americans today," said W.K. Kellogg Foundation president and CEO Sterling K. Speirn. "The 2012 State of the Work report shows how far we've come and the lessons learned along the way — and will help inform our strategies moving forward. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that philanthropy, as a sector, can really have impact and drive meaningful change in our communities. But we're on our way."

"Leadership, Funding, and Data Key to Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" D5 Coalition Press Release 05/16/2012.